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a really formidable antagonist, as no doubt she will one day be. Her efforts cover too wide a surface, and her considerable army in the Liaoutung peninsula could be destroyed in its isolated position by the power which commanded the sea. The Ameer has detected the insecurity of her position in Central Asia, and, aware of Mussulman hatred, he realizes that the recent Russian butchery at Tashkent has gone far to inflame rather than to crush it. In the Far East, Japan is waiting on England's convenience, watching Russia's proceedings without making any useless protests, and biding her time while she completes the effectiveness of her army and navy. But she cannot go on waiting forever, and some of her statesmen may be led to think that even a bad division with Russia is better than to remain empty-handed as the ally of a torpid and indifferent England. To the loss of opportunities will follow that of allies, if Great Britain shows a tame submission to the affronts that Russia is now offering her throughout Asia.
Now is the moment to bring the rivalry of this determined and relentless enemy to an issue, and to have recourse to the remedy of war as an insurance against an inevitable and manifest danger being allowed to become too difficult and formidable. England is ready and Russia is not. Russia has the itching to clutch India without the power to do so; and if England is firm and l'esolute, and fights in a proper spirit and not in the silly, hypercivilized manner she has pursued in South Africa, she can shatter the Asiatic dominion of the Czar to its base, and give the Russians something else to think of than the invasion of India for another hundred years. Of provocation there has been no lack, and fresh casus belli will be soon supplied, perhaps before these lines can appear in print. Before summarizing the operations that such a war would necessitate in order to bring it to a successful conclusion, there is one point that requires preliminary consideration, and that is the part which France would take in the struggle.
The relations between England and France are often strained, but there is no implacable rivalry and antipathy between them such as do and must exist between England and Russia. In fact, the distrust of France that has increased of late years among Englishmen is largely due to the apprehension that France had placed herself so completely under the thumb of Russia as to make it certain that she would play Russia's game against England
in Asia. The Dual Alliance, which, in its ostensible form, as a set-off to the Triple Alliance, excited no mistrust and seemed perfectly natural, became a menace to Great Britain when it was seen how subservient France had become to Russia. No one can say how far a responsible French Government will allow itself to be drawn into a quarrel with which, so far as it relates to Persia, the Indian frontier and Manchuria, it has no concern. But it is essentially a question for France herself to decide. Her attitude and what passes for French opinion could not possibly be more hostile to England than it has been since Fashoda, and it would be useless for England to attempt to disarm it. We must be prepared for the worst, the same time that we record the fact that, if France intervenes in an Anglo-Russian conflict, the quarrel will be of her own seeking and making. But the addition of France to Russia should not fill England with dismay. On her side, England would strictly confine the war, so far as France was concerned, to that element on which for two hundred years France has appeared at a disadvantage; and, although the bill might be heavier, the result of a collision between the British fleet and the Franco-Russian navies would not, unless British estimates are very much in error-and no one doubts England's willingness to take the risk--be very different from what it would be in the case of one Power instead of two. Against the heavier expenditure could be set the increased security that would arise from the elimination of two navies instead of one, which would leave Great Britain able to face with greater patience and complacency the growth of that of Germany.
The first phase of the war would be a naval one for the mastery of the seas in the Mediterranean, the Black, the Baltic and the waters of the Far East; while on the Atlantic England would close the French ports from Dunkirk to L'Orient. So far as the struggle would partake of the character of a great naval battle, the scene would be the Mediterranean, where the French have great faith in their fair-weather fleet. In the Far East, the English squadron, now reinforced by a second line-of-battle ship and by the two fine cruisers, the "Powerful” and “Terrible,” would even without the powerful aid of the Japanese, sweep the FrancoRussian navies from the seas; and in this case it is exceedingly doubtful whether the relics of those fleets would long find shelter under the guns of Port Arthur. After a certain number of
months, the question of naval superiority would be placed beyond dispute, and that part of the hostile fleets which had escaped destruction would be locked up in a state of impotence in a comparatively limited number of harbors.
During this preliminary period, measures for the effective defence of India in the first place, and for supporting the Ameer in every way he may wish, would also be carried out. Assuming that the British operations on the Indian frontier would for some time be defensive, and that England's real attack on Russia would be made in other directions, it would not be necessary for England to send more than 50,000 troops to India. This would raise the European garrison to 110,000 men, half of whom could be sent to the frontier with 75,000 good native troops and at least 20,000 Imperial Service troops. All these men are now being armed with the magazine rifle, and no doubt the imperfections in the cavalry armament and the artillery will be promptly removed. From the 150,000 troops available, an army of 50,000 could be formed to guard the Khyber, and another of 100,000 for offensive operations from the Pishin Valley in the direction of Candahar and Herat. But in neither direction should the English troops enter Afghanistan without the Ameer's permission and good-will. It is quite possible that that permission would only be given with great reluctance in the case of Cabul, and it would be far better to let the Ameer take his own chance, if he wished it, in dealing single-handed with the Russians on the Oxus rather than to force British assistance upon him. England has, moreover, an admirable defensive position in the Khyber, and she could there await with confidence the attack of any army Russia could bring against her. On the southern frontier, the same passive attitude would not be possible, and the Ameer's assent would have to be obtained for an early advance to Candahar.
But, on the whole, British military plans would, so far as India was concerned, be mainly defensive. Great Britain should be ready to strike, but she should not go much out of her way to simplify for Russia the task of bringing an army of invasion across the five-hundred miles that separate Kushk from Chaman. In other directions, England should strive to inflict a maximum of damage on the enemy. It would go hard with England if Odessa and Batoum escaped ransom or reduction, and the new harbor of Sebastopol might be subjected to a searching test of
its merits. In Port Arthur and the garrison of the Liaoutung peninsula, Russia has given hostages to fortune of far greater value than even Herat. Who believes that that force could escape an English expedition of 50,000 men acting in conjunction with the half-million of soldiers with whom Japan is ready at the given signal to overrun Corea and Manchuria? Taking the available British army at 500,000 men, it would be divided in the following manner: 110,000 in India, 40,000 as a garrison for Egypt, 50,000 for operations in Manchuria, and another 50,000 for the Black Sea. There would remain 250,000 men for the decisive blow in the second year of the war. This should be struck at St. Petersburg itself, and the presence of that force in the Baltic would light such a fire from Finland to Poland as would give even the colossal army of the Czar all the employment of which it is capable. It is no secret that St. Petersburg lies exposed to a well-directed attack, because it would not be difficult to sever its communications with the interior, and Kronstadt, strong toward the sea in such degree as forts may be to ironclads, is no invulnerable defence for the Russian capital on the land side. In addition to the half-million troops possessed by Great Britain, she possesses 100,000 admirable Indian troops, including 20,000 of the finest light cavalry in the world.
I have said nothing about allies, because the British Empire must be prepared to stand alone against all comers; but an exception is made in the case of Japan, the one assured and efficient ally England possesses all the world over, firm and dignified in its patient attitude, but ready to act at England's signal. Yet the strong never fail to attract allies. The Ameer of Afghanistan has his finger on the pulse of Islam. He knows it throbs with hatred of the Russian. Would Turkey keep aloof from the movement under the Green Flag of the Prophet that promised her revenge and relief from suffocation? The participation of France in the struggle entails the alliance of Italy against her, and a more rapid clearing of the Mediterranean. The war could not be many weeks old before these alliances would pass into the sphere of accomplished facts. After its development by successes on the sea and at Port Arthur, there would be still more powerful European alliances at England's disposal. Finland would be a warning to Sweden and Norway, if Russian movements on the Mourman coast rendered any further warning necessary; and the
fine Scandinavian people would not be backward in participating in a movement that promised to dispel the danger of annexation, with which they are repeatedly threatened in a wanton and bullying spirit. Nor is it conceivable that Austria, which is tied to the Triple Alliance without gaining much benefit from it, could stand aloof when so favorable an occasion presented itself to relieve the pressure on her eastern borders, and to take part in a resuscitation of that kingdom of Poland, the downfall of which commenced her own deterioration.
Has the moment come for this historic and earth-shaking struggle? I say that the reckless and defiant proceedings of Russia leave England no honorable choice. England has tolerated acts on Russia's part within the last four years that have injured British prestige, discouraged the friends of England and given the Government of the Czar many material advantages. Russia is about to crown them all with an act that will filch away the most important province of Persia and with more than one affront in Manchuria. If Great Britain overlooks or condones these acts, the injury will be irremediable and the Russian Government will be justified in thinking that it has been granted carte blanche. But it is impossible for the British Government to remain forever passive in face of Russia's aggressions, and it is now time to put down its foot and warn Russia off. England has had more than enough of Russia's threats as to what is to be done in the direction of India, and the hour has come to bid the Muscovite Power to stand on her guard and do her worst. Now is the moment to expose the hollowness of her menaces and to expel her from the positions which she had seized, threatening the tranquillity of India and the integrity of China. So favorable an opportunity from every point of view as the morrow of the overthrow of the Boers will be to establish British security in the East may never recur, and the wave of enthusiasm that would pass through India as well as through the British Empire when it became known that England had decided to end the insolent pretensions and aggressions of Russia would electrify the world and leave no room for doubt as to the issue.
DEMETRIUS C. BOULGER.