Strategic Survey 2006: The Annual Review of World Affairs assesses trends in all continents and also provides analysis and facts on key themes such as the continuing campaign against terror, the geopolitical impact of the oil price rise and the global refugee situation. The great strategic challenge that emerged during the year was the sharpening of the complex regional Sunni–Shia rivalry that Iraq’s instability, Iran’s renaissance and Sunni-Arab malaise has fostered. At the same time, a major struggle is being fought throughout the Islamic world among conservative, liberal and extremist forces who all want to occupy the same political ground.

Strategic Survey 2006: The Annual Review of World Affairs assesses trends in all continents and also provides analysis and facts on key themes such as the continuing campaign against terror, the geopolitical impact of the oil price rise and the global refugee situation. The great strategic challenge that emerged during the year was the sharpening of the complex regional Sunni–Shia rivalry that Iraq’s instability, Iran’s renaissance and Sunni-Arab malaise has fostered. At the same time, a major struggle is being fought throughout the Islamic world among conservative, liberal and extremist forces who all want to occupy the same political ground.

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  • Events at a Glance

    May 2005–May 2006 May 2005 5 UK: Labour party re-elected with reduced majority. 13 Uzbekistan: Troops open fire on demonstrators in eastern city of Andijan, killing hundreds. 27 US: Five-yearly review conference of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ends without substantive agreement. 29 France: French voters reject EU constitution in referendum, prompting resignation of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, replaced by Dominique de Villepin. June 2005 1 Netherlands: Dutch voters reject EU constitutional treaty in referendum. 15 Iran:...
  • Chapter 1: Perspectives

    The Persian Gulf dominated international affairs in the year to mid-2006. The obstinate conflict in Iraq worsened as internecine attacks and insurgency exacted a heavy toll that foreign and Iraqi forces seemed powerless to stem. Across the border in Iran, the government defied international pressure by lifting its voluntary suspension of uranium conversion and enrichment activities, arousing renewed concern that the country could have a nuclear weapon by the turn...
  • Chapter 2: Strategic Policy Issues

    The Campaign against Terrorism: Five Years after 11 September Nearly 3,000 people died in the terrorist attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001. In the five years that have elapsed since, the priority for the United States, Russia, Europe and other key targets has understandably been self-protection and, therefore, ‘hard’ security and counter-terrorism. The United States prosecuted what it called the ‘Global War on Terrorism’ with some vigour...
  • Chapter 3: The Americas

    The United States: Beyond the Bush Doctrine? In the six decades since Franklin Roosevelt’s four election victories inspired a constitutional amendment limiting presidents to two, only Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton have finished two full terms. George W. Bush is set to become the fourth in this line, yet his low public approval at a time of national gloom is more reminiscent of those who failed to win...
  • Chapter 4: Europe

    The European Union did not, as some expected, plunge into existential crisis as a result of the rejection of the European Union’s proposed constitutional treaty on 29 May 2005 by French voters and on 1 June 2005 by Dutch voters. The rejections did, however, appear to consign the treaty, at least in the form and structure in which it had been drafted, to history. They raised questions – unlikely to...
  • Chapter 5: Russia and Eurasia

    Russia: An Emerging Energy Superpower? The year to mid-2006 saw the emergence of a more confident, more assertive and more powerful Russia – though over-dependent on oil and gas exports and facing domestic social challenges as well as continuing insecurity in the North Caucasus. Russia was as stable, prosperous and independent as it had ever been in the post-Soviet era, and even in several decades preceding the collapse of the Soviet...
  • Chapter 6: Middle East / Gulf

    The region’s multiple tensions continued to threaten the world’s security over the past year. Amidst persistent violence and insecurity, Iraq struggled to regain domestic stability. Though the milestone of a representative elected government was reached, daily life for Iraqis continued to pose many challenges. American and coalition military forces were gradually handing over responsibility for security to Iraqis, but the withdrawal of 130,000 American troops was likely to be a...
  • Chapter 7: Africa

    A Boost from the G8, China and Oil Events appear at last to be moving in the right direction for the world’s poorest continent, even though many countries remain beset by chronic poverty, conflict and disease. Fuelled by a global commodity boom, African economic growth was 5.1% in 2004, and was estimated at 5% in 2005 and 4.7% in 2006, the best performance for many years. In July 2005, the...
  • Chapter 8: Asia

    While Asia’s rising powers substantially deepened their engagement with the rest of the world over the past year, the region’s many problems and tensions persisted. Many countries viewed China’s rapid emergence with a blend of caution and self-interest, and Beijing adopted a similar stance towards the outside world. India and the United States moved forward in their quest for a strategic relationship. However, long-standing bilateral tensions among East Asian nations...
  • Chapter 9: Prospectives

    The attempted merger between idealism and realpolitik at the core of American foreign policy was laid to rest during 2005, and was informally buried by mid 2006. Of course the strategic language at the highest level still paid tribute to the ideal of the universal spread of democracy and the ending of tyranny. But the diplomatic practice, now controlled largely by the US secretary of state, delivered much greater homage...
  • Strategic Geography 2006

    Global issues Europe Middle East / Gulf Asia Americas Africa
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