(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons. Chinese portrait of Prime Minister Gar Tongtsen, an instrumental figure in the development of early Tibetan government)
The Tibetan Empire could punch well above its weight in clashes with the Tang Empire. How was such a sparsely populated, desolate country able to challenge the might of Imperial China?
The answer lies in the ingenious provincial and government apparatus built up during the reign of Songtsen Gampo and the regency of Gar Tongtsen. From the Four Horns to the Thousand Districts, the Tibetan government was a well-oiled machine more than capable of leveraging the limited resources of the Tibetan plateau and turning them into a mighty imperial war machine.