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along the road from Bagdad to Teheran, along which the Russians are advancing rapidly. The Turks are therefore in a trap, which, if they do not move quickly, they will not be able to escape. The Turkish Army before the British is in a state of almost complete demoraliza tion. It has lost the greater part of its artillery and ammunition, has suffered heavily in prisoners, and many of the men have thrown their arms into the Tigris as they fled. Indeed, the rate of the British advance, which was unbelieveably rapid, tells its own story of the condition of the Turkish Army.
Further east, in Persia, the Russians are having a similar experience. The Turkish Army in Persia, alarmed at the possibility of having its line of retreat cut off by the advancing British, has offered but feeble resistance to the Russians, who have definitely broken the enemy's line and are hurrying westward toward the Turko-Persian frontier. Their rate of advance is as great as that of the British. The Turkish force is in vital danger. The British are squarely across their main line of retreat, and to get away at all they will have to break over the mountains and pass through the gap between the Russian and the British Army—which gap is steadily narrowing.
Less than 150 miles now separates these two forces, so that the danger to the Turks of capture or destruction is ap
parent. There seems no possibility of the Turks offering any organized resistance to either force until Mosul is reached. At Bagdad they had in their rear the Bagdad railway, and also naturally had stored up in Bagdad a large quantity of materials of war of all kinds. It was indeed the main base from which they were working. If with all these advantages they were unable to halt the British advance for more than two days, it is evident that their power of resistance has been broken.
Aside from the military situation created by these successes, the political situation will be even more prolific of danger to the Turk. Syria and Arabia are waiting only for the opportunity to break loose from the Sultan's dominion and set up independent States. The initial steps have already been taken by Arabia, so that it may be truly said that the disruption of the empire has begun.
Further to the west we have also seen during the month an incident of no little importance. That is the British advance along the coast of the Holy Land to the Dead Sea. This is the beginning of a threat against Adana and Aleppo. There are along this line considerable German forces which will probably make the going harder than it is further east. But the significance of the general pressure against the Turks on every front is not to be lost.
By H. H. von Mellenthin,
[See Maps on Pages 28 and 45] M HE development of the war situation of warfare in the Near East, the entire I during the month ending about the political situation of the world has be
middle of March has been confined come mobile. The subjoined discussion is chiefly to politico-military events. While to deal with the two principal political upon the main theatres of war on the events of the period just past: the AmerEuropean Continent subdued thunder ican declaration of a state of armed neucontinues to herald the approach of a trality and the Russian revolution. new storm, and while the purely military As regards the declaration of “armed interest centres upon the new mobility neutrality” on the part of the United
States, directed against Germany, it must be made clear from the outset that neutrality, as far as its correct definition is concerned, knows no limitation. Neutrality constitutes the relationship between two States “ qui neutrarum sunt,” that is, which participate on no side. Strictly speaking, it is, therefore, paradoxical for any neutral to incline benevolently toward one party while toward the other party it takes up an expectantly aggressive position, as, for instance, by arming. In either case neutrality, strictly speaking, has ceased.
The development of the law of nations has, however, modified the conception of neutrality. Thus we hear today of “absolute” or “strict” neutrality, and of “ partial ” neutrality. The latter includes, in the first place, the inclination toward one of two belligerent parties by any sort of assistance. That is “ benevolent” (bienveillante) neutrality. Second, there is the conception of “ armed neutrality,” which takes effect as soon as a neutral State announces that, in order to safeguard its position as a neutral, or to protect its interests from the acts of a belligerent, it will itself resort to the force of arms.
A Historic Instance The conception of " armed neutrality" found its most pregnant and practical demonstration during the American war of independence. On Jan. 1, 1780, Russia, Prussia, Denmark, Sweden, and Portugal concluded a treaty of armed neutrality for the protection and defense of peaceful commercial intercourse.
The fact that this neutrality treaty was directed primarily against England's arbitrary acts at sea shows that England even then disregarded the rights of neutrals and violated their interests. This treaty led to Spain's declaration of war against England and to England's declaration of war on Holland.
Prussia at that time maintained a policy of benevolent neutrality toward the Colonies in their war of independence. Frederick the Great forbade the march through Prussian territory of Hessian auxiliary troops hired by the English, thus delaying the arrival of
these troops in America and resulting in great benefit to the fighters for liberty.
Neither benevolent neutrality nor armed neutrality is regarded nowadays as a discontinuance of peace. Both constitute an attitude, not an act of participation in the war.
The next step after a declaration of such a neutrality, if circumstances bring the two nations toward actual hostilities, is the declaration of a “ state of war." Even that does not necessarily lead to war itself. At any rate, however, armed neutrality is a ticklish proposition, for the declaration of such a state shows a high degree of tension between the neutral and the belligerent in question.
The crisis between the United States and Germany has been caused by the declaration and enforcement of the German unrestricted U-boat warfare in the barred zones.
The German submarine blockade has a dual purpose. England is to be forced into a mood receptive for peace by the interception of her supplies, and the great offensive movements of the Allies predicted for Spring are to be deprived, by the blockade of the sea routes, of the means for their execution, that is, men and munitions.
Sir Edward Carson, First Lord of the British Admiralty, on Feb. 21, and Premier Lloyd George two days later, admitted that the U-boat menace had assumed ominous proportions and created a serious situation. For the first time the gravity of the U-boat's economic menace to England was thus admitted by English statesmen.
From the military point of view, the second purpose of the German submarine war, that of cutting the Allies off from further overseas supply of death-dealing weapons and war material, is the more important one. In the second phase of the U-boat war, which is to be devoted to the materialization of this aim, it will be seen whether the submarine is to prove an effective means of war.
Through the declaration of armed neutrality on the part of the United States, which presupposes the eventuality of a state of war, the entire U-boat question has been taken out of its coherence with
the European war and placed under the Persian campaign. On March 13 Kerwider perspective of world politics. For manshah was occupied by the Muscoa war between the United States and vites, and on the following day the Turks Germany would be bound to develop into were driven from fortified positions on a struggle between Anglo-Saxons and the summit of Narlehtian, west of KerTeutons.
manshah. Events in Mesopotamia
The Turkish War Minister, Enver To the world-political considerations
Pasha, returning from the theatre of belong also the events on the Mesopo
operations in Mesopotamia, informed the tamian theatre of war, where on Sunday,
Turkish Parliament that the retreats on March 11, the Anglo-Indian army under
the Mesopotamian and Persian fronts General Maude occupied the ancient city
were dictated by “military consideraof Bagdad.
tions." This can only mean that the reThe name of Bagdad constitutes a po
tiring movements are made in accordlitical conception. This conception was
ance with a previously arranged fixed shattered a year ago by the British catas- plan and for the realization of certain trophe at Kut-el-Amara. The political strategic aims. conception of Bagdad forms one of the Nevertheless, it would be playing the principal aims of the Central Powers, for part of the ostrich were one to shut his the City of the Caliphs is to be the bul. eyes to the actual significance of the fall wark and the centre of economic expan- of Bagdad. From the military standsion in the Near East.
point the conception“ prestige” is a comIn December of last year the British pletely illusory thing. The fact that the under General Maude reopened the Meso- British through the surrender of General potamian campaign. Stubborn battles for Townshend's army and Kut-el-Amara in the possession of Kut-el-Amara followed. April of last year lost prestige in Egypt On Feb. 28, 1917, Kut was occupied by and India did not prevent their occupathe British. The Turks retreated to the tion in March of this year of the city north. On March 5 Lajij fell, and the of Harun-al-Rashid. That the Turks have next day the victors passed the town of lost prestige by the fall of Bagdad by Ctesiphon, evacuated by the Turks. On no means precludes the possibility of a March 7 the battles on the Diala River recapture of the city. began, eight miles from Bagdad. On At Bagdad. So say pro-ally sympa. March 11 the Anglo-Indian troops en
thizers, a dream to which Germany has tered Bagdad. They have since reached
devoted twenty years, has been shattered.
devoteď tv a point eighteen miles north of the city. The
The fact that the "terminus of the Bag
dad Railway" has fallen into British by General Townshend, the then British hands, it is added. bars the German road Commander, it was said in allied quar- to the East. And in the ears of the Orient ters that now the Russians would enter sounds the deathknell of German ambiMesopotamia and cut off the Turkish re
tions. Because an open and completely treat. The Russians had taken Erzerum
undefended city has fallen, therefore and Trebizond and had advanced in Per
this gigantic work of civilization is to sia. Isfahan, Persia's second capital, had
collapse! Can a handful of Indian dibeen conquered by them and the Turks
visions stem the logical tide of world had been driven from Kasri-Shirin to
history? Chanykin, on the Mesopotamian frontier,
Whether the Turks recapture Bagdad 150 kilometers from Bagdad.
or no, Mesopotamia remains an incidental But after the victorious conclusion of theatre of war. The final fate of the the Turkish campaign against the British, Bagdad Railway, and with it that of the strong Turkish forces were released two-river-land, is to be decided upon the These turned on the Russians and drove main theatres of war on the European them as far as Hamadan.
Continent. Now the Russians have reopened the Preparations for that decision are still