Strategic Survey 2008: The Annual Review of World Affairs begins as usual with Perspectives, an assessment of global developments over the past year, followed by three essays on particular strategic policy issues. Six chapters analyse developments in individual countries, grouped by region. Strategic Survey 2008 concludes with Prospectives, which briefly sets out the strategic outlook for the coming year. A chronology is provided in the Events at a Glance section, and new colour maps are grouped in the Strategic Geography section. The events of the past year are listed in a chronology, and the book is fully indexed.

Strategic Survey 2008: The Annual Review of World Affairs begins as usual with Perspectives, an assessment of global developments over the past year, followed by three essays on particular strategic policy issues. Six chapters analyse developments in individual countries, grouped by region. Strategic Survey 2008 concludes with Prospectives, which briefly sets out the strategic outlook for the coming year. A chronology is provided in the Events at a Glance section, and new colour maps are grouped in the Strategic Geography section. The events of the past year are listed in a chronology, and the book is fully indexed.

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  • Events at a Glance

    June 2007–June 2008 June 2007 29 United Kingdom: Two unexploded car bombs are found in central London, two days after Gordon Brown succeeds Tony Blair as prime minister. On 30 June, a car is driven into the terminal at Glasgow airport. A group of foreign-born doctors is arrested. July 2007 3 Japan: Defence Minister Fumio Kyuma resigns after saying the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945 were inevitable. 4 Palestine: BBC...
  • Chapter 1: Perspectives

    For the world’s larger powers, this was a year taken up by domestic and economic concerns while they awaited the beginning of a new period in international affairs. This new start would come once the next American administration had established itself in Washington. That great-power relations would go, in effect, on hold was inevitable given that the ‘lame-duck’ status of the administration of President George W. Bush was more than...
  • Chapter 2: Strategic Policy Issues

    The intelligence services of the world’s largest nations had not fully digested the implications of the end of the Cold War when the impact of international terrorism became horrifyingly clear on 11 September 2001. It was already obvious that new organisational structures would be necessary to replace those that had been focused on the Soviet bloc. The attacks on New York and Washington, in which 3,000 people died when hijacked...
  • Chapter 3: The Americas

    The United States: An Extraordinary Election Campaign On the second of May 2008 Mildred Loving, a 68-year-old black woman, died of pneumonia in Central Point, Virginia. In the same town 50 years earlier, she had been asleep in bed with her new husband, a white man, when sheriff’s deputies broke into their house and arrested them both. The Lovings had been legally married in adjacent Washington DC, but this did...
  • Chapter 4: Europe

    European countries were largely preoccupied by economic and domestic issues in the year to mid 2008. All were affected by the difficulties in international credit markets that originated in the United States. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy made little headway in his ambitious programme to reform the economy, and the public was transfixed for some time by his private life. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel consolidated her position at the...
  • Chapter 5: Russia/Eurasia

    The past year has tested the resilience of Russia’s ‘stability’ paradigm, established by Vladimir Putin during his eight-year tenure as president. It saw parliamentary and presidential elections, following which Putin handed the presidency to his hand-picked successor Dmitry Medvedev, but remained in government as prime minister. Russia continued to face challenges in its relations with Europe and the United States. During the year to mid 2008, Russia suspended its obligations...
  • Chapter 6: Middle East/Gulf

    Tension over Iran’s nuclear programme remained high during the past year, in spite of a surprise announcement by American intelligence agencies that they believed Tehran had halted its development of nuclear weapons in 2003. Iran pressed ahead with the enrichment of uranium, in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions. In neighbouring Iraq, there was a significant fall in politically motivated violence following a change in American military tactics in...
  • Chapter 7: Africa

    The quest for a more stable and secure environment in Africa took as many steps backward as forward in the past year. The political scene was dominated by the desperate attempts of the regime of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe to prolong its stay in power, the explosion of inter-ethnic violence after elections in Kenya, and continuing conflicts and humanitarian emergencies in Somalia, Sudan and Chad, despite the deployment of new...
  • Chapter 8: South Asia and Afghanistan

    This was a year of frustration for the Indian government as it faced rising inflation and a slowdown in the pace of economic growth, and struggled to put into effect the agreement on civil nuclear cooperation that it had reached in 2007 with US President George W. Bush. Although Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh finally made progress towards clinching the nuclear deal in July 2008, after leftist parties had blocked...
  • Chapter 9: Asia-Pacific

    The principal focus in the Asia-Pacific region was on China as it continued to consolidate its position as an economic power. Beijing’s overriding concern was that the 2008 Olympic Games – to be held after Strategic Survey went to press – should provide a trouble-free showcase for its extraordinary development over the past 30 years. It therefore reacted in determined fashion when protests against Chinese rule broke out in Tibet...
  • Chapter 9: Prospectives

    The economic uncertainties created throughout 2008 by the global financial crisis and the debate about its depth and nature will be easily matched in 2009 by a range of geopolitical uncertainties caused by shifts in the personalities and powers affecting global politics. Certainly the next US president will face a complex set of issues. The restoration of US standing in the world might be eased by the assumption to office...
  • Strategic Geography

    Global Issues Africa Europe/Russia Middle East/Gulf Asia-Pacific Americas
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