In the context of the history of the 20th century, the interwar period was the period between the end of the First World War in November 1918 and the beginning of the Second World War in September 1939. Despite the short period of time, this period represented an era of significant changes worldwide. Petroleum and associated mechanisation expanded leading to the Roaring Twenties, a period of economic prosperity and growth for the middle class in North America and many other parts of the world. Automobiles, electric lighting, radio broadcasts and more became commonplace among populations in the developed world; the indulgences of this era subsequently were followed by the Great Depression, an unprecedented worldwide economic downturn which damaged many of the world's largest economies. Politically, this era coincided with the rise of communism, starting in Russia with the October Revolution and Russian Civil War, at the end of World War I, ended with the rise of fascism in Germany and in Italy.
China was in the midst of long period of instability and civil war between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China. The Empires of Britain and others faced challenges as imperialism was viewed negatively in Europe, independence movements in British India, French Indochina and other regions gained momentum; the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and German empires were dismantled, while the Ottoman and German colonies were redistributed among the Allies, chiefly the United Kingdom and France. The western parts of the Russian Empire, Finland, Latvia and Poland became independent nations in their own right, while Bessarabia chose to reunify with Romania; the Russian communists managed to regain control of the other East Slavic states, Central Asia, the Caucasus, forming the Soviet Union. Ireland was partitioned between the independent Irish Free State and the British-controlled Northern Ireland. In the Middle East and Iraq gained independence. During the Great Depression, Latin American countries nationalised many foreign companies in a bid to strengthen their own economies.
The territorial ambitions of the Soviets, Japan and Germany led to the expansion of their empires, setting the stage for the subsequent World War. The Interwar Period is accepted to have ended in September 1939, with the invasion of Poland and the beginning of World War II. However, in Asia, it is considered to have ended with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident and the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Following the Armistice of Compiègne on November 11th, 1918 that ended World War I, the years 1918–24 were marked by turmoil as the Russian Civil War continued to rage on, Eastern Europe struggled to recover from the devastation of the First World War and the destabilising effects of not just the collapse of the Russian Empire, but the destruction of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, as well. There were numerous new nations in Eastern Europe, some small in size, such as Lithuania or Latvia, some large and vast, such as Poland and Yugoslavia; the United States gained dominance in world finance.
Thus, when Germany could no longer afford war reparations to Britain and other former members of the Entente, the Americans came up with the Dawes Plan and Wall Street invested in Germany, which repaid its reparations to nations that, in turn, used the dollars to pay off their war debts to Washington. By the middle of the decade, prosperity was widespread, with the second half of the decade known as the Roaring Twenties; the important stages of interwar diplomacy and international relations included resolutions of wartime issues, such as reparations owed by Germany and boundaries. Disarmament was a popular public policy. However, the League of Nations played little role in this effort, with the United States and Britain taking the lead. U. S. Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes sponsored the Washington Naval Conference of 1921 in determining how many capital ships each major country was allowed; the new allocations were followed and there were no naval races in the 1920s. Britain played a leading role in the 1927 Geneva Naval Conference and the 1930 London Conference that led to the London Naval Treaty, which added cruisers and submarines to the list of ship allocations.
However the refusal of Japan, Germany and the USSR to go along with this led to the meaningless Second London Naval Treaty of 1936. Naval disarmament had collapsed and the issue became rearmi
James Gordon Brown is a British politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 to 2010. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 to 2007. Brown was a Member of Parliament from 1983 to 2015, first for Dunfermline East and for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. A doctoral graduate of the University of Edinburgh, Brown spent his early career working as both a lecturer at a further education college and a television journalist, he entered Parliament in 1983 as the MP for Dunfermline East. He joined the Shadow Cabinet in 1989 as Shadow Secretary of State for Trade, was promoted to become Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1992. After Labour's victory in 1997, he was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, becoming the longest-serving holder of that office in modern history. Brown's time as Chancellor was marked by major reform of Britain's monetary and fiscal policy architecture, transferring interest rate setting powers to the Bank of England, by a wide extension of the powers of the Treasury to cover much domestic policy and by transferring responsibility for banking supervision to the Financial Services Authority.
Controversial moves included the abolition of advance corporation tax relief in his first budget, the removal in his final budget of the 10% "starting rate" of personal income tax which he had introduced in 1999. In 2007, Tony Blair resigned as Prime Minister and Labour Leader and Brown was chosen to replace him in an uncontested election. After initial rises in opinion polls following Brown becoming Prime Minister, Labour's popularity declined with the onset of a recession in 2008, leading to poor results in the local and European elections in 2009. A year Labour lost 91 seats in the House of Commons at the 2010 general election, the party's biggest loss of seats in a single general election since 1931, making the Conservatives the largest party in a hung parliament. Brown remained in office as Labour negotiated to form a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. On 10 May 2010, Brown announced he would stand down as leader of the Labour Party, instructed the party to put into motion the processes to elect a new leader.
Labour's attempts to retain power failed and on 11 May, he resigned as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. He was succeeded as Prime Minister by David Cameron, as Leader of the Labour Party by Ed Miliband. Brown played a prominent role in the campaign surrounding the Scottish independence referendum of 2014, galvanising support behind maintaining the union. Brown was born at the Orchard Maternity Nursing Home in Giffnock, Scotland, his father was John Ebenezer Brown, a minister of the Church of Scotland and a strong influence on Brown. His mother was Jessie Elizabeth "Bunty" Brown, she was the daughter of a timber merchant. The family moved to Kirkcaldy – the largest town in Fife, across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh – when Gordon was three. Brown was brought up there with younger brother Andrew Brown in a manse. Brown was educated first at Kirkcaldy West Primary School where he was selected for an experimental fast stream education programme, which took him two years early to Kirkcaldy High School for an academic hothouse education taught in separate classes.
At age sixteen he wrote that he resented this "ludicrous" experiment on young lives. He was accepted by the University of Edinburgh to study history at the same early age of sixteen. During an end-of-term rugby union match at his old school, he received a kick to the head and suffered a retinal detachment; this left him blind in his left eye, despite treatment including several operations and weeks spent lying in a darkened room. At Edinburgh, while playing tennis, he noticed the same symptoms in his right eye. Brown underwent experimental surgery at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and his right eye was saved by a young eye surgeon, Hector Chawla. Brown graduated from Edinburgh with a First-Class Honours MA degree in history in 1972, stayed on to obtain his PhD in history, titled The Labour Party and Political Change in Scotland 1918–29. In his youth at the University of Edinburgh, Brown was involved in a romantic relationship with Margarita, Crown Princess of Romania. Margarita said about it: "It was a solid and romantic story.
I never stopped loving him but one day it didn't seem right any more, it was politics, politics, I needed nurturing." An unnamed friend of those years is quoted by Paul Routledge in his biography of Brown as recalling: "She was sweet and gentle and cut out to make somebody a good wife. She was bright, though not like him, but they seemed made for each other."In 1972, while still a student, Brown was elected Rector of the University of Edinburgh, the convener of the University Court. He served as Rector until 1975, edited the document The Red Paper on Scotland. From 1976 to 1980 Brown was employed as a lecturer in politics at Glasgow College of Technology, he worked as a tutor for the Open University. In the 1979 general election, Brown stood for the Edinburgh South constituency, losing to the Conservative candidate, Michael Ancram. From 1980, he worked as a journalist at Scottish Television serving as current affairs editor until his election to Parliament in 1983. Brown was elected to Parliament on his second attempt as a Labour MP for Dunfermline East in the 1983 general election.
His first Westminster office mate was a newly elected MP from the Sedgefield constituency, Tony Blair. Brown became an opposition spokesman on Trade and Industry in 1985. In
Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa KOGF, GCB is a retired French politician who served as President of France and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra from 16 May 2007 until 15 May 2012. Born in Paris, he is of 1/4 Greek Jewish and 1/4 French Catholic origin. Mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine from 1983 to 2002, he was Minister of the Budget under Prime Minister Édouard Balladur during François Mitterrand's second term. During Jacques Chirac's second presidential term he served as Minister of the Interior and as Minister of Finances, he was the leader of the Union for a Popular Movement party from 2004 to 2007. He won the French presidential election, 2007 by a 53.1% to 46.9% margin to Socialist Ségolène Royal. During his term, he faced the Arab Spring, he initiated the reform of the pension reform. He married Italian-French singer-songwriter Carla Bruni in 2008 at the Élysée Palace in Paris. In the 2012 election, François Hollande, candidate of the Socialist Party, defeated Sarkozy by a 3.2% margin.
After leaving the presidential office, Sarkozy vowed to retire from public life before coming back in 2014, being subsequently reelected as UMP leader. Being defeated at the Republican presidential primary in 2016, he retired from public life, he is charged with corruption by French prosecutors in two cases, notably concerning the alleged Libyan interference in the 2007 French elections. Sarkozy was born in Paris, is the son of Pál István Ernő Sárközy de Nagy-Bócsa, a Protestant Hungarian aristocrat, Andrée Jeanne "Dadu" Mallah, whose Greek Jewish father converted to Catholicism to marry Sarkozy's French Catholic maternal grandmother, they were married in the Saint-François-de-Sales church, 17th arrondissement of Paris, on 8 February 1950, divorced in 1959. During Sarkozy's childhood, his father became wealthy; the family lived in a mansion owned by Sarkozy's maternal grandfather, Benedict Mallah, in the 17th Arrondissement of Paris. The family moved to Neuilly-sur-Seine, one of the wealthiest communes of the Île-de-France région west of Paris.
According to Sarkozy, his staunchly Gaullist grandfather was more of an influence on him than his father, whom he saw. Sarkozy was raised Catholic. Sarkozy said that being abandoned by his father shaped much of who he is today, he has said that, in his early years, he felt inferior in relation to his wealthier and taller classmates. "What made me who I am now is the sum of all the humiliations suffered during childhood", he said later. Sarkozy was enrolled in the Lycée Chaptal, a well regarded public middle and high school in Paris' 8th arrondissement, where he failed his sixième, his family sent him to the Cours Saint-Louis de Monceau, a private Catholic school in the 17th arrondissement, where he was a mediocre student, but where he nonetheless obtained his baccalauréat in 1973. Sarkozy enrolled at the Université Paris X Nanterre, where he graduated with an M. A. in private law and with a D. E. A. degree in business law. Paris X Nanterre had been the starting place for the May'68 student movement and was still a stronghold of leftist students.
Described as a quiet student, Sarkozy soon joined the right-wing student organization, in which he was active. He completed his military service as a part-time Air Force cleaner. After graduating from university, Sarkozy entered Sciences Po, where he studied between 1979 and 1981, but failed to graduate due to an insufficient command of the English language. After passing the bar, Sarkozy became a lawyer specializing in business and family law and was one of Silvio Berlusconi's French lawyers. Sarkozy married his first wife, Marie-Dominique Culioli, on 23 September 1982, they had two sons, now a hip-hop producer, Jean now a local politician in the city of Neuilly-sur-Seine where Sarkozy started his own political career. Sarkozy's best man was the prominent right-wing politician Charles Pasqua to become a political opponent. Sarkozy divorced Culioli in 1996; as mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, Sarkozy met former fashion model and public relations executive Cécilia Ciganer-Albéniz, when he officiated at her wedding to television host Jacques Martin.
In 1988, she left her husband for Sarkozy, divorced one year later. She and Sarkozy married with witnesses Martin Bouygues and Bernard Arnault, they have one son, born 23 April 1997. Between 2002 and 2005, the couple appeared together on public occasions, with Cécilia Sarkozy acting as the chief aide for her husband. On 25 May 2005, the Swiss newspaper Le Matin revealed that she had left Sarkozy for French-Moroccan national Richard Attias, head of Publicis in New York. There were other accusations of a private nature in Le Matin. In the meantime, he was said to have had an affair with a journalist of Anne Fulda. Sarkozy and Cécilia divorced on 15 October 2007, soon after his election as president. Less than a mont
2014 Wales summit
The 2014 Wales Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was a meeting of the heads of state and heads of government of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, held in Newport, Wales on 4 and 5 September 2014. Such summits are sporadically held, allow leaders and officials from NATO Allies to discuss current issues of mutual concern and to plan strategic activities; the 2014 summit has been described by US Navy Admiral James Stavridis as the most important since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The summit was hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron. Attendees included Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. There were another 180 VIPs, 4,000 delegates and officials from 60 countries; the official logo for the summit included a panel with four quadrants, each bearing a stylised symbol of Newport or Wales: a Celtic knot, the Welsh Dragon, Newport Transporter Bridge and a Welsh castle.
The entrance to the venue was fronted by a full-scale replica of a Eurofighter Typhoon. World leaders met at the Celtic Manor, informally at other locales in and around Cardiff, they discussed ongoing events in the world, such as terrorism, cyber warfare, other areas of national security interest to the member states. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had a joint discussion with EU big four leaders and US President Barack Obama before the official start of the Summit, to discuss the crisis with Russia; the following declarations and agreements were made at the Summit: Wales Summit Declaration Joint Expeditionary Force agreement Armed Forces Declaration Joint Statement of the NATO-Ukraine Commission Declaration on Afghanistan The Wales Declaration on the Transatlantic BondAt the end of the summit Ukrainian President Poroshenko announced a ceasefire, agreed with one of the leading pro-Russia separatist leaders, under terms proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, cautiously welcomed by NATO leaders.
Wales PledgeFor the first time, the Allies formally pledged to aim to move towards what had been an informal guideline of spending 2% of their gross domestic products on defense, 20% of that on new equipment. For countries which spend less than 2% they agreed upon that these countries "aim to move towards the 2% guideline within a decade". In 2015, five of its 28 members met that goal. At the beginning of 2018, eight of the 29 members either were meeting the target or were close to it. Further outcomes were the development of the Readiness Action Plan and the Defence and Related Security Capacity Building Initiative. Protests and marches took place in Newport and Cardiff involving several hundred people, though the turnout was much lower than predicted. A retired German politician, Walther Stützle, former defence secretary of state and former head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, criticised the summit agenda for its focus on military details and not political perspectives.
Stützle said that the Russian Federation was not a military threat to NATO but criticised that new NATO members' policies were not détente and negotiation with the Russian Federation. In both Newport and Cardiff, road closures and security measures, starting weeks in advance of the summit, created widespread disruption. Thirteen miles of security fencing, 2.7 m high, was erected around the Newport hotel venue and 10 miles of fencing put up around Cardiff city centre, creating what was described as a "ring of steel". Businesses in the vicinity of security fencing in Cardiff reported a drop in trade by up to a third; this fencing was based on, expanded, the'National Barrier Asset', held in reserve for similar events. Security included around 9,500 specially trained police officers patrolling the streets of the two cities, military helicopters including US Osprey V22s and the Royal Navy's new £1bn Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan. Albania – Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati Belgium – Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders Bulgaria – Minister of Foreign Affairs Daniel Mitov France – Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius Germany – Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier Italy – Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini Norway – Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende Spain – Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation José García-Margallo y Marfil United Kingdom – Foreign & Commonwealth Secretary Philip Hammond United States – Secretary of State John Kerry NATO Summit Wales 2014 2014 NATO Summit Media information Łukasz Kulesa: NATO at a Crossroads – Again: Recommendations for the Newport Summit, PDF
The Great Recession was a period of general economic decline observed in world markets during the late 2000s and early 2010s. The scale and timing of the recession varied from country to country; the International Monetary Fund concluded that the overall impact was the most severe since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Great Recession stemmed from the collapse of the United States real-estate market in relation to the global financial crisis of 2007 to 2008 and the U. S. subprime mortgage crisis of 2007 to 2009. According to the nonprofit National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession in the U. S. ended in June 2009, thus extending over 19 months. The Great Recession resulted in a scarcity of valuable assets in the market economy and the collapse of the financial sector in the world economy. S. federal government. The recession was not felt around the world. Two senses of the word "recession" exist: one sense referring broadly to "a period of reduced economic activity" and ongoing hardship.
Under the academic definition, the recession ended in the United States in June or July 2009. Robert Kuttner argues, “’The Great Recession,’ is a misnomer. We should stop using it. Recessions are mild dips in the business cycle that are either self-correcting or soon cured by modest fiscal or monetary stimulus; because of the continuing deflationary trap, it would be more accurate to call this decade's stagnant economy The Lesser Depression or The Great Deflation." The Great Recession met the IMF criteria for being a global recession only in the single calendar year 2009. That IMF definition requires a decline in annual real world GDP per‑capita. Despite the fact that quarterly data are being used as recession definition criteria by all G20 members, representing 85% of the world GDP, the International Monetary Fund has decided—in the absence of a complete data set—not to declare/measure global recessions according to quarterly GDP data; the seasonally adjusted PPP‑weighted real GDP for the G20‑zone, however, is a good indicator for the world GDP, it was measured to have suffered a direct quarter on quarter decline during the three quarters from Q3‑2008 until Q1‑2009, which more mark when the recession took place at the global level.
According to the U. S. National Bureau of Economic Research the recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, thus extended over eighteen months; the years leading up to the crisis were characterized by an exorbitant rise in asset prices and associated boom in economic demand. Further, the U. S. shadow banking system had grown to rival the depository system yet was not subject to the same regulatory oversight, making it vulnerable to a bank run. US mortgage-backed securities, which had risks that were hard to assess, were marketed around the world, as they offered higher yields than U. S. government bonds. Many of these securities were backed by subprime mortgages, which collapsed in value when the U. S. housing bubble burst during 2006 and homeowners began to default on their mortgage payments in large numbers starting in 2007. The emergence of sub-prime loan losses in 2007 began the crisis and exposed other risky loans and over-inflated asset prices. With loan losses mounting and the fall of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008, a major panic broke out on the inter-bank loan market.
There was the equivalent of a bank run on the shadow banking system, resulting in many large and well established investment and commercial banks in the United States and Europe suffering huge losses and facing bankruptcy, resulting in massive public financial assistance. The global recession that followed resulted in a sharp drop in international trade, rising unemployment and slumping commodity prices. Several economists predicted that recovery might not appear until 2011 and that the recession would be the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Economist Paul Krugman once commented on this as the beginning of "a second Great Depression". Governments and central banks responded with fiscal and monetary policies to stimulate national economies and reduce financial system risks; the recession has renewed interest in Keynesian economic ideas on how to combat recessionary conditions. Economists advise that the stimulus should be withdrawn as soon as the economies recover enough to "chart a path to sustainable growth".
The distribution of household incomes in the United States has become more unequal during the post-2008 economic recovery. Income inequality in the United States has grown from 2005 to 2012 in more than 2 out of 3 metropolitan areas. Median household wealth fell 35% in the US, from $106,591 to $68,839 between 2005 and 2011; the majority report provided by U. S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, composed of six Democratic and four Republican appointees, reported its findings in January 2011, it concluded that "the crisis was avoidable and was caused by: Widespread failures in financial regulation, including the Federal Reserve's failure to stem the tide of toxic mortgages.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as the Islamic State and by its Arabic language acronym Daesh, is a Salafi jihadist militant group and former unrecognised proto-state that follows a fundamentalist, Salafi doctrine of Sunni Islam. ISIL gained global prominence in early 2014 when it drove Iraqi government forces out of key cities in its Western Iraq offensive, followed by its capture of Mosul and the Sinjar massacre; the group has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations and many individual countries. ISIL is known for its videos of beheadings and other types of executions of both soldiers and civilians, including journalists and aid workers, its destruction of cultural heritage sites; the United Nations holds ISIL responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes. ISIL committed ethnic cleansing on an historic scale in northern Iraq. ISIL originated as Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in 1999, which pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and participated in the Iraqi insurgency following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by Western forces at the behest of the United States.
In June 2014 the group proclaimed itself a worldwide caliphate and began referring to itself as the Islamic State. As a caliphate, it claimed religious and military authority over all Muslims worldwide, its adoption of the name Islamic State and its idea of a caliphate have been criticised, with the United Nations, various governments and mainstream Muslim groups rejecting its statehood. In Syria, the group conducted ground attacks on both government forces and opposition factions and by December 2015, it held a large area extending from western Iraq to eastern Syria, containing an estimated 8 to 12 million people, where it enforced its interpretation of sharia law. ISIL is believed to be operational in 18 countries across the world, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, with "aspiring branches" in Mali, Somalia, Bangladesh and the Philippines. In 2015, ISIL was estimated to have an annual budget of more than US$1 billion and a force of more than 30,000 fighters. In July 2017, the group lost control of Mosul, to the Iraqi army.
Following this major defeat, ISIL continued to lose territory to the various states and other military forces allied against it, until it controlled no meaningful territory by November 2017. U. S. military officials and simultaneous military analyses reported in December 2017 that the group retained a mere 2 percent of the territory they had held. On 10 December 2017, Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that Iraqi forces had driven the last remnants of Islamic State from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq's territory. By 23 March 2019, ISIL lost one of their last significant territories in the Middle East, surrendering their "tent city" and pockets in Al-Baghuz Fawqani near the end of the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani. In April 2013, having expanded into Syria, the group adopted the name ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī'l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām; as al-Shām is a region compared with the Levant or Greater Syria, the group's name has been variously translated as "Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham", "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria", or "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant".
While the use of either one or the other acronym has been the subject of debate, the distinction between the two and its relevance has been considered not so great. Of greater relevance is the name Daesh, an acronym of ISIL's Arabic name al-Dawlah al-Islamīyah fī l-ʻIrāq wa-sh-Shām. Dāʿish, or Daesh; this name has been used by ISIL's Arabic-speaking detractors, although – and to a certain extent because – it is considered derogatory, as it resembles the Arabic words Daes and Dāhis. Within areas under its control, ISIL considers use of the name Daesh punishable by flogging or cutting out the tongue. In late June 2014, the group renamed itself ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah, declaring itself a worldwide caliphate; the name "Islamic State" and the group's claim to be a caliphate have been rejected, with the UN, various governments, mainstream Muslim groups refusing to use the new name. The group's declaration of a new caliphate in June 2014 and its adoption of the name "Islamic State" have been criticised and ridiculed by Muslim scholars and rival Islamists both inside and outside the territory it controls.
In a speech in September 2014, United States President Barack Obama said that ISIL was neither "Islamic" nor was it a "state", while many object to using the name "Islamic State" owing to the far-reaching religious and political claims to authority which that name implies. The United Nations Security Council, the United States, Turkey, Russia, the United Kingdom and other countries call the group "ISIL", while much of the Arab world uses the Arabic acronym "Dāʻish". France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said "This is a terrorist group and not a state. I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam and Islamists; the Arabs call it'Daesh' and I will be calling them the'Daesh cutthroats.'" Retired general John Allen, the U. S. envoy appointed to co-ordinate the coalition. S. Army Lieutenant General James Terry, head of operations against the group.
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K