Kamyar Abdi writes in his review of Small Players of the Great Game (Journal of Iranian Studies, Volume 42, Issue 2 April 2009):
The Conclusion to the book is an insightful study of the different approaches of the Russians and the British to the Great Game, and the role of intermediate players in the game, such as Iran and Afghanistan, and small players, such as the Khozeimeh amirdom. The author is understandably critical of both the Russians and especially the British for trying to dismantle the age-old Iranian system of federal government, and creating artificial polities like Afghanistan where various ethnic groups—in the latter case the Pashtuns, Hazarahs, Tajiks, and Uzbeks—with no shared history are kept together only with great difficulty. Obviously, for those familiar with the history of British colonialism, such British blunders are not at all uncommon. In fact, one does not have to look farther than Iraq to realize that self-serving British decisions have left a bitter legacy.
For more details, see: Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh, Small Players of the Great Game: The Settlement of Iran’s Eastern Borderlands and the Creation of Afghanistan, (London and New York: Routledge Curzon, 2004), ISBN 0-415-31213-2, xv & 263 pp.