Indian nationalists now protest that the Indian Army was a tool of oppres- sion; but it is significant that in his definitive history of militarism Alfred Vagts did not indict British rule in India.15 An American scholar has said that British colonial rule was based on service, not exploitation or oppression, and he pointed to the dedication and idealism of the men in the Colonial Service.16 Ed- ward Grigg, Secretary of the Rhodes Trustees and a future Governor of Kenya, told an American audience that the binding force of the Commonwealth was not despotic power or military force but "interest, sentiment, tradition, goodwill -- and above all a belief in the nature and value of the Commonwealth as a whole."17 A modern scholar agrees with this appreciation. D.A. Low writes that British imperial rule over non-European peoples was based on the following: the gathering of the threads of legitimacy; support from traditionally legitimate, in- digenous political authorities; force; the creation of a new order offering a large- scale existence; gradual unobtrusive extension of its authority; the vested interest that a number of local peoples would have in its rule; the strength and effective- ness of its bureaucracy; and the charismatic qualities which imperial rulers were at first felt to possess. Here again, force was only one of many factors and again it was not listed first. Force was used to overpower political regimes less suc- cessful in preserving peace and order; it was also used to cope with disorder; but it was resorted to reluctantly rather than enthusiastically. 18
Air Marshal and historian of air power, Sir John Slessor, pointed out in an introduction of Gutteridges' Armed Forces in New States that British colonies always depended on external support to meet threats from a major power.19 A Viceroy of India in the early 1920's went further still. He states that without out- side help the Indian Army, including native regiments, could not even contain widespread domestic disturbances should they occur.20 The historian of the In- dian Army and of its contribution to development believes that this had a wider connotation. "All colonial relationships have much in common, but perhaps the most fundamental feature they share is a dependent relationship between foreign conqueror and the native... In exchange for a secure place in the new system established for the foreigner, the native will respond not with gratitude but with obedience."21 Relative weakness had created and maintained the colonial rela- tionship of military dependence; and colonial acquiescence was an important element in the imperial-colonial relationship of military dependence.
The cost of military dependence was economic discrimination in the inter- ests of imperial vested interests. In India the adoption of Free Trade destroyed India's native cotton industry to benefit Lancashire.22 Dependence thus distorted India's development. Similarly the Indian Army, India's protective force, was used on campaigns far from India on the grounds that they were in India's inter- est as part of the Empire.23 Nevertheless, western imperialism, at first generally acceptable because it seemed a source of security, stability, and justice, was seen