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The first Afghan war is one of the most interesting events in British Imperial and military history. Mr Norris's starting point for this 1967 publication is the belief that Sir John William Kaye, the Victorian authority on this war, made some strong partisan judgements, which were left unanswered. He therefore re-examines the original sources, including much material that was not available to Kaye, to form the basis of a fresh interpretation. This study attempts to assess the political significance of the Afghan incident by relating it to the general Eastern question, and at the same time to vindicate the actions of Lord Auckland and Alexander Burnes. The principal unresolved problem of the war was the exact correlation of British and Indian policy over Afghanistan. Mr Norris demonstrates convincingly that Auckland's policy was part of the general Whig plan, operated by Palmerston, for the containment of Russian expansion in Asia.