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Security: 2008 review, 2009 predictions
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Security: 2008 review, 2009 predictions
A look back at some of the key moments in 2008 which impacted on security.
We asked six people, with excellent insights into their respective areas, two simple questions about 2009: what and who would be key in the security arena. Here, we publish their answers.
A book about mistakes made in Afghanistan nearly 200 years ago may have lessons for the present day.

2008 was a year of surprises. And not all of them were pleasant. Issues which had been on a slow boil suddenly, and often unexpectedly, boiled over.

In January last year, few people were unaware of the tensions between Georgia, but fewer still would have predicted that, by the end of the year, Russian soldiers would be on Georgian soil.

By the same token, few were unaware of the problems of piracy, but fewer still would have predicted the lengths that pirates would go to and the need to NATO to address the issue.

There were bright spots too. Barack Obama was not tipped by many to win the White House. But he saw his message of 'Yes we can' through to the very end.

So what will be the surprise issues of 2009? In this edition, we put that question to six leading individuals in their area.

It seems only fair that I put forward my own prediction. I think that 2009 will see a ratcheting up of the issue of the High North, the area in the Arctic circle which is changing rapidly. With no clear borders, the promise of mineral riches and the lack of any clear agreement to govern the area, it is likely that this issue will see further developments next year.

Quite by chance, that is also the subject of the first edition of NATO Review next year, where we'll be looking at what NATO members and other countries are preparing to do on the issue.

That's all for this year though. I'd like to thank everyone who read the pieces, viewed the photostories and watched the videos. I'd particularly like to thank all the people who made the editions possible. And I wish you all happy holidays and a peaceful new year.

Paul King