Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean is critical to global trade and food and energy security. Resources increasingly are being exploited by its littoral and island states. It is also a stage for the pursuit of global strategic and regional military and security interests.

Nehruvianism in Indian Foreign Policy – Embedded in the Modi Doctrine?

22 February 2018 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The influence of Jawaharlal Nehru, as the first prime minister of India, remains relevant seventy years after independence. The dealings of current PM Narendra Modi with regional and global leaders demonstrate his personal charisma and political agility and speak of progression, rather than change. India’s past conflict and present competition with China conform to that pattern.

India Poised to Deepen its Presence in the Gulf Following Oman Visit

In a recent visit to the Sultanate by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Oman granted India the use of a strategic port and the two states signed several Memoranda of Understanding. As China’s presence in the Indian Ocean Region grows, India will continue to look to Oman, a longstanding partner, to help it to achieve its economic and maritime security interests in the Persian Gulf.

Indonesian Air Force to Receive Russian Fighters

The purchase of eleven Sukhoi fighter jets is a small, but welcome upgrade. The larger process of expanding the Indonesian Air Force, of which it has been part, is extremely slow-moving and achieving the Minimum Essential Force goals by 2024 appears unlikely.

South Africa: Chance for Fresh Start as Zuma Goes

15 February 2018 | Indian Ocean, Strategic Alerts

The resignation of Jacob Zuma offers a chance to move past his controversial presidency but the governing party is far from united. If the ANC can come together to govern equitably and in the best interests of all South Africans, while repudiating the corruption, incompetence and cronyism of the Zuma era, the Cyril Ramaphosa presidency may offer a welcome return to the optimism and vitality that initially characterised post-apartheid South Africa.

Indonesia: Criminal Code Revision Offers Permanent Place for Intolerance

Politicians have used the review to shore up conservative votes at the expense of Indonesia’s LGBT community. At this stage, it is likely that the revision will be endorsed by parliament but it remains unclear whether it will be approved by President Jokowi.

Seychelles to Restart Aquaculture Industry

With an economy that is vulnerable to external factors and dependent on tourism and industrial fishing, the return of an aquaculture industry could help ensure economic diversity and a sustainable food source for an increasingly challenged fisheries sector.

China in South Asia: The Case of Afghanistan

China has several reasons for wanting to enhance its ties with Afghanistan, including the need to tackle Islamic radicalism that threatens its Xinjiang province. Afghanistan also acts as a buffer state and provides a rich source of minerals, including lithium. If brought fully under Chinese influence, it would enable Beijing to replace the United States in the country and provide China with another route for its Belt and Road Initiative.

Singapore and Sri Lanka Looking For Mutual Gains from Free Trade Agreement

As Sri Lanka moves to modernise its economy, Singapore is delicately balancing its economic interests with China against its regional security interests. For both Singapore and Sri Lanka, the signing of a free trade agreement is a means of furthering their respective goals through a closer bilateral relationship.

Australia Hosts New Counter-Terrorism Dialogue for South-East Asian Neighbours

A new platform for counter-terrorism dialogue may not yield tangible results for South-East Asia but could act as a useful diplomatic vehicle for Australia to deepen its strategic bilateral arrangements with key partners.

The Ayatollahs and the Demonstrators: Is the Iranian Theocracy Running Out of Time?

There are a number of reasons for the recent anti-establishment demonstrations in Iran, but one common thread that runs through those various causes is the economic hardship faced by ordinary Iranians on a daily basis. If the economy continues to languish, the demonstrations could herald a precarious period in the immediate future for the country’s theocratic rulers.

Publication Guide

  • Associate papers are primary source assessments written by FDI associates. The assessment topics range from regional bilateral relationships and opportunities and challenges in our neighbouring countries.

  • Feature interviews are interviews conducted by an FDI Research Manager. Interview topics range from the sustainability of our planet to the improved provision of emergency food aid.

  • Normally issued in hardcopy, these represent a comprehensive study of one of FDI’s four research areas.

  • Strategic alerts are priority current intelligence items. We provide these alerts when events such as military deployments or foreign election results occur.

  • A 1500 to 3000 word, single topic assessment.

  • A number of short articles addressing current intelligence topics, issued each week.

  • A record of discussions resulting from a single, or series of, roundtable conferences.

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