Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

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What’s Next for Jakarta Governor-Elect Anies Baswedan?

Anies will look towards fulfilling his policy promises to prove his worth as a presidential candidate. The success of religious tensions in propelling him into power could also be utilised again.

Indonesia: Economic Developments and Future Prospects

Although the Indonesian economy continues to enjoy strong growth, and may even become the world’s fourth-largest by 2050, investment is desperately needed to improve infrastructure, which is necessary for future growth. Good progress has been made in introducing reforms to help small businesses and the country’s growing middle class has the potential to be a significant future driver of the economy.

How Politics and Electricity in Punjab Combine to Prevent Groundwater Reform

Though Punjab’s groundwater levels continue to decline, the new Congress Government appears unwilling to initiate long-term reform that may risk its political success.

Policy Uncertainty Ahead for South Africa as ANC Looks Towards December

In the shadow cast by the December leadership conference at which the African National Congress will choose a new party leader, policymaking is likely to take a back seat to the efforts of President Jacob Zuma to ensure a loyal successor in the face of controversy and accusations of state capture.

Iranian Presidential Election: Keeping Up Appearances Amid Nuclear Accusations

Iran’s presidential election, hardly an exercise in democracy, will take place in an atmosphere charged by accusations that the country is violating the terms of the JCPOA.

Rangelands: Critical to the Environment and Under Constant Threat

Rangelands constitute a significant proportion of the Earth’s total landmass and they sustain important ecosystems that are under an increasing environmental threat from climate change, habitat loss and soil degradation.

Mauritius Courting China in New African Strategic Partnership

If the proposed partnership goes ahead, Mauritius will benefit from increased foreign investment while Chinese companies could use Mauritian ports, banks and membership of key regional organisations as gateways to southern and eastern Africa.

Redefining Modi’s India?

20 April 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

What level of Hinduisation is emerging in India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and in what direction might his 2019 Election Manifesto attempt to steer the country? Conflicting ideologies may see paradoxes emerge between the government – in particular Modi’s “Idea” of India – and the Constitution, that lead to difficult questions about the Constitutional commitment to secularism and the practice of Hinduisation.

A New Hope? Moisture Farming as a Long-Term Alternative Water Source

The depletion of traditional water sources, such as groundwater, in many hot and humid countries is providing moisture farming with the opportunity to become a potential alternative source of water.

Nationalism versus Islamisation: A Power Struggle in Indonesia

With the military and Islamic groups fighting for influence, traditional values of the Indonesian people could be under threat.

ChemChina Inches Closer to Acquiring Syngenta

The acquisition of Syngenta, a global supplier of seeds and pesticide, by ChemChina is likely to have implications for global food security.

Donald Trump’s Warning to Iran

Trump’s cruise missile attack on Syria was, among other things, a signal to Iran that his Administration will not be as compliant or as forgiving of their actions as that of Obama’s.

The Drone Revolution and Australian Agriculture – Part Two: Case Studies and Practical Benefits

Detailed industry analysis has identified agriculture as one of the most promising fields for drone based applications. The ability for farmers to make sound business decisions based upon real-time high quality data that is available at a reasonable cost is essential to a successful modern agricultural enterprise. In Part Two of this FDI Associate Paper, Mr Geoff Trowbridge discusses in specific detail the benefits drones can provide to agriculture.

The Drone Revolution and Australian Agriculture – Part One

High technology, unmanned aerial systems or drones are increasingly moving from military to commercial applications and bringing with them changes that are revolutionising a broad range of industry sectors. In this two-part FDI Associate Paper, Mr Geoff Trowbridge of ScientificAerospace firstly discusses the general, high technology innovations drones are bringing to a wide range of applications and secondly the specific benefits drones can bring to agricultural production.

China Ostensibly Cancels Myitsone Dam Project in Myanmar in Favour of Access to Kyaukpyu Port

Beijing gains preferential access to Kyaukpyu port, but until the future of the Myitsone Dam project is clearly articulated it is likely to remain a potentially troublesome issue for the bilateral relationship.

Indonesia: Comprehensive Tax Reform on the way

Legislation for tax reforms will likely be finalised by July to pave the way for an information exchange programme targeted at tax evasion from multinational corporations.

Tourism in the Gulf: Oman Implements First Stage of Renewed Diversification Strategy

If successful, Oman’s tourism-centric economic diversification strategy could be adopted by some of its hydrocarbon-reliant neighbours as the region faces dwindling oil reserves.

Conflict, Climate Change and Record High Food Prices Contribute to Rising Global Food Insecurity

An immediate global response is required to help stabilise large regions of the world as the number of food insecure populations increases as a result of conflict, extreme weather events and localised high food prices.

Hot Rock Opportunities for Northern Australia

Geothermal energy continues to be a viable source of clean energy.

The Rising Refugee Intake in Uganda: A Food Crisis Reaching Tipping Point?

Increasingly weak food security in Uganda undermines its ability to sustain an increasing number of refugees.

What will be the Shape of US Indo-Pacific Policy under President Trump?

Addressing the increased assertiveness of China in the Indo-Pacific theatre is of primary importance but, despite the talk of greater burden sharing, the US alliances in the region, which continue to serve US commercial and security interests well, will not be ended. The Pivot to Asia of the Obama Administration – largely inherited from the George W. Bush presidency – is likely to continue under President Trump.

Crisis in the Horn of Africa: Are we seeing the Normalisation of Food and Water Insecurity?

Three countries in or near the Horn of Africa (Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen) are, or are close to, experiencing famine. This extreme level of food insecurity is exacerbated by conflict, ineffective governance and poor weather conditions. Until these issues are addressed, it is probable that the region will continue to experience heightened levels of food insecurity.

South Africa Credit Rating Downgraded to Junk Status in Wake of Finance Minister Sacking

As the rand falls against foreign currencies and with another ratings downgrade still a possibility, the sacking of Pravin Gordhan may yet become a catalyst for revolt within the African National Congress-led government against President Jacob Zuma.

Extreme Weather Events: Is this our Agricultural Market Future?

The devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Debbie is likely to significantly influence the domestic, market price of agricultural, aquaculture and fishery produce for the following year. If the predictions of a higher frequency of extreme weather events occurring because of climate change are correct, supply based, price fluctuations may become a more regular feature of our primary produce industry.

The US Global Water Strategy 2017 Under President Trump

A US Global Water Strategy could be a continuation of Trump-styled ‘America First’ politics. A genuinely global water strategy is possible, but only if Trump is willing to accept the impact climate change has on water security and the leadership role the US has in the securitisation of climate change and water.

Vanuatu: Junk Food Ban Addresses Health Problems but Leaves the Islands at Risk

Promoting local organic foods is an important way to lower the country’s severe obesity and diabetes rates, but erodes the food security of a region highly vulnerable to the shocks of climate change.

Timor-Leste Joins Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

This is a welcome move at a time where developing supporting infrastructure for the non-oil sector is crucial to the long-term survival of the Timor-Leste economy.

India’s Security Concerns in the Indian Ocean Region: A Critical Analysis

4 April 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

India needs to adopt a more structured and holistic approach if it is to successfully address the diverse range of security challenges confronting it in the Indian Ocean Region. A long-term maritime policy of working in close strategic co-operation with the likes of the United States, Japan and Australia, together with the states in its maritime neighbourhood, will be required.

The Role of Water in Ensuring Healthy Soils

Water is an essential constituent of healthy, productive soils. Maintaining the availability of water to plants while ensuring healthy, sustainably productive soils, relies on understanding the natural processes of climate and weather and managing complex and often conflicting physical and environmental factors.

Australian Aquaculture and Fisheries Threatened by Marine Plastic Waste

Plans to expand the northern Australia aquaculture industry must include investigation and analysis into potential affects resulting from increasing pollution of the marine environment in the form of marine debris.

Maritime Security Governance and Somali Piracy

Two recent hijackings by Somali pirates have prompted calls for NATO to act on illegal fishing that allegedly pushed these fishermen to piracy. Addressing this as a root cause of a possible new outbreak of piracy, as opposed to the act of piracy itself, is the prudent path to take.

French Presidential Candidate Takes Campaign to Indian Ocean Territories

The visit by Emmanuel Macron to La Réunion and Mayotte – both home to small numbers of voters – has great symbolic value in demonstrating his commitment to a diverse and outwards-looking France.

Pakistan and the CPEC: Choosing Between Riyadh and Beijing

The potential benefits of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor could force Pakistan to choose between its traditional ally, Saudi Arabia, and its major investor, Beijing.

Risk of Damage to Syria’s Tabqa Dam

The “Islamic State” is potentially weeks away from losing control of the Tabqa Dam, a key asset that could see the US-led coalition inch closer to regaining Syria. Any significant damage to the dam’s structure, however, could threaten hundreds of thousands of lives, a worry that IS appears keen to exploit.

Soothing Troubled Waters Essential for India and Pakistan

Further diplomacy between India and Pakistan on Indus River issues will be critical for bilateral relations and regional stability.

Pakistan-Iran Bilateral Relations: More Growth, But Not Close – Part Two: Saudi Arabia and Balochistan

28 March 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

There is potential for further deepening of Pakistan-Iran defence ties now that the economic and financial sanctions against Iran have been removed. Islamabad will have to be very careful in how it handles this matter, however, and will need to keep in mind how it would be seen by Saudi Arabia. Domestic factors, notably sectarian differences and the continuing unrest in Balochistan, will also affect the deepening of the relationship with Tehran.

Pakistan-Iran Bilateral Relations: More Growth, But Not Close – Part One: Afghanistan, India and China

23 March 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Pakistan and Iran have worked together to bring stability to Afghanistan, although they do not see eye-to-eye on a future role for the Taliban. There is much potential in their relationship, especially with regard to the export of energy and Pakistan will progressively deepen its relationship with Iran. That relationship will also be informed by Pakistan’s relationship with China, its interests in Afghanistan and Central Asia, and its ongoing enmity with India.

Malaysia: Will an Early Election Benefit Najib?

A fragmented opposition means that Prime Minister Najib Razak is in a strong position to win if he calls an early general election.

The Nile Delta and the Future of Food and Water Security in Egypt

A study showing increased levels of salt in the waters of the Nile Delta and reduced river flows significantly threatens the future liveability of the region.

Wastewater: Part of the Solution to Rising Water Stress?

Recycling wastewater will help relieve some of the pressure associated with rising water demand, but care will need to be taken to ensure that it is safely used.

The Continuing “Modi-fication” of Indian Politics and Foreign Policy

The overwhelming electoral victory of Modi’s BJP in India’s most populous state demonstrates his continuing political strength and will have an immediate effect on the country’s politics and foreign policy.

Changes to International Defence Partnership Master Plan: Less Land and Smarter Use

Restricting the expansion of land for military exercises will enable and promote opportunities to enhance existing training areas and advances in virtual simulation technology in regional Queensland.

Strategic Competition in Afghanistan: Why Leveraging Kabul’s Food and Water Security Situation Must be Earned, not Expected

Afghanistan’s food and water security future out to 2030 is looking increasingly hard to manage because of the institutional and security challenges, on top of newer tasks like climate change, that must be addressed before food and water can be properly securitised. India and Pakistan can better tap into Afghanistan’s food and water future if they can firstly service Kabul’s older needs, like military security and infrastructural/institutional development.

Carbon Sequestration – Why and How?

To meet the targets set by the Paris climate change conference, greenhouse gas may have to be actively removed from the atmosphere and stored indefinitely. Carbon capture and storage technology will also have a key role in reducing future greenhouse gas emissions. Storage deep underground, in the oceans and in the soil, are some of the possible options but there are technological, financial, environmental and time considerations.

New Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils – Closing the Gap between Soil Science and Farm Management

Recently the Federal Government announced that a new Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils will receive nearly $40 million over 10 years to help the agricultural community bridge the knowledge gap between soil science and farm management. The aim is to provide the tools and knowledge needed to make the right decisions on complex soil management issues.

Timor-Leste Prepares for Presidential Election

The first round of polling will be held on 20 March and the actions taken by the eventual victor will have a significant long-term effect on the direction of the Timor-Leste economy at a time of falling oil and gas revenues.

Corruption, Sand Mafias and Water Security in India

India’s groundwater levels are indicative of the country’s worsening water crisis. Sand is a vital component of a plentiful groundwater supply, but due to weak institutions and corrupt officials, this valuable resource is being illegally mined by “sand mafias” unconcerned by the country’s growing water insecurity.

The Re-energised US Oil Sector: More Woes for Saudi Arabia and OPEC?

In the United States, the steady return to profitability of the resurgent oil industry could increase the troubles of an already-fractured OPEC led by Saudi Arabia.

China Proposes Water Pipeline from Russia to Gansu Province

At a time when Russia fears increased Chinese influence in the Far East, China has released plans detailing a potential pipeline from Siberia.

Food and Water Security in the Middle East

Food and water demand is likely to increase in the Middle East as a result of demographic, dietary and government-sponsored subsidy trends. While demand is expected to rise, innovative water supply solutions and an emerging trend that encourages conservation and waste minimisation could ensure that the region avoids extreme food and water insecurity.

Is There Light at the End of the Baloch Tunnel? Part Two: The View from India

9 March 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

India’s Balochistan policy should be based on a clear-headed assessment of its stakes and its capability to intervene meaningfully. The Baloch issue should not be used by New Delhi as a bargaining chip or a quick-fix to any of the problems that it may have with Pakistan because such short-termism will harm both the Baloch cause and India’s overall interests.

Bird Flu Strikes Back: Bad News for Birds, Less So For People

The avian influenza A (H7N9) virus, which emerged in south-east China last month, is a new strain of the old H5N1 that is showing signs of some resistance to anti-viral drugs and increased lethality. Birds draw the short straw ahead of humans, however, and medicinal treatment, not viral mutation, seems the cause of resistance.

Canada Leading the World in Carbon Capture and Storage for Coal-Fired Power Stations

The Boundary Dam Power Station in Canada is claimed to be the first coal-fired power station in the world to successfully use carbon capture and storage technology on a commercial scale. Is this an example that Australia should be following?

Laos: Pak Beng Dam Project Approved, but at What Cost?

The construction of a new dam has been approved by the government in Vientiane, but there are many interests that may suffer under the project.

New Zealand Seeks De-Radicalisation Advice from Malaysia

Malaysia’s widely praised de-radicalisation programme could be a valuable tool in New Zealand and may be utilised in Indonesia.

China’s Response to India: A Line in the Sand?

China may have decided to retaliate against India’s hardened stance against Beijing by calling New Delhi’s bluff yet offering it a way out of a potential dilemma.

Is There Light at the End of the Baloch Tunnel? Part One: Balochistan and Pakistan

7 March 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The Baloch people live in a resource rich, strategic territory next to Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf and in the middle of Iran, Central Asia and the Indian Sub-continent. Of the countries with large Baloch populations, Pakistan is the most reliant upon the ports and resources of its insurgent Baloch province. Given the structure of the Pakistani state and the division of the Baloch people across three countries, a standalone secession of Balochistan in the manner of Bangladesh seems infeasible.

Saudi King Salman on Landmark Visit to Indonesia

The visit will likely see billions of dollars poured into improving Indonesia’s oil refining capacity but it also raises the issue of the influence of Wahhabism and the “Arabisation” of Islam in Indonesia.

Sri Lankan Drought Worsening, a More Grassroots Strategy Urgently Needed

Despite recent efforts to mitigate drought stresses, farmers still report feeling unprepared, alone and unable to adapt in their struggle to manage existing food and water systems. The Sri Lankan Government must make a more grassroots strategy a main priority.

France Seeking to Boost Economy via Closer Links with Indonesia

The just-concluded visit by Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and that of President François Hollande, scheduled for 29 March, are designed to produce some much-needed growth in the French economy.

Governance Failure Leads to Famine in South Sudan

Removing impediments to food aid distribution will assist in ensuring that the country avoids rising levels of food insecurity. Overcoming these impediments, however, will be difficult in the absence of a more receptive political community in South Sudan.

China, India, a Restructured Strategic Dialogue and Taiwan

India’s hardened stance and its apparent willingness to stand up to China reflects its growing self-confidence, its perceptions of China’s increasing difficulties and the effects of growing nationalism.

Pakistan: Political and Foreign Relations Outlook

Pakistani politics have been influenced by the government, the military and the judiciary. In the political and foreign policy spheres, just as with the economy, there are problems aplenty but there is also reason for optimism as Pakistan matures politically.

Timor-Leste: An Uncertain Future and an Unsettled Boundary

The termination of the Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea agreement means that Timor-Leste and Australia will have to settle their maritime boundary and, possibly, negotiate a new revenue split for the Greater Sunrise area. From a purely realist perspective, it is in Australia’s economic interests to secure as much of the Greater Sunrise area as possible in future negotiations, but there are other important strategic factors that should also be taken into consideration.

Israeli PM in Australia: Historic Visit a Chance to Deepen Relationship

Though the Israeli settlements issue will no doubt be on the agenda, Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull should use the visit to take advantage of the water management expertise of the Israelis.

Jokowi to Visit Australia

The developing bilateral free trade agreement will likely be discussed during the President’s quick visit to Sydney. Indonesia will also be looking to secure more investment and tourism from Australia.

Australian Wheat Yield Data Invokes Mixed Responses from Scientists and Farmers

The CSIRO claims that Australian wheat yields have stalled while farmers suggest that statistics do not present an accurate state of the industry.

South African Budget: Financial and Political Woes for Gordhan, Again

As he hands down this year’s national Budget, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan finds himself challenged – once more – by both the poor state of the country’s finances and by political manoeuvrings from within the government.

Vegetation Patterns Changing in Australia’s North

The vegetation patterns in Australia’s north are changing as higher rainfall and improved growing conditions promote the growth of native woody species and introduced noxious weeds.

Pakistan: Economic and Demographic Prospects

Initially economically and socially successful, Pakistan subsequently became less so because of political decisions. While problems abound, there is much to celebrate as Pakistan’s economy is again on the upswing.

The Impact of Foreign Military Involvement on the Development of Northern Australia

Allowing foreign defence forces to access Australian military establishments and field training ranges is fundamental to maintaining regional security and long-standing strategic alliances. Military facilities can, however, be environmentally and culturally disruptive and can prevent land use for other purposes. The negative aspects of permanent, foreign military bases in Australia notwithstanding, they can be used strategically as a development tool for northern Australia.

Ahok Wins First Round of Jakarta Elections

While Ahok has a number of obstacles he must overcome to win the second round, success would humiliate hardline Islamist groups and empower the Indonesian President.

The United States and the Threat of Military Action against Iran

It is more the fact that neither Washington nor Tehran can be seen to be backing down from their stated agenda rather than any missile test that could lead both states into conflict with each other.

Indonesia: Outcome of Governorship Election will have Impact beyond Jakarta

The outcome of the election could mean either a humiliating defeat for hardline Islamic groups or a boost to their legitimacy within the political sphere.

Is Quinoa an Under-Utilised Grain in the Fight Against Food Insecurity?

A recent scientific report has identified potential genetic improvements that could be made to quinoa crops that may enable scientists and agriculturalists to yield abundant supplies.

Mining Companies adopt Water Stewardship Standards

As mining companies operate in many regions that are likely to experience rising water stress, investing in water efficiency measures will be necessary to maintain community and investor confidence.

Quality over Quantity? Live Cattle Exports a Positive Move amid Growing Brazilian Competition

Despite renewed competition posed by Brazilian beef suppliers, Australia’s beef industry is likely to shine brightly as premium Australian cuts will continue to outpace industry competitors.

Sino-Indian Relations in the Modi-Xi Era

14 February 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The current Chinese administration has set developing and improving Sino-Indian relations as one of its top foreign policy priorities. Continuing to build upon a decade-long pragmatism in managing territorial disputes, the Chinese and Indian leaders set their sights on expanding bilateral co-operation ranging from trade and investment, to broader issues such as climate change. Recent developments, however, have again highlighted the deep distrust between the two countries.

Genetically Modified Food and the Second Green Revolution

Genetically modified foods are likely to play a role in the Second Green Revolution. While some could have the potential to increase global food security, others are likely to be self-defeating.

Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia

The Federal Government recently established a Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia. This move will ensure a better-informed policy making and legislative process on matters relating to the development of northern Australia.

Desalination is not the Solution to Southern India’s Water Stress

While desalination plants will help alleviate municipal water stress in urban areas, they will do little to support agriculture and industry.

Najib Razak’s Obsession with Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis

It appears that Najib is using the Rohingya crisis to shore up credibility from Malaysia’s Muslim population following corruption allegations last year.

Yemen: Famine a Strong Possibility in 2017

A financial crisis has further reduced Yemen’s wheat supply, plunging millions of Yemenis further into starvation.

India: Political and Foreign Relations Outlook

The world’s largest democracy will continue to grow in strategic and economic importance. India’s foreign relations are, in general, predicated upon its growing economy and strategic reach, the latter being an outcome of its economic growth, which makes it a valuable market, strategic ally or both.

India: Economic and Demographic Prospects

India has seen major ups and downs since independence in 1947, most notably in its economic development, which saw it overtake the UK in December 2016 to become the world’s sixth-largest economy. Literacy and educational rates have also improved and Indian women are now having fewer children than before.

Southern Africa: Introduced Pests Threaten Crops after Severe Drought

After its most severe drought in 35 years, Southern Africa faces a new threat from introduced pests.

Lesotho Must Re-Evaluate Water Arrangements with South Africa in Wake of Record Drought

The two neighbours must find a solution to the water crisis if they are to prevent the possibility of an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe in the region.

Potential for a Pakistan-Afghanistan Water Treaty

Pakistan is due to commence much-needed talks with Afghanistan over a bilateral agreement for water sharing on the Kabul River, but any new treaty will require close co-operation between the traditionally hostile riparian states.

Developments in Desalination

The shortage of fresh water in the face of an increasing global population is becoming a serious issue but technological advancements in desalination could provide a significant boost to future supplies.

Indonesia: Ahok Leading Governorship Polls despite Blasphemy Allegations

While support for the embattled Ahok is rising, his opponents are likely to remain vocal against his candidacy. It could also indicate, though, that the public may be taking some of those groups less seriously than before.

The Marrakech Climate Change Conference – What did it achieve?

This Strategic Analysis Paper discusses the aimed and actual achievements of the Marrakech Climate Change Conference held in November 2016. It highlights its role as the initial implementing forum for the Paris Climate Change Agreement of 2015. It also discusses the possible consequence of a draw-back from the Paris Agreement by United States President Donald Trump.

Syria: Uncertainty Following the Damascus Water Crisis

Water supply has been restored in Damascus following weeks of shortages, but given the continued struggle for control of the resource, there could be further disruption.

India: Caught Between a Cruise Missile and a Hard Place

The failure of India’s indigenously-developed, submarine-launched cruise missile could place the country in a strategic dilemma.

ANC Succession Battle Begins in South Africa

The battle to succeed Jacob Zuma as leader of the ruling African National Congress in December has begun in earnest but there is, as yet, no clear frontrunner. With the winner almost certain to become President of South Africa in 2019, the contest between rival candidates and factions will be bitter.

Somalia: Drought and Kenyan Repatriations Threaten to Undermine Food Security

If Somalian food security weakens, the potential for destabilising migrations to the Middle East and southern Africa is likely to increase.

Saudi Arabia to Assist Indonesia in de-Radicalisation Efforts

As both countries’ de-radicalisation programmes are similar, exactly how Indonesia might benefit is unclear. It could, however, serve to further Saudi influence within Indonesia.

The Strategic Importance of Soil, Water and Food in the Early to Mid-21st Century

Julian Cribb, author of Surviving the 21st Century, The Coming Famine and seven other books, discusses how scarcities of fresh water and topsoil, combined with the impact of climate change on regional food production, highlight the growing strategic significance of these primary resources for human survival, health and wellbeing as potential drivers of conflict and mass migration to 2050 and beyond.

World Soil Day 2016 – “Soils and pulses, a symbiosis for life”

The importance to the global community of healthy soils is recognised each year through communication, events and activities to focus attention towards the restoration of degraded soils by increasing biodiversity, improving soil structure and enhancing fertility.

Privatisation and Renewable Energy in the Saudi Arabian Water Sector

The privatisation of the Saudi desalination industry could help ensure future water security, but adopting alternative energy sources to power desalination plants will also be necessary.

What Fate for the EU-East African Free Trade Agreement?

With Tanzania unlikely to ratify the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiated between the European Union and the East African Community, the future of the agreement looks uncertain as the January 2017 ratification deadline approaches.

India’s Complicated Military Platforms: A Recipe for Disaster?

New Delhi needs to attract and retain world-class research and development skills if it is to ensure its military can actually perform their intended functions.

The Global Implications of Increased Biofuel Production

Crop-based biofuels are an alternative energy source to fossil fuels, but concerns are rising over just how beneficial this alternative is.

Jokowi Concludes State Visit to India

Defence relations and maritime security were the focus of the visit with a goal to reduce dependence of both countries on defence imports and to secure their regional waters.

India’s External and Internal Security: Interrelated Issues

India’s external and internal security overlap in a number of ways, meaning that case-by-case policy making may not be advisable. Likewise, several key issues will require a fundamental shift in thinking if they are to be resolved.

Nepal: Negotiating Hydro-Power with India and China

8 December 2016 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Nepal has a complicated political geometry and an ongoing shortage of energy, the implications of which are reflected in the relationships with its giant neighbours. Its hydro-power resources, and Sino-Indian negotiations for access to those resources, will continue to be Nepal’s primary saleable asset.

Saudi Arabia’s Economic Changes: Are They Feasible?

Riyadh’s planned economic changes are needed to keep the country’s social order cohesive but they have a major weakness: they are predicated upon the price of oil.

Indonesia: Increasing Tensions amid Political Jockeying

The protests, counter protest and arrest of individuals suspected of treason are a result of increasing political manoeuvring in the country.

Altering Photosynthesis to Increase Crop Yield: A Double-Edged Sword for Food Security?

Genetic manipulation techniques that increase the efficiency of photosynthesis show potential to increase crop yields, but they will also need to retain or increase the nutritional content of food.

The Degradation of the World’s Reefs and Food Security

The degradation of coral reefs and increased fish migration will threaten economic livelihoods and food security for millions of people within the Indo-Pacific region.

Mosul: The “Mother of All Battles”, or a Mother of More Battles to Come?

Despite the media attention, the battle of Mosul is just a part of a far greater, multifaceted conflict, and is unlikely to bring an end to war in Iraq.

India: A World of Uncertainty

India faces a number of social, political and security challenges over the next two decades, not all of which are within its control. Whether it successfully addresses them could depend upon several contingent factors.

Djibouti: A Tiny Haven with Strategic Importance in a Troubled Neighbourhood

The North African nation of Djibouti is situated on one of the most important trade routes in the world. Its small physical size and small economy bely its strategic geographic significance to global trade and security. Increasingly, superpowers are looking to Djibouti as a politically stable base from which to enhance their global influence but motivations and consequences have yet to be revealed.

Japan and China Vying for Influence in South-East Asia

Both Japan and China have recently courted Malaysia and the Philippines in what appears to be an attempt to secure influence in the region and thereby the South China Sea.

Warming Relations for Indonesia and Singapore

Bilateral relations between Indonesia and Singapore have the potential to strengthen over the coming years as trade and investment grows. This may facilitate resolutions to a number of disagreements that have placed a strain on the relationship.

Qatar to Continue Assisting Syrian Rebels – They Can Do No Less

Qatar will continue to work with the Syrian Rebels against Bashar al-Assad, likely with an eye on future gains.

Pakistan: 2017 shows Little Sign of an end to Karachi’s Water Crisis

After years of drought, rapid urbanisation, mismanagement of water resources and scarce rainfall still threaten any hope of water security in Karachi.

Chinese Ingress in South Asia: What Should be India’s Strategy?

29 November 2016 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

FDI Associate Anand Kumar contrasts the approaches taken by China and India in South Asia. Mr Kumar observes that South Asia is not the only region in which China is very active and that its activities there are part of a larger, well-crafted strategy to achieve the status of a global power.
India, on the other hand, Mr Kumar finds, simply seems to be reacting and cannot hope to match or contain Chinese influence in the region unless its own economic development becomes a model to be followed by other countries.

Demographic Changes in China to 2030

Urbanisation, an ageing population, a skewed gender ratio and rising middle class will weaken Chinese food and water security unless economic reforms are made.

Agricultural Development of sub-Saharan Africa: Who Carries the Burden?

The application of modern land management practices in the sub-Sahara will present African countries with opportunities to make a positive contribution to local and global food security and to combat climate change. Smallholder farmers, however, need to be protected for the risks and financial burden of associated change.

The Consequences of Agricultural Destruction and Severe Drought in Zimbabwe

After two years of severe drought as a result of the El Niño phenomenon, Zimbabwe’s future food and water security is looking increasingly fragile.

The Blue Future: The Sustainability of Aquaculture and Aquaponics

The sustainability challenges of aquaculture and aquaponics must be addressed to strengthen long-term global food security.

OPEC Debates Oil Production Cut

Speculation continues to mount that a deal to cut oil production can be reached when OPEC producers meet in Vienna on 30 November, but any agreement still faces major hurdles, with Iran and Iraq showing signs of resistance and the Saudi-Iranian rivalry may also come into play.

Kuwait: Will the Upcoming Election Change Anything?

While this week’s parliamentary election may occupy the spotlight in the local press, its possible consequences are constrained by broader social, political and economic realities.

The South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation: Part Two – Where to Next?

22 November 2016 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Given the problems confronting SAARC, the best course of action will be for India to allow the organisation to die a natural death while continuing to engage like-minded neighbours on issues of mutual interest through initiatives that will hopefully coalesce into a more effective successor to SAARC.

The South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation: Part One – The Problems of SAARC

17 November 2016 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

As an intergovernmental organisation, SAARC has been gridlocked by a combination of historical, geographical, ethno-religious and political factors, including a sense of insecurity towards India, and the absence of tangible and achievable shared regional goals.

Taking back Mosul: Long-term Food and Water Concerns amid a Humanitarian Crisis

The long-term impact of conflict in Mosul must be considered to ensure progress toward greater food and water security in Iraq.

China and India’s Nuclear Deal with Japan: Little Morality, Plenty Realpolitik

Despite Beijing’s obvious irritation at New Delhi’s progress in striking a civilian nuclear deal with Tokyo, India should continue with its overture to Japan; anything less will be perceived by the Chinese as a weakness to be exploited.

Australia-Indonesia Trade Relationship: Good, but could (and can) be Better

The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement is the key to improving the depth of the trade relationship. Addressing incorrect perceptions of each other will also be crucial.

The Politics of Afghan Refugees: Future Food and Water Crisis in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s migration crisis will likely contribute to a humanitarian food and water crisis in the foreseeable future.

High-Speed Rail Line Bids to be Discussion Topic in Malaysian PM’s Japan Visit

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will likely use Najib Razak’s visit to focus on Japan’s bid for the Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail line, which appears to be falling behind its Chinese counterpart.

Precision Agronomics Australia: Frank D’Emden

FDI interviews Mr Frank D’Emden from Precision Agronomics Australia, a company providing technology-based solutions to farmers, consultants and industry groups across Western Australia.

Melanesia: Climate Change, and Food and Water Security

Melanesia faces demographic, environmental and nutritional challenges that could threaten food and water security. Given the strategic significance of the region, it is in Australia’s national interest to continue assisting the region in overcoming these challenges.

What is Behind the Protests Which Postponed Jokowi’s Australia Visit?

It is unlikely that Busiki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, the incumbent governor of Jakarta, will be charged over the alleged blasphemy that spawned the protests, but the racist undertones seen in the rally and election campaign are concerning.

Indonesia’s Tropical Landscape Finance Facility: A Catalyst for Environmental Sustainability and Long-Term Food Security?

Indonesia must promote green growth, investment and sustainable ecological management to meet its commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement and safeguard long-term food security.

India and Sri Lanka Moving Towards a More Robust Relationship

Joint efforts by India and Sri Lanka to strengthen their economic and strategic relationship are bearing fruit, but there is still scope for Indian state governments to play a bigger role. The Economic and Technology Co-operation Agreement will give Sri Lankan businesses greater access to the Indian market.

No Respite for Madagascar: Crushing Drought after Successful Anti-Locust Campaign

With the conclusion of the anti-locust campaign, drought poses the next great threat to food security in Madagascar.

Antimicrobial Resistance: Global Food Chains, Water-Borne Pollution and the Threat to Food and Water Security

The need for collective international action is urgent as antimicrobial resistance poses a significant threat to humans, particularly through agricultural contamination and environmental pollution.

Somalia Facing Consequences of Renewed Conflict, Drought and Ethiopian Internal Crisis

A mere month ago, the international community remained hopeful for Somalia’s continuing democratic transition but instead of a new period of peace, the situation appears to be deteriorating rapidly.

Governance and Political Challenges in Indonesia

The Indonesian parliament continues to be dominated by secular-nationalist parties but the emphasis on nationalism could undermine the prospect of greater ethnic Chinese representation in the parliament. Other challenges include elevated levels of government corruption (either real or perceived) and a flawed taxation system. At the same time, matters are complicated by the efforts of the Indonesian National Armed Forces to increase their influence in domestic politics through greater involvement in internal security matters.

Marrakech: The Next Step in an Increasingly Active Process to Combat Climate Change

It remains to be seen if COP22 will achieve the necessary actions, the outcome of which may take many years to confirm.

Time to Reassess American Strategic View of the Middle East

3 November 2016 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Developments in the Middle East mean that next US President should review Washington’s policy towards the region, place it squarely within the vital national interests of the United States and appoint a presidential taskforce to make specific regional policy recommendations.

A Chinese Port in Sri Lanka: Hambantota Phase Two Progresses

The Sri Lankan decision to avail of Chinese funding to construct Phase Two of the port at Hambantota is based on financial reality even as it marks another lost opportunity for India.

Najib in China to Strengthen Malaysian Economic and Defence Ties

China is set to loan Malaysia over $17 billion for a rail line. A major new defence agreement has also been signed, but the visit does not indicate any major pivot towards China at the expense of the relationship with the United States.

Bio-energy Carbon Capture and Storage: One Strategy to Help to Ameliorate Global Warming

Scientists are investigating and looking at different and innovative ways to lower levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a major contributor to rising temperatures leading to global warming.

Respite for India: The Result of the 2016 Monsoon

India needs to maintain its focus on water even with this year’s “normal” monsoon.

COP22: Continuing Progress on Food and Water Security

Food and water security proved to be a key point of concern at COP21, and looks to remain so at COP22, where further discussion among parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change may yield significant results.

Global Food Crises: Harnessing the Transformative Forces of Urbanisation

The world’s cities are gaining momentum in harnessing the transformative force of urbanisation to address a shared vision of a sustainable urbanised future.

South Asia’s Energy Crisis: Water Scarcity and its Implications for Hydroelectricity

Without concerted efforts to overcome poor water management, interstate tensions, and poor governance, South Asia’s hydropower potential will not be fully realised.

India-Pakistan Relations – Part Three: Economic and Cultural Aspects

While commercial and cultural ties are often influenced by political events, they could be used to mitigate adversarial connotations between the two countries.

Jokowi to Visit Australia: What to Expect?

President Joko Widodo will be looking to expand investment and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be keen to see Indonesia ease the restrictions on cattle imports. While the focus will be on economic relations, both countries will stand to benefit from closer co-operation in counter-terrorism.

South Africa: ANC Tumult as Party Whip Calls for Entire Leadership to Step Down

Further political instability is in store for South Africa as infighting within the African National Congress is escalated to a new level.

Singapore Water Tensions: Vulnerable to a Distressed Malaysia

Ensuring the security of Singapore’s water supply relies on the improved governance of Malaysia’s distressed supplies in a volatile climate.

The Future Resilience of the Philippines and South-East Asia’s Tropical Cyclones

The Philippines has made significant efforts to build climate change and natural disaster resilience, but new research suggests that tropical cyclones will continue to increase and intensify.

India: Beyond the Global Investors’ Summit

The latest Investors’ Summit has been hailed as a success but it is important to recognise that, while such showcase events are extremely useful and valuable, they are just a starting point and that Madhya Pradesh and other Indian states will still need to find innovative new approaches to continue to attract investors.

India-Pakistan Relations – Part Two: The Security Vector

While the security relationship between India and Pakistan is viewed primarily in military terms, the adversarial nature of that relationship could be mitigated over time if the Prime Ministers of the two countries are able to use their genuine personal relationship to challenge the status quo.

India-Pakistan Relations – Part One: The Legacy of Partition

The trauma of their partition has played a large role in moulding the adversarial relationship between India and Pakistan, but New Delhi could change that paradigm by re-calibrating its approach of isolating Pakistan by targeting the true instigators of the violent strikes on its sovereignty. An economically energised Pakistan could bring about a regional resurgence that sees both India and Pakistan move closer to reaching their potential.

Global Hunger Index 2016: The Positives and Negatives

The 2016 Global Hunger Index indicates positive progress, but highlights the need for increased efforts if the UN Sustainable Development Goal of zero hunger by 2030 is to be achieved.

India’s Decision to Purchase Rafale Fighter Aircraft: A Nuclear Requirement?

The decision to purchase French Rafale fighter aircraft modernises the air element of India’s nuclear triad.

Big Plans for Tourism Expansion in Indonesia

The Indonesian Government has ambitious plans to expand the tourism sector by developing ten new tourist destinations by 2019, but it is not certain that it will actually have the funds needed to achieve those plans.

India-Pakistan Relations and Cross-Border “Surgical Strikes”

The decision to send military personnel over the Line of Control signals the willingness of the Modi Government to use force but it may also complicate the delicate politico-diplomatic balance in the bilateral relationship.

A Convenient Security Concern? Al-Shabaab in Somalia

The Islamic fundamentalist group has become a buffer between a Somali Government struggling for credibility during its delayed democratic transition and regional heavyweight, Kenya.

Biochar Production, Application and Benefits – Part Two: Karry Fisher-Watts

Biochar, when applied to soil as an amendment, is not a fix-all for Western Australian soils that are salt, sodium affected or which are otherwise de-graded. The key strategy is to use natural and organic materials that, functioning in combination with activated biochar will serve to nurture and improve the health of the soil, as described in Part Two of our interview with Karry Fisher-Watts.

Biochar Production, Application and Benefits – Part One: Karry Fisher-Watts

The potential of charcoal, in the form of biochar, to enhance soil fertility, while restoring carbon to the soil, has recently gained considerable attention. Research suggests that biological carbon converted to biochar can sequester about 50 per cent of its initial carbon in the soil for long periods, leading to a more stable and long-lasting soil carbon. FDI discusses with Karry Fisher-Watts her use of biochar as a way of enhancing the fertility of her property.

South Africa and the Dire Need for La Niña

The plight of South Africa is unlikely to be relieved by waiting for good weather.

More Instability may be in Store for South African Economy as Finance Minister Summonsed

Pravin Gordhan has dismissed the allegations brought against him as politically motivated mischief, but the loss of the capable finance minister would expose an already weak economy to a new round of top-down instability.

Sundrop Farms: Harnessing Renewable Energy and the Future of Agriculture

Sundrop Farms set the precedent in commercialising sustainable agriculture and safeguarding long-term food and water security.

Increased CO2 Beneficial to Plants – A Climate Change Mythical Fact

Exposing plants to higher levels of carbon dioxide may enhance plant growth in the short term but, in the medium to long term, climate change threatens crop production and food security on a global scale.

Bangladesh Invites Indian Investment in Ganges Barrage Project

Indian investment in Bangladeshi water infrastructure could reduce the bitterness that stems from the operation of the Farakka Barrage.

The Evolving Geopolitics of the Middle East – Part Two: Simon Henderson

11 October 2016 | Feature Interviews, Indian Ocean

After discussing the emerging Middle Eastern geopolitical realities in Part One of this interview, Baker Fellow and Director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Programme at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Mr Henderson gives his thoughts on the Saudi Government’s Vision 2030 plan and the Kingdom’s ability to weather the low price of oil before discussing US Middle Eastern policy and looking towards the November presidential election and some of the possible implications that it may have for the region.

The Evolving Geopolitics of the Middle East – Part One: Simon Henderson

6 October 2016 | Feature Interviews, Indian Ocean

Mr Simon Henderson,the Baker Fellow and Director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Programme at The Washington Institute for Near East Studies, discusses with FDI the implications of developments in the Middle East and explores some of the new geopolitical realities facing the region’s states, particularly as they affect Saudi Arabia and its relationships with Iran, Russia, Turkey and Israel.

Australia on the Back Foot in Boundary Dispute with Timor-Leste

The Permanent Court of Arbitration’s decision to go ahead with the conciliation process could see Australia lose billions in potential revenue from oil and natural gas reserves.

“Peak Carbon” Occurred a Decade Ago

Soil carbon plays an essential role in global food security. The ability for plants to grow is being challenged, however, with the term “peak carbon” being used.

In a Possible Signal to India, China Diverts a Tributary of the Brahmaputra River

The diversion of the Xiabuqu River, a minor tributary of the Brahmaputra River, could test the effectiveness of diplomacy between Beijing and New Delhi on one hand and India and Pakistan on the other.

Delaying Democracy: Somali Elections Fail to Start as Planned

Delays to Somalia’s first general elections in decades have raised concerns over the integrity of the upcoming electoral process and will likely impede the democratic transformation of the Horn of Africa state.

Revolutionising the Global Food System and Fighting Global Malnutrition

The international community must revolutionise the global food system in order to achieve the eradication of global malnutrition in the “decade of action on nutrition”.

India’s Naval Strategy

In this paper, FDI Research Analyst, Lindsay Hughes, finds that the rapid modernisation of the Indian Navy is predicated upon the requirement to keep the country’s economy growing and also to counter a perceived increase in Chinese naval activity in the Indian Ocean.

India Strikes Back: Where to Now for Pakistan?

The Indian strikes on militant camps in Pakistan can only further increase already-heightened tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours, making the current situation extremely volatile.

Soil Carbon and Soil Organic Matter: Dr Peter Keating

FDI has again taken the opportunity to interview Dr Keating of the integrated resource management company, Bioscience, on the topic of soil carbon; its types, importance, measurement and why Australian agriculture needs to be mindful of its conservation and promotion for general soil health and to enhance crop vigour and yield.

Indonesia’s Bid for a UN Security Council Seat

It appears likely that Indonesia will win its bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council despite growing opposition to human rights abuses in West Papua.

India’s Diplomatic Push to Isolate Pakistan: A Means to Enabling Balochi Secession?

India has begun a diplomatic initiative to isolate Pakistan internationally but the real emphasis could be on backing Balochistan to break away from it.

Encouraging Signs of Diplomacy: Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia Sign GERD Assessment Studies

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have signed contracts to begin assessment studies on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, indicating willingness for diplomacy by the riparian states.

Middle-Income Countries Take the Lead in Agricultural Research and Development, but Gaps Remain

The shift in the composition of agricultural R&D funding could further widen the gap between agricultural development in high- and low-income countries.

Water Governance in the Tigris-Euphrates Basin

Turkey, Syria and Iraq depend on the Tigris-Euphrates river system for their food and water security. Both rivers have contributed to interstate tension and hostility in the past and an agreement would help reduce interstate tensions. As the region is currently undergoing a period of political turmoil, however, it is unlikely that an agreement will be forthcoming in the near future.

Antimicrobial Resistance Hastened by Misuse of Antibiotics in Feedlots

A universal agreement to prevent the misuse of antibiotics in feedlots will slow the rate of antibiotic resistance, but alternative methods to combat harmful bacteria will ultimately need to be developed.

Exporting Philippine’s War on Drugs into Indonesia

Ramping up Indonesia’s “war on drugs” could be seen as an opportunity for the military to become further involved in domestic issues.

Negotiating Water Sharing in Southern India

A reliance on state administrations to resolve political tensions over water resources in southern India is unlikely to bear fruit.

From Cold War Rivals to Strategic Partners: Pakistan and Russia Announce Military Co-operation

Pakistan and Russia’s announcement of fresh military drills is an indication of their strategic priorities. This development, however, could intensify regional rivalry and arms race.

Afghanistan: A Nation of Refugees

An in-depth survey conducted by the Afghanistan Analysts Network reveals that while educational and economic opportunity are important issues for Afghanis seeking refuge in European countries, it is the ongoing deterioration of security in Afghanistan that is the prime motivation. This situation is unlikely to change in the near future.

Russia and Iran – Emerging Military Axis or Marriage of Convenience?

20 September 2016 | Indian Ocean, Strategic Analysis Paper

In this paper, FDI Research Analyst Lindsay Hughes finds that the relationship between Russia and Iran is currently predicated upon the situation in Syria, where both have relatively common aspirations. It is a marriage of convenience and displays no real signs of a long-lasting, strategic relationship.

India, China, the United States and the NSG Impasse: Competing Objectives or Just a Distraction?

15 September 2016 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

India’s attempt to secure membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) failed at the plenary meeting in Seoul on 24 June 2016, when China led to deny it membership on “procedural” grounds. In this Associate Paper, Dr Auriol Weigold raises questions: was China’s blocking of India’s NGS bid a bilateral move? Does the NSG’s decision affect Indian and Chinese regional objectives? Is India affected by remaining outside the NSG?

India Increases its Strategic Reach with Modi’s Visit to Vietnam

While Modi’s visit to Hanoi may be an outcome of India’s “Act East” policy, there is little doubt that Beijing’s rapidly growing assertiveness was a major factor behind the visit.

African Green Revolution Forum 2016: Prospects for Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa

Food security in Sub-Saharan Africa is in doubt, despite the progress made in the agricultural industry, due to the threat of an increasingly volatile climate.

Japanese Development in Africa: Compassion or Competition?

Japan’s three-year, US$30 billion ($39.34 billion) aid package to Africa is a thinly-veiled attempt at competing with China for influence in the region.

Fishing in the South China Sea: Prospects for Peace in the Aftermath of the Landmark Ruling

After the international ruling against Chinese claims in the South China Sea, the strategic importance of fisheries may reduce tensions with the Philippines and provide an opening for regional co-operation.

Reforestation Projects Need to Consider Multiple Factors

Tree-planting projecsts to repair environmental damage and reforest denuded landscapes must consider multiple factors, not just the number and location of the trees .

Thai-Malaysian Wall to Combat Separatist Movements

A wall could serve to stop the current movement between countries by separatist militants but will do little to prevent militant activity within Thailand. Those who remain in southern Thailand may also become vulnerable to a military crackdown.

Feral Animals in Northern Australia

Introduced feral animals such as pigs, cattle and cats are having a significant, detrimental effect on the Australian environment through loss of habitat, competition with native species and general damage to land ecosystems and waterways. The cost of control and management measures, combined with reduced agricultural productivity are increasing annually. Resources allocated under current funding arrangements, however, do not provide the appropriate population controls or levels of research into permanent solutions to the problem.

The Elephant and the (Little) Dragon: India-Bhutan Relations

In this study, FDI Research Analyst Lindsay Hughes find that the Bhutan-India relationship has evolved to better reflect changing circumstances but retains its traditional strength.

No Trees, No Rain: Land Clearing Laws and the Future of Australia’s Climate

The body of research evidence linking land clearance with increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions continues to grow. Some Australian jurisdictions nevertheless, continue to promote land clearance over conservation, damaging Australia’s international climate management reputation.

Carbon Dioxide Plant Outcomes Study Needs More Consideration

Recent scientific research reporting has suggested increases in atmospheric CO2 could enhance moisture retention in soil. Closer examination, however, of experimental parameters suggests that these predictions may be premature.

Agricultural Productivity and the Lack of Young Farmers

The global lack of youth in the agricultural sector may just be the signs of an industry in transition rather than the cause of productivity stagnation that many fear.

Australia: Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land and Food Security

Foreign ownership of Australian agricultural land does not seriously affect Australia’s long-term food security, however, a growing and ageing population could pose future challenges.

Seychelles Parliamentary Elections: Political Alternative Emerges for September Vote

If it is able to capitalise on growing voter dissatisfaction with the dominance of the country’s two major political parties, the recently-formed Seychelles Patriotic Movement may play a king-maker role in the next parliament.

Returning to the Top of the Pile: Thailand’s Outlook for Rice Exports

Past attempts to manipulate the rice export market demonstrated the fragility of Thailand’s dependence on rice exports and demands a diverse economic plan to remain competitive in the region.

The Future Beyond Conflict: Food and Water Security in Syria

After five years of civil war, Syrian food and water security is extremely poor. Due to widespread destruction and severely weakened political governance, food and water insecurity is likely to persist long after the conflict has ceased.

Economic and Political Challenges Could End South Africa’s Role as Regional Leader

South Africa’s difficult economic circumstances, coupled with inconsistent and contradictory government decisions, are undermining its position as a regional leader by reducing its economic weight and soft power projection. A sustained period of decisive political leadership will be needed to arrest the decline and return South Africa to the position of pre-eminence that it enjoyed in the early post-apartheid era.

Malaysian Prime Minister Faces Mounting Public Pressure

While public pressure against him slowly grows, the PM will use his party’s strong rural support base and new security legislation to retain control.

Chinese Interests in Myanmar’s Dams: Balancing Internal Stability and Development

At the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference, Myanmar must consider internal and external interest groups to balance development and stability for its own food and water security

Indian Parliament Passes the Goods and Services Tax Bill

The introduction of a GST and a more streamlined taxation system could be a major boon to the Indian economy, but the government still needs to overcome a number of hurdles.

Indus Basin Groundwater Depletion: Unsteady Footings for India-Pakistan Relations

Negotiating the increased demand for groundwater between India and Pakistan requires a joint policy of sustaining groundwater supplies to avoid tension, but it will require overcoming major domestic obstacles

Nepal: Former Maoist Rebel Leader Turned Prime Minister Plans Visit to India

The new Nepalese Prime Minister’s first state visit brings with it an opportunity to restore his country’s relationship with India but their frosty recent past means that there are likely to be testing times ahead.

Electronic Prepaid Irrigation in Bangladesh: Prospects for Improving Food and Water Security

Bangladesh’s Irrigation Management Improvement Programme is predicted to create improved governance and efficiency of the agricultural water supply, potentially resulting in increased agricultural output

Modi and India’s Security in the Indian Ocean

In following the example set by the United States of creating alliances to retain influence, India is courting the Indian Ocean island states of the Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka in order to remain secure and influential in the region.

Modi’s Independence Day Speech: Opening New Fronts

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address not only targeted Pakistan by equating Balochistan with Kashmir, but was also, indirectly, a warning to China not to underestimate India. That Modi felt confident enough to stand up to China is a startling new development. That he was willing to make it obvious is a new strategy for India.

Drought Risk Reduction Strategies Outlined at First African Drought Conference

Provided that the requisite political and institutional will is forthcoming, African drought resilience is likely to improve.

Indonesia: Widodo Gives Annual State of the Nation Address

Although it revealed little that was new in the government’s outlook for the short term, the Address confirmed that the acceleration of development and economic reforms will continue to be the Jokowi Administration’s primary domestic focus.

Purifying a Solution for Water Supply in the United Arab Emirates

The solution for the UAE, and the other GCC states, lies in matching their energy and water supply demands with innovative and efficient systems that mitigate environmental damage while improving the development of a private energy sector.

First Indian-Chinese Rail Joint Venture Begins Operations

The first Indian-Chinese joint venture and its promise of long-term co-operation seemingly contradict the rivalry between the two powers, but could be a component of a multi-layered strategy on the part of China to extend its sphere of influence.

Food and Social Volatility in Egypt: IMF Extends $12 Billion Lifeline

Egypt’s chronic economic symptoms are likely to continue to ail its economy, food affordability and social stability.

Facing an Elongated Ratification Process, is COP21 being Hurried Across the Line before Signatories Hesitate?

Ban Ki-Moon has called on signatories of the Paris Agreement (COP21) to attend a special event on 21 September to quicken the ratification process of the Agreement. This, however, is more than just a diplomatic measure; it is an attempt to take advantage of the remnant diplomatic fanfare of the Agreement before national interest takes over.

Kuwait-Pakistan Jet Fighter Deal: Whispers in the Wind?

An offer to Kuwait from the Pakistani Air Force of the JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter has raised speculation of an arms deal between the two states but any possible sale would need to satisfy deeper questions regarding Kuwaiti defence requirements and the lacklustre sales success of the aircraft.

Domesticated Ruminants: Climate Change Hero or Villain?

Domesticated ruminants are not just an important food source, they hold great social, cultural and economic significance globally. Some, however, view them as a significant emitter of greenhouse gas. This FDI Strategic Analysis Paper discusses the pros and cons of ruminants in relation to atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions and climate change

India-Nepal Relations: From Dominance to Equality

If Nepal is to continue to play the role that India envisages for it – acting as a buffer between China and itself – New Delhi will need to treat Kathmandu as an equal partner in the bilateral relationship and not use the latter’s economic dependence on India as an instrument to influence Nepali politics.

White House Call to Action to Save One of America’s Most Important Natural Resources – Soil

The President of the United States has issued a national Call to Action and is forming an interagency group to protect America’s soil. This action sends a clear message to Australian policy makers that a nationally co-ordinated approach is essential for the preservation of this critical resource.

Indonesia to Introduce Tax Havens

The Widodo Government is trying to encourage Indonesian businesses to move their overseas assets back to, and keep them within, Indonesia, but the optimistic targets and hoped-for revenues will probably not be achieved.

Low Oil Prices Continue to Hamper Saudi Economy

The current economic crisis in Saudi Arabia is symptomatic of internal weaknesses within the Kingdom and, if current trends continue, could be a harbinger of things to come.

New Investment Flows into China’s Water Industry

China puts its money where its mouth is as new investment creates the means to address water insecurity.

Wang’s Meeting With Indian Leaders: Not Necessarily a Meeting of Minds

Despite the implied overtures of goodwill emanating from Beijing, New Delhi is hardly likely to change its trajectory vis-à-vis the South China Sea.

Ethiopia on the Brink? Clashes between Protestors and Government Threaten Domestic and Regional Stability

Violence between Ethiopia’s two largest ethnic groups and the central government could foreshadow greater instability in this part of north-eastern Africa.

India’s Summer Monsoon: Implications for Agricultural Economy and Food Security

India’s summer monsoon is expected to break the two-year drought and revitalise India’s national agricultural economy.

Seychelles to Reform Taxation System

Reform of the tax system may benefit workers, but a subsequent reduction in government tax revenue coupled with probable future fluctuations in tourist arrivals and fuel and food prices might pose future economic tests for the archipelago state.

Spike in Violence Causes Concern for Food and Water Security in South Sudan

Political instability, increasing food prices and disease outbreaks, all contribute to the worsening food and water crisis currently gripping South Sudan.

Vision Infinity for Food Security: Dr Shashi B. Sharma

Dr Shashi B Sharma is the current Director of Plant Biosecurity at the Western Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Food. He was recently seconded to Murdoch University as Professor and Chair in Biosecurity and Food Security. In this FDI Feature Interview, Dr Sharma discusses key aspects of his recently published and co-authored book, “Vision Infinity for Food Security”, calling for a fundamental and philosophical re-thinking and re-structuring of our food production, distribution and consumption.

The Land Between Two Threatened Rivers: Food and Water Security in Iraq

Pressure from population growth, a continued lack of sufficient infrastructure, riverine development projects in upper riparian states and climate change is likely to reduce the level of Iraqi food and water security by 2030.

Indonesia: Human Rights Activist Faces Prosecution

The defamation charges against Haris Azhar are a move to protect officials allegedly involved with drug trafficking. Whether they succeed will depend on the willingness of President Widodo to tackle the suspected corruption within the National Police, the National Narcotics Agency and the military.

The World Stage is Set: Brazil’s Olympic Games, Climate Change and Water Security

The 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the controversies surrounding Brazil’s political, economic and environmental challenges capture the reality that Brazil is struggling with the implications of climate change and long-term water security.

Indonesian Police Arrest Suspected Militants Planning Singapore Attack

The arrest of the six suspected militants fits a broader pattern of Islamist radicalisation and offers sobering lessons that any successful anti-radicalisation policy should incorporate.

Pakistan’s Elected Government Must Regain Control of its Foreign Policy

The ongoing political and security risks that Pakistan faces stem in large measure from the inability of the democratically-elected federal government to take charge of its foreign policy.

The Development of Northern Australia: Reports of Demise May be Exaggerated

The Chief Minister of the Northern Territory appears increasingly pessimistic about the progress of initiatives to promote the development of Northern Australia. At this time, however, his lack of confidence may be premature.

Food and Water Security in a Hotter Middle East

The governments of the Middle East must find a regional solution to secure food and water resources against an increasingly hostile climate, a course of action that will require overcoming historical tensions.

In Southern Africa, the Effects of El Niño Endanger Millions of Lives

The El Niño-induced drought has endangered the upcoming harvest season. A combination of short-term humanitarian assistance and long-term development in climate resilient agricultural techniques and technology will better support food and water security.

Photosynthesis and its Role in Climate Change and Soil Regeneration

This Strategic Analysis Paper firstly, provides a brief description of the photosynthesis process highlighting its fundamental importance to all life on the planet. Secondly, it describes how photosynthesis can provide a pathway to enable the extraction of climate change inducing, greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere and to promote the regeneration of degraded agricultural soil, enhancing global food security.

The Agriculture-Forestry Nexus: A Response to Emerging Food Production Challenges

Long-term food security is likely to benefit from the integration of trees into agricultural systems.

US Lawsuit A Threat to Malaysian Prime Minister

A lawsuit filed in the United States provides evidence that funds were siphoned into Prime Minister Najib’s personal account but it is unlikely to have any severe repercussions for his leadership before the 2018 general election.

Philippines: President Duterte Threatens to Backtrack on Paris Climate Change Agreement

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has attracted controversy by claiming that he will ‘not honour’ his country’s commitment to the Paris Climate Change Agreement raising questions about the future trajectory of Philippine climate change policy.

What Marrakesh Can Learn from Paris: COP22 and the Need for a Realistic Climate Policy

The next meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP22, is scheduled for November 2016 in Marrakesh. After the optimism of Paris, COP22 will be forced to face the challenge of converting the aspiration of COP 21 into reality.

African National Congress could face Significant Losses in Local Government Elections

If pre-election opinion polls are confirmed on 3 August, the municipal elections now underway in South Africa may mark the beginning of the end of the political supremacy African National Congress.

The Qatari Economy: A Difficult Road Ahead?

The economy of Qatar is currently in a strong position and short-term indicators suggest it will continue to post impressive economic figures, but longer term projections indicate an over reliance on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), coupled with an expected decline in LNG prices will likely test Qatar’s resilience in the future.

Final Investment Decision Looms as Mozambique Economic Crisis Grows

Encumbered by high sovereign debt and rising inflation, the government of Mozambique eagerly awaits Eni’s decision on whether it will move forward with the Rovuma Basin Area IV liquefied natural gas project. If it does, the country stands to reap huge economic benefits and avoid potential financial disaster.

Modi’s Africa Visit Confirms New Delhi’s Expanding Maritime Horizon

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s four-country state visit to Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya underscores India’s expanding maritime and trade reach in the western Indian Ocean. For India, an expanded strategic presence in southern and eastern Africa would help it to counter China, dovetail with initiatives such as the proposed infrastructure and military developments on the Agaléga Islands and give a hard power aspect to Project Mausam.

Assessing the Jokowi Administration: A Narrative of Reform versus Élites

Jokowi is constrained by the limits imposed on him by the élites, so his political capital is largely dependent on realising his vision for economic reform and growth. His vision of Indonesia as a Global Maritime Fulcrum has been hampered by his inexperience in security and foreign policy matters. In simply being an outsider elected to the highest office in the land, he has, however, broken new ground.

China Expected to Sail Through Floods with Minimal Difficulty

The worst flooding since 1998 is unlikely to have any significant impact on Chinese political stability, food security or the economy.

Tanks, Visas and Chinese Justness: India’s Correct Stance

India’s stance against China is one against Chinese perceptions of self-righteousness and is indicative of the growing international trend to stand up to bullying.

Combatting Islamic State in Malaysia

The “Arabisation” and politicisation of Islam could further the cause of Islamic State recruiters in Malaysia. Arresting such recruiters is a start, but a stronger counter-narrative is also needed.

Pakistan to Take Dam Construction Dispute with India to International Arbitration

Pakistan’s decision to refer to The Hague a dispute with India regarding water sharing and dam construction on the Kishanganga and Ratle rivers is an indication of Pakistan’s desire to enhance and strengthen its diplomatic position in regard to Indus River water sharing.

Bangladesh: Four Women Arrested in post-7/16 Anti-Militant Sweep

The 1 July 2016 attack in Dhaka and the subsequent arrest of four female militants, if representative of broader trends, demolish an enduring myth concerning Islamic radicalisation. As such, an urgent investigation free from preconceptions and political correctness is required to comprehend the drivers of radicalisation and prevent future attacks.

The Role of Old-Growth Forests in Carbon Sequestration

This article defines and discusses old-growth forests. It explains the important contribution old-growth forest can make to halting and reversing the rise in atmospheric greenhouse gases by capturing and storing carbon dioxide. It argues the case for protecting, rather than exploiting old growth forest.

The Islamic State and Arab Muslim Regimes: Time for New Thinking in the Fight against Terrorism

22 July 2016 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Countering the violent radical ideology and policies that drive jihadist killers over the long term requires a strategic focus on three key approaches: delegitimising the religious narrative that killers use to justify their actions in the name of their religion; identifying credible moderate voices within Islam and empowering them to speak up against the violent hijackers of their faith; and encouraging friendly Arab and Muslim regimes to condemn the radical ideology in their societies and adopt domestic policies that would include their peoples in governance.

Anti-Government Protests Grow as Zimbabwe Faces New Crash

The wave of popular and social media protests will not be sufficient to unseat the Mugabe Government but they are an unprecedented manifestation of public discontent as the country heads into its worst economic crisis since the hyperinflation of 2005-09.

New Zealand and Indonesia Talk Trade and Security

In reaching an agreement on the export of breeding cattle, fisheries management and potentially greater participation in the dairy industry, the two countries’ leaders may have set the stage for closer trade, investment and security co-operation between Indonesia and New Zealand.

The Party Before the Country: India’s Congress Party and the GST Bill

If the Congress Party does not support the GST Bill in the Upper House, it could be a major impediment to India’s economic growth and detrimental to its own good.

Opportunities and Challenges for Food and Water Security in South-east Turkey

This paper examines the potential for food and water insecurity in Turkey out to 2030. It finds that Turkey is unlikely to experience widespread food or water insecurity, however, political instability, both domestic and regional, pose some risk to Turkish food and water security.

India-Iran Relations: Part Two – After A “Belated” Re-Start

14 July 2016 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Given the two countries’ penchant for dogged negotiations, their relationship is unlikely to progress at a galloping pace, but slow progress should not be interpreted as a lack of interest. At the moment, neither country seems to have more attractive alternatives. The success of India’s economic diplomacy in Iran will depend upon both the speedy completion of infrastructure and energy projects and the forging of a partnership in the new economy.

Action on Global Food Security set to become Major Part of President Obama’s Legacy

With the passing of the Global Food Security Act, US engagement in global efforts to further agricultural development has been strengthened.

Pakistan’s Latest Challenge: The Test of Its Friendship with the US

Washington’s decision to determine if Pakistan is really a friend of the US calls into question its own motivations.

Modi to Boost Defence and Security Co-operation with South Africa

The undertaking, given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the South African sector of his strategic African tour, could benefit defence exporters in both countries.

Indonesia Hostage Crisis: How A Three-Way Security Challenge Could Help ASEAN

In light of the recent hostage crisis in the Sulu/Sulawesi Seas, the framework for trilateral maritime policing is an important step in response, but as the agreements come to fruition the potential for overall deepening in future ASEAN and regional maritime co-operation can realised.

India-Iran Relations: Part One – Understanding the “Delay” Factor

12 July 2016 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The commentary and news on the Indo-Iranian relationship, in both countries, are flawed insofar as an explanation of exactly what constitutes a delay is never put forward. A more nuanced understanding of “delay” as an empirically verifiable fact, rather than an allegation or complaint, and as a strategically important component of diplomacy is needed.

China’s One Belt One Road Policy: Can History Repeat Itself?

This paper describes and discusses the Chinese One Belt One Road scheme. This international treaty arrangement aims to recreate a modern version of the historical Silk Road trading route from China to Europe. It also raises the prospect of benefits to Australia particularly the development of northern Australia.

Environmental Impact of the 2015 Forest Fires: A Wakeup Call for Indonesia

Jakarta remains slow to act on its promises to protect the forests of Indonesia that were given in the wake of last year’s forest fire season.

Beijing and the Natuna Islands: Some Cautious Sabre-Rattling from Jokowi

Jakarta’s increased defence expenditure has projected a hard power response to China’s ongoing maritime incursions in the seas around the Natuna Islands, but it also masks underlying problems at the heart of its naval and coast guard assets and which threaten a truly effective response.

Iran Threatens to Invade Iraqi Kurdistan

Iran’s threat to invade Iraqi Kurdistan demonstrates its anxiety about losing political influence and even relevance in Iraq, in particular, and the region in general at a time when arch-rival Saudi Arabia appears to have made progress in Yemen.

Mauritius: Foreign Direct Investment to Surge

The economic credentials of Mauritius continue to be in good standing, with predictions that foreign direct investment will grow by as much as 46 per cent this year, even allowing for the amended taxation treaty with India and the British exit from the European Union.

Balancing Trade and Stockpiles Crucial for Maintaining Food Security

As the potential for food price volatility remains, maintaining a balance between global trade and domestic stockpiles is likely to be the best course of action to reduce the impact of food insecurity caused by tightening supply.

Social and Demographic Issues in South Africa

South Africa is experiencing significant social and demographic challenges, including internal migration, unemployment, and poor health and educational outcomes. The legacy of apartheid means that, in South Africa, the severity and scale of those challenges are frequently amplified. While certain factors, such as commodity prices and the rate of global economic recovery are simply outside Pretoria’s control, many others can be managed and the South African Government is both well aware of them and committed to making improvements, albeit with sometimes varying degrees of success.

Water Scarcity, Migration and Regional Security in South Asia

Large parts of South Asia exhibit a near-permanent state of water stress and this is expected to be further exacerbated by climate change. Water scarcity will exacerbate existing problems such as poverty and food insecurity, while creating instability and potentially driving mass migration. Closer regional co-operation and management of shared water resources could lessen the potential for people to migrate.

The Natuna Islands, China and the Jokowi Pushback

A cohesive response from Jakarta has created a rare pushback in its maritime dispute with Beijing over the waters surrounding the Natuna Islands and potentially signalling a new heading in Jokowi’s regional foreign policy.

India, the MTCR and China: A Case of Quid Pro Quo?

The veto by China of India’s application for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group could be an indication of its own inability to gain membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime.

South African Rand Takes Early Hit in Wake of Brexit Vote

Despite gaining value against the British pound, the rand suffered heavy losses against the US dollar as investors fled emerging market currencies. Economic and political circumstances in South Africa mean that the rand will remain a volatile currency.

Balancing Food and Biofuel Likely to be Challenging

If the global food system comes under increased pressure in the decades ahead, biofuels could still harm food security.

Carbon Sequestration in Soils for Food Security and the Climate – The 4 per 1000 Initiative

The 4 per 1000 Initiative aims to demonstrate that agriculture, and agricultural soils in particular, can play a crucial role where food security and climate change are concerned. This Initiative acknowledges and aims to address the issue that our capacity to feed 9.5 billion people in 2050 in a context of climate change will depend in particular on our ability to keep our soils alive.

The United States and the Indian Ocean Region: The Security Vector

While economic circumstances may have forced the US to divest itself of some of the security responsibilities that it has carried since the end of the Second World War, it has adapted by seeking coalitions and alliances with regional states to ensure that its strategic interests and goals are not negatively affected. With its strong and still developing navy, India is a major potential partner for the US in the Indian Ocean Region.

Bleak Opinion Polls for ANC as Local Govt Elections Approach

The poor showing of the African National Congress in these latest polls is effectively an indictment of the ruling party under the government of scandal-plagued President Jacob Zuma.

New Laws in Tanzania a Positive First Step towards Reducing Land-Related Conflict

New laws will redistribute much-needed land to peasant farmers in Tanzania, but they will not entirely stop land-related conflicts from arising.

Looming Floods in India and Bangladesh Turn the Spotlight on Teesta Water-Sharing Agreement

Recent heavy rains and impending floods in West Bengal and Bangladesh have underscored the need for a Teesta River water-sharing agreement, which is likely to receive renewed attention in the aftermath of the West Bengal elections.

Why the NSG Should Say “Yes” to Indian Membership

A decision by the Nuclear Suppliers Group to deny India membership would only highlight its own shortcomings and double standards.

Sub-Saharan Dryland Fisheries and African Food Security

Supporting the development of fisheries in dryland areas of Sub-Saharan Africa could increase food security in the region, but a better understanding of environmental constraints is necessary.

Drought and Water Security in India

Two consecutive years of drought have exacerbated Indian water insecurity, however, decades of mismanagement appears to be the bigger factor in the current water crisis. The upcoming Indian monsoon could relieve short-term pressures, but is unlikely to resolve the underlying issues contributing to water insecurity.

The United States and the Indian Ocean Region: A Case of Growing Interests

The United States has a definite strategic approach to the Indian Ocean Region with objectives that, to a large degree, drive its relationships with key regional actors.

Modi’s Visit to Washington: Putting Pressure on China?

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Washington has aligned India more closely with the United States, putting strategic pressure on China and, by extension, Pakistan.

Reducing Global Food Loss and Wastage is now Achievable

The introduction of a global reporting standard for the issue will finally allow for a functional approach between governments, businesses and organisations towards achieving a sustainable future.

High Price of Beef Driving Indonesian Shift on Imports

Indonesia’s shift in attitude to its beef imports shows an increased willingness to take economic and biosecurity risks to service its domestic price pressures.

Wheat Blast Outbreak Threatens Food Security in Bangladesh and Beyond

With Bangladesh experiencing the first recorded outbreak of wheat blast in Asia, concern is mounting that the disease may spread further, particularly to India and Pakistan, with negative impacts for regional food security.

Cape Town Economy to Receive Roads Boost in Mayor’s Five-Year Vision

While Mayor Patricia de Lille will certainly have the August local government elections in mind, the infrastructure improvements should also aid doing business in South Africa’s second city.

Malaysia: Many Challenges to Wawasan 2020 Development Vision

The prognosis for Wawasan 2020 – the vision unveiled in 1991 by former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad under which Malaysia was to become a fully developed society across all spheres by 2020 – is looking increasingly less achievable.

Managing Water Pollution in China with Social Media

Despite a restrictive and controlled social media environment, there are signs that the Chinese Government is increasingly willing to engage with its citizens. The character of these interactions is distinctly Chinese in that the government first organises the pathways through which its citizens can provide feedback rather than allowing independent and unrestricted social movements to emerge. This approach contributes to the enforcement of state policies at a citizen level, while maintaining the central and hierarchical character of Chinese political power.

Food Insecurity in Australia: A Hidden Problem

The recent resources boom has done little to improve levels of food insecurity in Australia, as more and more Australians seek assistance from not-for-profit food assistance programmes like FoodBank.

Ethiopia Announces New Dam Project: The Koysha Dam

With two dams already under construction, Ethiopia has confirmed plans to build a third that may generate further tension and water insecurity for the region.

Global Research Increasing to Reduce Domestic Livestock Emissions

The environmental threat posed by increasing levels of methane gas is the subject of investigation and research around the world in order to reduce the amounts of gas produced and emitted by domesticated livestock.

Completion of Salma Dam Sparks Pro-India Sentiment in Afghanistan

The Salma Dam will provide much-needed water to drought-ridden Herat, but its construction represents far more than a charitable gesture to a war-torn nation.

The Winner of China’s Attempt to Block India’s Bid for NSG Membership: The US?

Any attempt by China to block India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group will only drive the latter closer to the United States.

Mozambique Moves Closer to Default

A credit downgrade underlines the debt crisis that Mozambique has borrowed itself into and indicates a growing likelihood that the country will default on its loan repayments.

Social Media: A Tool to Tackle Water Pollution in China?

The large majority of Chinese environmental protests go unreported in the mainstream media and are censored on social media. As the legal, regulatory and policy measures regarding social media become increasingly restrictive, the prospects of successful social media campaigns around environmental issues diminish.

Toxin Accumulation: A Threat to the Global Food Supply?

Warmer climates could increase the risk of toxin accumulation in the global food supply, potentially decreasing the amount of food available for an expanding global population.

The Port State Measures Agreement: A New Hope for Marine Ecosystems?

International illegal fishing is a major problem in commercial fisheries. It poses a serious threat to the effective conservation and management of many fish stocks. The Port State Measures Agreement seeks to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Its effective implementation, however, particularly for developing countries, may only be an aspiration for the immediate future.

Myanmar Hosts High-Level Roundtable on Water Security and Sustainable Development Goals

The roundtable, while limited in outcomes, was a positive step for the Government of Myanmar, signalling the new democracy’s dedication to water reform and management.

Malaysia: Islamic Law Bill Provides Cover for PM

It is unlikely that the Bill will be passed, but for Prime Minister Najib Razak it provides a welcome distraction from corruption allegations.

China: Water Scarcity and the Development of Xinjiang Province

The high risk of water scarcity in China’s north-western province of Xinjiang could have future implications for the country if Beijing decides to build industry in the region.

Climate Change Threatens Agriculture in Sri Lanka

Despite increasing temperatures and sporadic monsoon seasons, Sri Lanka has been slow to respond to the impacts of climate change. If no action is taken, both the agricultural industry and national economy face significant losses in the future.

Soil Nutrient Management

The importance of appropriate plant nutrient management in agricultural soil cannot be overstated. If agricultural and pastoral activity is to be maximised in a sustainable fashion, it is imperative that plants are supplied by proper nutrition. The available quantity of many of these essential plant nutrients is finite and, once depleted or degraded, cannot be easily restored.

Livelihoods and Food Security on the Mekong River

A large part of mainland South-East Asia depends on the Mekong River for food and water security. Food security and livelihoods are threatened by the construction of hydropower facilities in China, Laos and Cambodia. While these facilities are likely to further the economic development of the region this will come at the expense of traditional farming and cultural practices.

Economic Ties that Bind: The China-South Africa Relationship

South Africa has more to gain from the relationship than China, with the former seeking continued investment and the favour of an economic power, while the latter gains a receptive gateway in its continued expansion into the African continent.

South Africa and Iran Announce Joint Agreement on Desalination Technologies

South Africa’s announcement of a “binational agreement” with Iran to develop desalination plants seems unnecessary considering South Africa’s own domestic desalination capabilities. It is likely that the agreement forms part of a broader plan to reinvigorate South Africa-Iran relations.

US to Place India on Par with NATO Allies, but can New Delhi Accept?

While the United States may endeavour to bring its ties with India to a level comparable with those of its NATO allies, acceding to such a relationship would require a paradigm shift in India’s foreign policy.

Extreme Food Crises Left Unaddressed at World Humanitarian Summit

A poor food security outlook for most of Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to put the international aid system under further strain, a situation that has not been rectified by the World Humanitarian Summit.

Mayotte: Foreign Legion Deployment to Tackle Illegal Immigration

The military deployment may temporarily slow the number of illegal arrivals to Mayotte but, given the disparities between it and the Comoros, it will not be a solution in itself.

India-US Relations – Part Two: Growing Military and Strategic Co-operation

The military aspect of the India-US relationship has progressed in the space of a few years from virtual non-existence to one that has the potential to truly being the ‘defining relationship of the Twenty-First Century’, as President Obama termed it.

India-US Relations – Part One: A Game of Snakes and Ladders

While the US-India relationship has gone through a series of ups and downs, both countries realise that their common aspirations and strategic interests move them more closely together than their differences draw them apart. Given the present state of geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific region, the two countries will grow closer than ever.

Biodiversity: An Integral Part of Food Security

A failure to preserve biodiversity will weaken efforts to protect the global food supply from pestilence, disease and other environmental threats.

Iran’s Missile Tests: The Challenge for the Next US President

The most recent Iranian missile test demonstrates the failure of the Obama Administration’s to enforce the terms of the UN Security Council’s Resolutions and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Agreement.

The East African Drought and the Importance of Land Restoration

Following severe droughts in East Africa, land restoration may play an important role in mitigating some of the adverse environmental effects that threaten food and water security, particularly in Ethiopia.

Uganda Chooses Tanzania over Kenya for Oil Pipeline Route

Uganda has chosen Tanzania over Kenya as the route for its crude oil production, expected to come online in 2020. It is only the most recent in a series of snubs that Kenya has experienced, losing out to its neighbours as a trade corridor.

The Paris Climate Change Agreement and New York Ratification: A Loose Guideline or Urgent Climate Action?

The Paris Climate Change Agreement has brought about excitement bordering on euphoria, but closer analysis reveals a less certain reality. The sense of global unity is indeed progress but, without immediate action, the agreement may become a comforting, though short-term illusion.

Growth Slows to New Low in Malaysia

Economic growth has hit a six-year low in Malaysia, further delaying the goal of becoming a fully developed economy by 2020. As most of the factors hindering the economy are external, there is little that the Malaysian Government can do to reverse the trend.

World Bank Report: The Effect of Water Scarcity on Economic Growth

The implementation of the policies outlined in the report will require regional and local-level approaches to ensure that they are suited to the complexities of each region and can successfully reduce the impact of water scarcity on economic growth.

Myanmar-Russia Military Co-operation to Increase

The possible use of Russian military hardware and training in quelling long-running civil conflicts could be an indication of unified political support for the swift pacification of the country and a previously unseen level of co-operation between democrats and the military.

The Water-Energy Nexus in the Indian Ocean Region

Population growth and economic development will see increasing demands for both water and energy, which will simultaneously exert pressure on one another. Reducing the link between water and energy will be necessary to ensure the future security of both resources.

Paris Agreement – Genuine Triumph or Total Fantasy: David Hodgkinson

The 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015. It provided for the first time a universal agreement that aims to keep global warming well below 2 degrees. In this, the second part of a two-part interview, University of Western Australia Associate Professor David Hodgkinson discusses negative emissions, adaptation and legal aspects of the Agreement.

Mr Modi Goes to Washington: To Up the Ante or for More of the Same?

Modi’s state visit to Washington in June could herald the breakthrough sought by both sides in their growing relationship.

WA Biodiversity Conservation Bill – Balancing Environmental Protection and Economic Development

The WA Biodiversity Conservation Bill is currently before State Parliament and aims to provide much-needed improvements and modernisation to existing legislation. It may, however, fail to strike the appropriate balance between protecting the environment and promoting a growing and sustainable economy.

Malaysian Government Strengthens Hold on Power in Sarawak

While the election strengthens the ruling party’s hold on power for now, it does not indicate increasing support for Prime Minister Najib Razak throughout the rest of Malaysia.

Saudi Arabia Faces Possible Backlash over Cuts to Water Subsidies

Consistently low oil prices have taken their toll on Saudi Arabia and, while economic restructuring is necessary, the kingdom must balance out the risk of social instability in an already troubled region.

South Africa Avoids Credit Rating Downgrade … For Now

The strength and independence of the South African judicial system helped to stave off a credit rating downgrade but without reforms to restore confidence, boost growth and address corruption, Pretoria may still face a downgrade before the end of this year.

Two-Billion Dollar Scandal Carries Risk of Future Instability in Mozambique

Delayed repayments for loans secretly acquired by the previous government need to be resolved, and stricter monitoring programmes to suppress corruption implemented, to prevent instability and encourage overseas donors to resume their financial assistance.

India, Bangladesh and the Farakka Barrage

India’s construction of the Farakka Barrage has, in part, soured the bilateral relationship it has with Bangladesh. Both countries face increased pressure to meet rising water demands, however, there is little effective water agreement to sustain a co-operative bilateral relationship while meeting these demands.

Paris Climate Change Talks, ‘A Genuine Triumph or Total Fantasy’: David Hodgkinson

The 21st UN Climate Change Conference was held in Paris in December 2015. It provided for the first time a universal agreement that aims to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius. Associate Professor David Hodgkinson discusses the background and the events leading to COP 21 and the global warming mitigation arrangements contained in the Agreement.

Grain Production at Risk as Drought Continues in the Indo-Pacific

Predictions of a repeat of the 2007/08 food shortage may come to pass if co-ordinated international action does not take place.

Indonesia’s Calm Strategy against Terrorism

Indonesia continues to rely on its de-radicalisation programme as a means of counter-propaganda while focussing on security through closer co-operation with regional neighbours.

Emerging Middle Eastern Locust Plague Could Heighten Dependence on Trade-based Food Security

Abnormally high levels of rain and civil war combine to make Yemen a perfect breeding ground for locusts, potentially unleashing a plague upon parts of the Middle East.

South Africa-Iran Agreements Signify Co-operation in More than Energy

Eight new agreements covering trade, tourism, water management and energy have the potential for Iran to demonstrate that it can successfully reintegrate into world markets without conflicting with those sanctions that remain in place.

Shifting Sands: Saudi Arabia and the Turn from Oil

While the proposed decrease in reliance upon revenues obtained from oil exports is commendable, the implementation of the project will need to be carefully monitored to ensure its success.

Seychelles to Assist Investigations into Malaysia 1MDB Scandal

The announcement by Seychelles president of co-operation with 1MDB investigation relates more to projecting transparency rather than fixing wrongdoing in Malaysia as the Seychelles focusses on growing its financial services sector.

South Africa: May Day Birth of New Trade Union Opens Further Fractures

South Africa’s divided trade unions represent a key political battleground heading into local government elections in August that will act as an important gauge on the performance of the central government.

Counter-Terrorism Challenges in Indonesia and Beyond: Sidney Jones

Relative to its size, Indonesia has a jihadist movement that is very small and, for the most part, quite unsuccessful. Renowned counter-terrorism expert and director of the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, Sidney Jones, discusses with FDI some of the potential security challenges confronting Indonesia, both from existing local groups and fighters returning from Syria, and the status of Jemaah Islamiyah, before looking further ahead and highlighting a possible longer-term problem that could evolve on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

Singapore: Non-Oil Exports Drop to Lowest Level in Three Years

Falling non-oil domestic exports are indicative of the effect of sluggish global economic growth on the Singaporean economy, but its diversity and status as a major regional trading hub will aid it in overcoming a coming period of low growth.

India’s Growing Assertiveness vis-à-vis China

The granting by India of a visa to a rebel Uighur leader is yet another instance of its assertive stance in matters relating to China since Prime Minister Modi took office.

Delayed Arms Sale to Qatar: “Jet Fighter Diplomacy”?

The delay of a multi-billion dollar sale of fighter jets to Qatar and Kuwait by the United States highlights the complexities of geopolitics in the Persian Gulf, particularly Qatar’s relationships with its neighbours and its suspected ties to Islamist militants, as it seeks greater regional influence.

Iran Attempts to Reverse the Decline of the Region’s Largest Saltwater Lake

Iran faces a potential water crisis, as well as significant damage to the nation’s agricultural and tourism industries if it cannot quickly counteract the rapid decline of Lake Urmia.

Bypassing Pakistan: Afghanistan, India, Iran and Chabahar

In allowing India to enhance its energy security and Iran to expand its share of the energy market while giving Afghanistan alternative maritime access, the trilateral Chabahar Agreement has the potential to change the regional dynamic to a significant extent.

Earthquakes, Dams and Water in South Asia

The construction of dams could bring both benefits and risks to South Asia. If they are constructed they will fuel development, but could also heighten the risk from earthquakes and increase interstate tension. Their long-term utility is also likely to come under pressure from increased climatic variability.

Indonesia: Groundwater Decline is Causing Jakarta to Sink

Land subsidence is increasing at a rapid rate and parts of Jakarta could sink below sea level unless action is taken.

Jokowi Announces Indonesian Palm Oil and Mining Moratorium

The temporary ban has been welcomed by environmental activists, though it remains to be seen if it will be enforced.

China Prepares for Severe Flooding and Crop Damage

After the severe 2015-16 El Niño, there are rising concerns about China’s agricultural sector and its capacity to deal with a natural disaster as well as the impact that it could have on international markets.

Democratic Government Spreading its Wings in the New Myanmar

The mass release of political prisoners and activists is an expected post-election move by the NLD government but, despite remarkable progress and the high regard held for Aung San Suu Kyi, the benefits of democracy are yet to reach all of the country’s peoples.

The India-US LEMOA: Turning From Non-Alignment?

India’s bilateral Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the United States could herald a strategic shift in its non-aligned stance.

First Steps towards a Pakistan-Mauritius Free Trade Agreement?

The visit to Pakistan of Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim could help to pave the way towards a Pakistan-Mauritius Free Trade Agreement, potentially enabling Pakistani businesses to tap into the successful Mauritian economy.

Understanding the Role of Soil Microbiological Ecosystems: Dr Peter Keating

FDI has taken the opportunity to interview Dr Keating of Bioscience Pty Ltd, on the topic of soil microbiology, soil microbiological ecosystems and his research into the analysis and maintenance of healthy soils and soil biological fertility.

China Seeks to Build Rapport Downstream

The release of water from a Chinese dam into the Mekong River is less an act of benevolence and more one of self-interested hydro-diplomacy.

Can Malaysia Learn from Singapore’s Success against Corruption?

While some lessons can be learned from Singapore, greater political will is needed if Malaysia is to stamp out corruption.

Myanmar: Recovering from Last Year’s Floods, Rakhine State Struggles with its Food Supply

The already disadvantaged Rakhine Rohingya face increased poverty and malnourishment if the food supply does not improve, potentially contributing to another refugee crisis in the near future.

Modi’s Visit to Saudi Arabia: Oil and Geopolitics

Modi’s visit to Riyadh may be viewed as an effort to come between the Saudis and Pakistan, but his primary motivation is likely to be to maximise access to Saudi oil to enhance India’s energy security.

Lower Oil Prices to Flow from Doha Meeting?

Low oil prices have driven a number of states dependent on oil revenues to seek a co-operative deal to stabilise, or even cut, production in an effort to increase prices.

Madagascar: Resignation of PM Points to New Political Instability

Although support for democratically elected President Hery Rajaonarimampianina is strong within the international community, the recent resignation of Prime Minister Jean Ravelonarivo may be viewed as another disruptive episode within a long history of political volatility that shows no sign of abating.

South Africa – Economic Challenges

The South African economy is facing a perfect storm of structural and cyclical factors, including high unemployment, little job creation, an often poorly skilled workforce, a weak currency that is prone to external shocks, the possibility of credit rating downgrades, the lingering effects of electricity shortages, a costly public service and the continuing spectre of political interference.

India and Indonesia: Relations with the US, China and Each Other

8 April 2016 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Despite the election of two “common men” to the leaderships of both countries and a number of high-level visits, the India-Indonesia bilateral relationship remains little changed. Arguably lacklustre, the relationship gains validity from shared aspects of the two countries’ wider relationships with the United States and China, illustrating different but compatible aspects of regional security.

The Singapore-United States Relationship: Fifty Years On

The US-Singapore relationship is in good standing and will continue to progress while their strategic interests remain closely aligned.

UAE: Facility to Produce Food and Fuel Launched in Abu Dhabi

A new research facility in Abu Dhabi will assist with plans to achieve food self-sufficiency.

Bhutan: Economic Reliance on Hydropower places it at India’s Mercy

Bhutan relies heavily on hydropower to meet its energy agreement with India, but there is increasing evidence that this reliance is at the expense of its conservation policy.

India’s Unnecessary Unease with US Perceptions of its Nuclear Security

President Obama’s off-the-cuff remark about India, like Pakistan, being an area of concern vis-à-vis its nuclear arsenal should not cause New Delhi undue anxiety.

UK Looking to Increase Military and Economic Involvement in Oman

Greater military and economic co-operation between Oman and the United Kingdom, including the establishment of military bases, could hold significant strategic importance to the regional power balance and represents a strengthened British presence as Iran returns to the international fold.

Zuma Still under Pressure after Surviving Impeachment Vote

South African President Jacob Zuma is facing a growing momentum against him that may end his leadership of both the country and the African National Congress.

The Indo-Japanese Relationship: Predicated on External Factors?

Born out of mutual strategic necessity, the India-Japan relationship really accelerated when highly nationalistic leaders took office in both countries almost simultaneously. Both Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe perceived China as a threat, hastening the development of the alliance.

South Africa: Drought Threatens Food, Energy and Water Security

South Africa, Southern Africa’s largest food producer, has experienced its driest year since records began in 1904. It typically exports surplus food to neighbouring countries but, due to decreased production, it is not able to do so this year. If South Africa is transitioning to a new climate paradigm, it will need to explore the feasibility of producing alternative food crops, developing new sources of water and constructing alternative methods of generating electricity.

The Non-Resolution of Indo-Nepali Relations After L ’Affair Madhesi

In attempting to play the China card in order to influence New Delhi, Nepali Prime Minister Oli has probably shot himself in the foot.

Water Insecurity in India Paints an Uncertain Future for Agriculture

Centuries of unregulated groundwater use, as well as deficient and late monsoonal periods, have caused alarm in India’s agricultural sector, where water-stressed farmers may be forced to abandon their livelihoods.

Seychelles: IMF Praises Economy but Calls for Offsets to Spending and Tax Cuts

If the Seychelles Government can successfully manage the potentially adverse macroeconomic effects of its proposed anti-poverty initiatives, the country should be well-placed to enjoy the benefits of its economic growth.

Uganda-Tanzania Oil Pipeline Decision will Affect Kenyan LAPSSET Project

The agreement between Uganda and Tanzania to construct a crude oil pipeline from Uganda to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean port of Tanga could have negative implications for Kenya’s ambitions to become the regional transportation and logistical hub and limit its flagship LAPSSET project.

Water: An Underappreciated Economic Resource

The 2016 UN World Water Development Report focuses on the relationship between water and jobs, an underappreciated aspect of water security that highlights the vital role it plays in the global economy.

Climate Change, Food and Water Security in Bangladesh

Bangladesh faces significant challenges in adapting to the impacts of climate change. Its topography and geographical location make it particularly susceptible to extreme weather events including cyclones, floods and storm surges. Food and water security are likely to be particularly affected by the changing climate, forcing Bangladeshis to adapt.

Myanmar Foreign Policy under Aung San Suu Kyi

The newly-installed National League for Democracy government will not substantially change the country’s longstanding foreign policy approach of maintaining friendly, balanced and independent relations with regional neighbours and great powers alike.

A Debate Worth Having: An Australian Sugar Tax

Given Australia’s increasing and alarming obesity rate, the debate of a tax to discourage consumption of sugary drinks is warranted.

Indonesian Sovereignty Challenged by China?

An incident involving a Chinese fishing boat in Indonesian waters has raised concerns over the security of its Exclusive Economic Zone, but it is unlikely that the incident will provoke a rash response from Jakarta.

New Credit Downgrade Threat Hanging Over South Africa

Given the current parlous state of the economy and its generally bleak future prospects, together with the possibility of turmoil within the government, another credit downgrade cannot be ruled out, further reducing both the government’s borrowing power and investor confidence.

Economic Recovery for Indian Farmers

Attempting to mitigate rising criticism and falling popularity, the Modi Administration promises a better future for struggling farmers in its 2016/17 Union Budget.

The Indo-Russian Relationship: Old Imperatives, New Beginnings

Born of mutual necessity, the Indo-Russian relationship thrived as India sought to gain from the political, economic and security advantages that it offered. It deteriorated over time as the result of a changing international setting. Since then, the leaders of both countries have recognised the need for a closer relationship and are seeking to renew it.

Israel or Iranian Liberals: Who are the Real Targets of Iran’s Missile Tests?

Conservative forces in Iran see their more moderate counterparts, headed by President Hassan Rouhani, as a danger to the status quo and their hold on power. The conservatives have used the recent missile tests to undermine Rouhani’s standing with the West.

Iraq: Mosul Dam Breach a Disaster in Waiting

Alarming concern has been expressed by the Iraqi Government, the United States Embassy in Iraq and the UN over the inevitable risk of disaster if the Mosul Dam were to fail.

Indonesia Seeking to Boost Investment from South Korea

Early signs of greater South Korean investment in Indonesia look promising, although investors could face an uphill battle in the long term unless President Widodo manages to implement economic reforms.

Global Food Security at Risk as Pollinator Populations Decline

It is hoped that a new UN-sponsored report will push governments to take action to protect pollinators.

China: The Impact of New Agricultural Reforms on Food Security

The Chinese Government’s first policy statement of the year highlights the need for supply-side reforms in the agricultural sector to improve quality and efficiency while continuing to guarantee food security.

Modi’s Visit to Saudi Arabia Could Herald New Beginning for Indo-Pakistani Relations

Modi could use Riyadh’s standing in Islamabad to overcome a history of antagonism and engineer a new beginning with Pakistan.

Jordan: Resource Scarcity and an Increasing Population

Jordan is struggling to maintain water security amid the impacts of climate change, the Syrian refugee crisis and less aid from the United Nations.

Co-operation and the Brahmaputra: China and India Water Sharing

While the potential for conflict between India and China is low, a combination of regional competition and water-sharing tension could still threaten regional stability. Improved communication and co-operation would reduce the potential for conflict.

Indonesia and Malaysia: Prospects for Closer Co-operation

Indonesia and Malaysia are becoming increasingly important to political developments in South-East Asia. Both countries can play an important role in delegitimising, and offering a counter-narrative to, extremist groups in the region.

Pastoral Lease Reform in Western Australia Offers Agricultural Diversification

The West Australian Government has plans to introduce legislation in June 2016 that would see traditional pastoral leases expand to allow new business ventures.

Political Machinations in Malaysia: Mahathir Unites with Foes to Oust Najib

An improbable coalition of former enemies is probably more likely to cost Dr Mahathir Mohamad his reputation rather than force current Prime Minister Najib Razak from office.

India: Change Beckons, but can Modi Seize the Opportunity?

There are growing signs that India is on the verge of breaking through its demographic and economic shackles – provided that the Modi Administration can demonstrate true statesmanship.

South Sudan’s Admittance to the East African Community Could Affect Food Security

South Sudan’s admittance to the East African Community is a positive step for the developing nation, but must be accompanied by wide-ranging domestic reforms in order to strengthen the economy and improve the lives of its people.

Southern Africa: Leaders Meet to Address Issues Facing Agriculture and Food Security

A meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a crucial first step towards mitigating the impacts of the El Niño weather pattern, considered the worst in the region’s history.

Indonesian Water Security: Improving but Still Subject to Shocks

Indonesia is not water scarce as it has enough water to satisfy the needs of its population and economy. Uneven distribution, poor management and a lack of infrastructure, however, have left parts of the country with insufficient access to water. Without considerable investment, water security in Indonesia will remain tenuous and subject to rapid deterioration.

India’s Evolving Maritime Security Strategy and Force Posture

The Indian Navy’s Maritime Security Strategy document 2015 (titled ‘Ensuring Secure Seas: Indian Maritime Security Strategy’) is a precursor of India’s evolving maritime strategic thought and its proposed force posture. Together, they form important spokes in the wheel of New Delhi’s politico-military strategy.

Indonesia: Struggling with Palm Oil Revenue and Defence Cuts

The announcement of spending cuts by the Indonesian Government highlights concerns over the slowing economy, reduced earnings from an important export and the implications that the cuts may hold for the defence force.

Myanmar: Stalled Chinese Hydropower Project an Issue for Incoming Government

The new administration in Naypyidaw will need to address stalled Chinese hydropower projects, with potential ramifications for the future bilateral relationship.

Iran in Syria: The Danger of Enhanced Sectarianism

Iran may wish to ensure that the Assad regime continues in Syria but it needs to be careful that its actions do not exacerbate the danger that the civil war and other rivalries there might descend into an overtly-sectarian conflict.

Water-borne Cholera Outbreak in East Africa and the Middle East

Doctors are concerned that an outbreak of cholera, which began in 2015 and spread throughout east Africa and the Middle East, threatens to worsen with the upcoming rainy season.

South African Budget: Will It Be Enough?

The social spending in this year’s Budget will please the government’s less well-off supporters, but its trade union partners will be concerned by the possibility of future public service cuts and privatisations, even though the measures may not be enough to revive the weak economy.

Food Security in Indonesia: A Continued Reliance on Foreign Markets

Indonesia has long sought to restore its self-sufficiency in key agricultural commodities and has embarked on an infrastructure development programme that could go some way to boosting market access for domestic producers. This is unlikely to be enough to guarantee future food security and it will continue to depend on foreign markets.

Grazing and Controlled Burning in Kimberley Pastoral Land Management: Mr John Henwood

FDI recently took the opportunity to speak with and interview pastoralist, Mr John Henwood, the former co-owner and manager of Fossil Downs Station. Mr Henwood oversaw the introduction, over a long period of time, of pastoral and land care practices that establish Fossil Downs as one of the show-piece pastoral properties of the Kimberley.

South-East Asia: La Niña Predicted to Bring Relief and Hardship to the Region

Heavier than normal rains due to the La Niña weather phenomenon are expected to ease two years of drought for India, while Indonesia and Bangladesh prepare for its negative effects.

Indonesia: More Economic Plans Announced

Despite the President’s announcement to reform the Indonesian economy it will take a long time before any substantial changes can be effected.

India: With a Rising Economy, the Rise of Saffron Power

While the Modi Government has overseen the growth of the country’s economy, India is witnessing a similar growth in fundamentalist nationalism.

Indian Protesters Cut Off New Delhi’s Water Supply

Protesters in the northern Indian state of Haryana have caused major damage to public infrastructure and precious water supplies, demonstrating the precariousness of New Delhi’s water supply.

State of the Nation: Seychelles President Charts Course for Year Ahead

A combination of tax cuts and increased social spending while restricting the pensions paid to MPs and government ministers should go down well with the public and facilitate further economic growth and rises in living standards.

Egypt: Economic Woes Weaken Food Security but Pose Little Threat of Unrest

Weakening economic conditions endanger food imports vital for sustaining the government’s politically-sensitive food subsidy scheme, but a popular uprising in the near future remains unlikely.

Saudi Arabia: Should Troops Be Deployed To Syria?

If Saudi troops are to be deployed to Syria, Riyadh will need to take into careful consideration the possible outcomes of that deployment.

Timor-Leste: Water Governance Thwarts Peace-Building and Development

18 February 2016 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Poor water governance has been a significant contributing factor in the spread of water-borne diseases and malnutrition in Timor-Leste. While the country’s immediate post-independence circumstances demanded that the government attend to many other pressing issues, the time has now come to prioritise the provision of well-managed, clean and accessible water services.

The Importance of Food and Nutrition in Aboriginal Communities

Following the release of the eighth annual ‘Closing the Gap’ report, data demonstrates that Indigenous communities in Australia still lack access to basic nutritional foods – a key requirement if social disadvantage is to be eliminated.

Indonesia’s Role in the US-ASEAN Summit

Indonesia will likely take a leading role in the US-ASEAN summit especially in regard to counter-terrorism, but may struggle to procure any unified ASEAN response to the South China Sea Dispute.

Mekong River Commission Faces Challenging Future

At a time when the Mekong River Basin faces immense challenges, it could be up to external actors to foster a collaborative environment for sustainable economic development.

Bangladesh and Free Speech: Giving in to the Extremists?

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheik Hasina must take – and be seen to take – immediate action against extremists who threaten bloggers and others to prevent her country from descending into an abyss of intolerance.

South Africa: Zuma Calls for End to Multiple Capital Cities Structure

The President’s call to move Parliament from Cape Town to Pretoria as a cost-saving measure may simply have been intended as a diversion because the savings, if any, are likely to be few.

Headwinds and Some Good News for the Indonesian Economy in 2016

While the Widodo Government continues to focus on reforms, external factors that act against the Indonesian economy continue to discourage investors.

Thailand: Drought, Water-Sourcing and the Potential Implications

Thailand, which is experiencing drought conditions, is rushing to secure new water sources to meet demand over the dry season.

Narendra Modi: Unshackling Indian Business

Critics who complain that Modi has not met the expectations of Big Business may need to change their opinion as he lays the groundwork for major changes to the way India does business.

Pakistan: New National Water Policy Faces Scrutiny

Ambiguity over treaties and water-sharing between provinces may impede the implementation of Pakistan’s new National Water Policy.

South Africa: Difficulties for Zuma Ahead of State of the Nation Address

After a difficult 2015, President Jacob Zuma will use this year’s address to inform South Africans that he still has the ability to restore confidence and turn the country around.

The Forgotten Resource: Groundwater in Australia

Groundwater usage is increasing and it is the main source of water for much of Australia’s dry interior, even as recent research suggests that replenishment rates may be slower than previously thought.

Tibet: A Major Source of Asia’s Rivers

The headwaters of six of Asia’s major rivers begin on the Tibetan Plateau. It is crucial that China and the countries downstream co-operate to ensure freshwater supplies for all. Dwindling water sources in the transboundary rivers of the Tibetan Plateau threaten water security and create a high potential for geopolitical conflict in the region.

Food Commodity Prices Fall in 2015

Food prices fell in 2015 for a fourth consecutive year but increasing pressures on the global food system suggest this is likely to be a short-term trend.

The UAE, Pakistan and the Proposal for a Water Pipeline

A 500-kilometre underground pipeline from Pakistan to the United Arab Emirates has been proposed as a solution to solving water scarcity in the UAE.

Mauritius: A Big Year Ahead for the Tourism Industry?

The Mauritian Government has high hopes for the country’s tourism industry in the year ahead and is counting on it being a significant component of a “second economic miracle”.

The Water Tower of Africa Faces its Worst Drought in Decades

Four hundred thousand children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition, with up to ten million in critical need of food aid.

India’s Satellite Tracking Station in Vietnam: An Eye on China?

India’s planned satellite tracking station in Vietnam demonstrates their converging threat perceptions and underlines their growing ties.

Saudi Arabia, a Diminishing OPEC and an Ascending Iran

Saudi Arabia faces a raft of internal and external challenges that could collectively bring down the House of Saud.

The Indian Ocean Region: A Framework for Australian Policy Options

31 January 2016 | Landmark Publications

To purchase a hardcopy, please contact info@futuredirections.org.au.

Food and Water Security: Our Global Challenge

31 January 2016 | Landmark Publications

To purchase a hard copy please contact info@futuredirections.org.au.

Pilbara Prospects 2020 – Developments and Challenges for the Region

31 January 2016 | Landmark Publications

To purchase a hard copy please contact info@futuredirections.org.au.

Food and Water: An Impending Challenge Food and Water Security in Southern Africa Australia’s Response

31 January 2016 | Landmark Publications

To purchase a hard copy please contact info@futuredirections.org.au.

Indian Ocean: A Sea of Uncertainty

31 January 2016 | Landmark Publications

To purchase a hard copy please contact info@futuredirections.org.au.

Afghanistan: The Old-New Geopolitical Blackhole

31 January 2016 | Landmark Publications

To purchase a hard copy please contact info@futuredirections.org.au.

Australia’s Energy Future: A Time for Reflection

31 January 2016 | Landmark Publications

To purchase a hard copy please contact info@futuredirections.org.au.

South Africa – Political Challenges

The ANC will need to redouble its nation-building and governance efforts in the face of growing criticism if it is not lose further support.

Strategic Weekly Analysis

16 December 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 47. Download PDF   From the Institute Director   Articles Published 9 December - 15 December: Strategic Analysis Paper Global Implications of New Groundwater Research: In this paper, FDI Research Manager Mervyn Piesse provides an analysis of a new study on global groundwater. The study suggests that global groundwater supplies are replenished...

Embrace and Encircle? China’s Approaches to India and their Effect

14 December 2015 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Download PDF Dr Auriol Weigold Senior Visiting Fellow Key Points   China’s trade routes, sea- and land-based encircle India with hard-power undertones and soft power attraction. Soft power diplomacy, brought out at Xi’s and Modi’s meetings, cloaks a long-term mistrust in India towards China and exposes vulnerabilities in India’s relations with its South Asian neighbours....

Strategic Weekly Analysis

9 December 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 46. Download PDF From the Institute Director Articles Published 2 December - 8 December: Strategic Analysis Paper The Indus River and Agriculture in Pakistan: In this paper, FDI Research Manager Mervyn Piesse analyses agricultural water use in Pakistan and finds that it is heavily reliant upon the Indus River. Decades of poor...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

2 December 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Vol. 6, № 45. Download PDF   From the Institute Director Articles Published 24 November - 1 December: Strategic Analysis Paper South Africa – Political Challenges: In this paper, FDI Indian Ocean Research Programme Manager Leighton Luke examines the political challenges facing South Africa. He finds that the African National Congress has now become...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

25 November 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 44. Download PDF From the Institute Director   Articles Published 19 November - 24 November: Associate Paper Embrace and Encircle? China’s approaches to India and their effect: In this paper, Senior Visiting Fellow, Dr Auriol Weigold, observes that China’s trade routes, sea- and land-based encircle India with hard-power undertones and soft power...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

18 November 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 43. Download PDF From the Institute Director   Articles Published 11 November - 18 November: Associate Paper December in Paris - Determining the Future of the Planet: The 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015. Its aim, for the first time,...

December in Paris – Determining the Future of the Planet: Associate Professor David Hodgkinson

Download PDF Key Points The Paris climate change conference aims at a global agreement to keep global warming to 2°C. The Paris conference is to draft a legal instrument applicable to all countries, both developed and developing. To restrict warming to less than 2°C, total emissions will have to be kept under a trillion tonnes...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

11 November 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 42. Download PDF   From the Institute Director Articles Published 4 November - 11 November: Associate Paper The Armed Forces and the Democratic Transition in Myanmar While Myanmar’s armed forces (the Tatmadaw) have never seen themselves as having separate military and political roles, since President Thein Sein’s accession in 2011, Myanmar’s executive...

The Armed Forces and the Democratic Transition in Myanmar

10 November 2015 | Associate Papers

Download PDF   Dr Andrew Selth FDI Senior Visiting Fellow   Key Points Myanmar’s armed forces (the Tatmadaw) have never seen themselves as having separate military and political roles, with the first having primacy over the second, as in Western democracies. Since President Thein Sein’s accession in 2011, Myanmar’s executive and armed forces have been...

Maldives Emergency Tests Fragile Democracy

6 November 2015 | Strategic Alerts

Diplomatic intervention by the West and India, as democracies, will be increasingly necessary to help address the slide back towards authoritarianism in the Maldives. Background Citing an imminent threat to national security, Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency on 4 November. The 30-day order limits constitutional freedoms and gives security forces sweeping powers of arrest. Critics...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

4 November 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 41. Download PDF From the Institute Director   Articles Published 29 October - 3 November: Strategic Analysis Paper The Indus Treaty Revisited – India-Pakistan Water Sharing The treaty between India and Pakistan needs to be revised so as to consider increased populations, climatic and environmental pressures. Such revisions are unlikely to occur...

Soil Carbon and the Role of Fungi in the Long-term Sequestering of Carbon in Soil: Associate Professor Peter McGee

3 November 2015 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF   Key Points Soil organic carbon is the most critically important factor for sustainable use of soil. For a more sustainable agriculture, more long-lived organic carbon is essential. So far efforts to increase long-lived soil organic carbon have failed, in large part because of the need to understand soil physics, soil chemistry and...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

28 October 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 40. Download PDF From the Institute Director Articles Published 21 October - 28 October: Associate Paper India and Iran Meet in Chabahar – Part Two: Why India? If India is to have the assured access to Central Asia that it seeks in the absence of a breakthrough in its relationship with Pakistan,...

India and Iran Meet in Chabahar – Part Two: Why India?

27 October 2015 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Vikas Kumar FDI Associate   Key Points In the absence of a breakthrough in its relationship with Pakistan, India must depend on other countries for access to Central Asia and Afghanistan. The Chabahar port offers an ideal gateway. That dependence, and the fact that Indian goods will be essential to the viability of...

India and Iran Meet in Chabahar – Part One: Reviving Old Ties

22 October 2015 | Associate Papers

Vikas Kumar FDI Associate   Key Points India and Iran complement each other in the energy sector and share an interest in stabilising Afghanistan and connecting resource-rich Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. The Chabahar port in south-eastern Iran is central to the future of the Indo-Iranian relationship. The development of a modern port in...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

21 October 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 39. Download PDF From the Institute Director Articles Published 14 October - 20 October: Associate Paper Pakistan’s Security Outlook in the Global Power Shift – Part 2 Pakistan’s new security policy emphasises neutrality as a key characteristic of its international engagements. Its efforts to balance its relationship with the US, on the...

Microbial Digestion System and the Achievement of Ultimate Gene Expression: Garry Nunn

20 October 2015 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF Key Points Soil microbes are critical to soil fertility and the growth of healthy vigorous plants. Our knowledge of the presence, role and capabilities of soil microbes is still developing. The linking of nutrients to plants through microbial activity is important and at times, essential for plant growth. An innovative, commercial microbe digestion...

Pakistan’s Security Outlook in the Global Power Shift – Part 2

15 October 2015 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Hussain Nadim FDI Associate   Key Points Pakistan’s new security policy emphasises neutrality as a key characteristic of its international engagements. Its efforts to balance its relationship with the US, on the one hand, and China, on the other, however, see it lean more towards Beijing. This is due to a perception that...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

14 October 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 38. Download PDF From the Institute Director   Articles Published 8 October - 14 October: Associate Paper Pakistan’s Security Outlook in the Global Power Shift – Part 1: Despite its many internal problems, Pakistan remains an active member of the international community. While it had a traditionally strong relationship with the US...

Pakistan’s Security Outlook in the Global Power Shift – Part 1

13 October 2015 | Associate Papers

Download PDF   Hussain Nadim FDI Associate Key Points Despite its many internal problems, Pakistan is an active member of the international community’s security matrix. Its security leaders see it as a guardian of Islam, thus legitimating its involvement in many parts of the Muslim world. Whereas it previously had a strong relationship with the...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

7 October 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 37. Download PDF From the Institute Director   Articles Published 30 September - 7 October: Associate Paper India’s Strategic Vision and Sri Lanka’s National Security: Looking Out Ten Years. India will face three major challenges and opportunities in its relationship with Sri Lanka over the next decade: the continuing separatist threat to...

A Proposal for the Improved Provision of Emergency Food Aid through Industry Engagement: Mario Casotti

Download PDF   Key Points Australia is committed to being a disaster relief provider for theregion. The impact of regional disasters is becoming more acute as climate-related events become more severe and frequent. The capacity may exist for improved government and private sector collaboration to more efficiently maintain and deliver food aid stock for regional...

United Kingdom to Commit Troops to Somalia and South Sudan

2 October 2015 | Strategic Alerts

Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to deploy troops to South Sudan and Somalia may mark a shift in British foreign policy but will likely have a limited effect on the ground. Background In a move that may herald a major shift in UK foreign policy, Prime Minister David Cameron announced on 28 September that a...

India’s Strategic Vision and Sri Lanka’s National Security: Looking Out Ten Years

1 October 2015 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr Sithara Fernando FDI Associate   Key Points India will face three major challenges and opportunities in its relationship with Sri Lanka over the next decade: the continuing separatist threat to Sri Lanka, large-scale poaching in Sri Lankan waters by fishermen from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and the “China factor”. On...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

30 September 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 36. Download PDF   From the Institute Director   Articles Published 22-29 September: Strategic Analysis Papers Indonesia as a Contributor to Regional Security. Indonesia is seeking to expand its naval capabilities and is likely to focus on defence diplomacy through bilateral relations while maintaining a mediatory role in the South China Seas....

Soil Carbon, the Backbone of Soil Fertility: Emeritus Professor Robert White

24 September 2015 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF   Key Points Carbon is the backbone of organic matter and its presence in soil is essential for soil health. The amount of soil organic carbon is a balance between the rate of carbon inputs and the rate of decomposition. Input rate depends on the vegetative growth supported by the soil, and decomposition...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

23 September 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 35. Download PDF   From the Institute Director FDI recognises the benefits of clearly identifying the papers it has recently produced and those that it intends to produce. From today, the introduction to the Strategic Weekly Analysis will cover three outcomes: Articles published over the previous seven days. Articles to be published...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

16 September 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 34. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. Future Directions International, in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, with support from the Indian Ocean Rim Association Secretariat and the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection, convened...

India and the Maldives: Greater Engagement Needed

3 September 2015 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Vikas Kumar FDI Associate   Key Points In the short- to medium-term, India has to live with the consequences of the largely complacent approach that it has taken towards the Indian Ocean Region since the late 1980s. Disengaging with the Maldives – strategically located astride India’s sea lanes – at a time when...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

2 September 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 33. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. Future Directions International, in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the Observer Research Foundation, is pleased to host the second Indian Ocean Dialogue...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

26 August 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 32. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. Looking ahead, Future Directions International, in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the Observer Research Foundation, is pleased to host the second Indian...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

19 August 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 31. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. In the SWA this week, we continue our examination of the implications of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 with an assessment of the potential effect of that agreement on...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

12 August 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 30. Download PDF From the Editor's Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. Over the next week, FDI looks forward to analysing contrasting perceptions of the upcoming Iranian nuclear deal in Washington and Tehran and find opposition to the agreement in both capitals. We begin...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

5 August 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 29. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. Over the next week, FDI looks forward to bringing you the second of a two-part analysis by FDI Associate Hussain Nadim that investigates the opportunities and challenges for Pakistan in terms of...

Pakistan’s Critical Moment: Opportunities and Challenges

30 July 2015 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Hussain Nadim FDI Associate Indian Ocean Research Programme   Key Points Pakistan’s military is currently co-operating with its government on domestic and global policy issues – setting a positive precedent. Democratic values are strengthening in Pakistan with a robust media, citizen activism and changing voting behaviour. Major political parties, however, remain internally undemocratic...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

29 July 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 28. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s SWA with an analysis of the opportunity presented by Iran to India in the wake of easing sanctions on Tehran’s energy exports and international trade ventures. We find...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

22 July 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 27. Download PDF From the Editor's Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. In the week ahead, FDI looks forward to part one of a two-part analysis by FDI Associate Hussain Nadim, in which he looks at the opportunities and challenges for Pakistan in terms...

The Future of IORA: Jakarta to Take the Lead

17 July 2015 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr Auriol Weigold FDI Senior Visiting Fellow   Key Points Jakarta takes a positive stance on IORA and views its foreign policy over the next five years as intersecting with IORA’s interests. In its term as Chair, Indonesia will embrace the Indian Ocean in concert with its familiar tilt towards the Pacific, establishing...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

15 July 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 26. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. In the week ahead, FDI looks forward to an analysis by FDI Senior Visiting Fellow Auriol Weigold of the approach that Indonesia is likely to adopt when it takes over as Chair...

Narendra Modi to Meet With Nawaz Sharif at SCO Summit

10 July 2015 | Strategic Alerts

The Indian Prime Minister will meet his Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) today to discuss sensitive issues such as Kashmir and terrorism. Background Modi extended an invitation to Sharif to attend his inauguration to the office of Prime Minister, the first time an Indian Prime Minister-elect did so. Sharif...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 25. Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. In the weeks ahead, FDI looks forward to publishing a paper analysing some of the key  opportunities and weaknesses confronting Pakistan, including governance, the civil-military balance, energy, food and water security,...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 24. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. In the week ahead, FDI looks forward to publishing a paper analysing the importance of the biological fertility of soil. Also coming up, the Global Food and Water Crises Research Programme...

France and Saudi Arabia Unveil Nuclear and Defence Co-operation Agreements

26 June 2015 | Strategic Alerts

Recently-unveiled nuclear agreements between France and Saudi Arabia mark a growing relationship between the two countries even though they are cautiously optimistic. Background France and Saudi Arabia announced several deals worth over US$12 billion on 24 June at the inaugural Franco-Saudi Joint Commission meeting in Paris. The deals include a Saudi purchase of 23 Airbus...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

24 June 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 23. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. The end of the financial year is fast approaching and I invite you to donate to FDI, before 30 June. Donations to FDI are tax deductible, as FDI has Deductible Gift Recipient...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

17 June 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 22. Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. The end of the financial year is fast approaching and I invite you to donate to FDI, before 30 June. Donations to FDI are tax deductible, as FDI has Deductible Gift...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

10 June 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, № 21. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. The end of the financial year is fast approaching and I invite you to donate to FDI, before 30 June. Donations to FDI are tax deductible, as FDI has Deductible Gift Recipient...

The Quest for a Practical, Predictable and Reliable Method to Build Soil Carbon in Agricultural Soils: Guy Webb (Part Two)

4 June 2015 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF Key Points Soil organic carbon influences the structural, chemical and biological soil processes that govern plant growth efficiency, crop productivity and subsequent food security. Doubling soil carbon (say, from one per cent to two per cent) roughly increases plant-available water by 50 per cent. After water, the second most limiting factor in crop...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Vol. 6, № 20. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin our coverage this week by analysing China’s development of an economic corridor, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and its investment in energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan. While this investment...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 6, No. 19. Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters,   Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin our coverage this week by examining the sinking of Chinese fishing vessels by Indonesian authorities as part of National Awakening Day and discuss the country’s on-going reluctance to damage...

The Quest for a Practical, Predictable and Reliable Method to Build Soil Carbon in Agricultural Soils: Guy Webb (Part One)

26 May 2015 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF   Key Points For ongoing agricultural sustainability, rural sector resilience and food security, the fundamental question of how to increase soil carbon requires an answer. Recent research has identified the mechanisms whereby soil carbon is deposited and stored safely within soil aggregates, using a specialised form of fungi. It is believed, that technology...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 6, № 18 From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin our coverage this week with an examination Indonesia’s moratorium on the felling of its forests and note that, while the moratorium, which was initiated by the previous government, has been...

Wildfires Mitigation Strategy and Incentives in Northern and Central Australia: Dr Jeremy Russell-Smith

14 May 2015 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF   Key Points The terms bushfire and wildfire are both used in Australia to describe uncontrolled, landscape fires in non-urban situations. Most Australians are concerned about the well-reported summer wildfires occurring in densely populated parts of south-eastern, southern and south-western Australia. The great majority of wildfires in Australia, however, occur annually in the...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   Vol. 6, № 17. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week with an examination of the reasons for Saudi King Salman’s non-attendance at the Camp David summit in the US and note that while it may not be...

A Political Earthquake Hits Saudi Arabia?

11 May 2015 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr Emile Nakhleh FDI Senior Visiting Fellow   Key Points The recent unexpected succession architecture decreed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud transfers the leadership of the country from the children of the country’s founder to a new generation of grandchildren, in particular Muhammad bin Salman and Muhammad bin Nayef. The succession decrees,...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 6, № 16   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week with a look at post-earthquake Nepal, where the prognosis for disease outbreaks ahead of the monsoon season is not good. We then turn to the Middle East,...

Australia-India Relations: The Prime Ministerial Nexus

5 May 2015 | Associate Papers

Download PDF   Dr Auriol Weigold FDI Associate   Key Points   Despite the stated intentions of Prime Ministers Abbott and Modi, any enhancement of the bilateral relationship will depend on Modi’s willingness to engage outside his priority national interests: Russia, the United States and China, and on his regional ambitions. Engagement with India, Abbott-style,...

Strategic Weekly Anlaysis

29 April 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 6, № 15   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week with an examination of the recent presidential elections held in Sudan that the current incumbent, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, won with a landslide majority of 94 per cent....

Strategic Weekly Analysis

22 April 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 6, № 14   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week with an examination of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Canada to acquire uranium to fuel India’s nuclear reactors over the next five years. We find...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

15 April 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Download PDF     Vol. 6, № 13.   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week in Pakistan, where we review the decision of the Pakistani Parliament to launch a consultative initiative with Turkey to find a diplomatic settlement to...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

8 April 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 6, № 12   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week with an analysis of the Iran-US nuclear negotiations. We examine some of the terms of the proposed agreement and analyse those to determine if the agreement is...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

1 April 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   Vol. 6, № 11 From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin with an analysis of the deft economic diplomacy displayed by Indonesian President Joko Widodo who, on his visit to north-east Asia, has secured closer co-operation and investment...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

25 March 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 6, № 10     From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. Following World Water Day on 22 March, we take a timely look at the progress made on two key water-sharing projects: in Africa, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and, in...

Eastern Hurdles to the Modi Government’s Foreign Policy

24 March 2015 | Associate Papers

Download PDF   Vikas Kumar FDI Associate Key Points   India’s border with Bangladesh – its second-largest South Asian neighbour – is longer than its borders with China and Pakistan. Ironically, India is inching towards completing the border fencing along the frontier with Bangladesh, and the two countries are on the verge of resolving their...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

18 March 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 6, № 9. From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. With World Water Day just around the corner, on 22 March, we take the opportunity to consider the role that water plays in sustainable development. Given that the Indian Ocean Region...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

11 March 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 6, № 7. Vol. 6, № 8. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s coverage with an examination of some of the key factors that have contributed to the dramatic drop in public support for Indonesian president Joko Widodo. Next, we assess...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

4 March 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 6, № 7. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s edition begins with an analysis of Kenya’s maize production, the problems the industry faces, including the decision of some farmers to cultivate roses instead of food crops such as maize and how its ties...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

25 February 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   Vol. 6, № 6. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s edition opens with an analysis of the need for India to upgrade its economic credentials and military capabilities, as well as undertake an overhaul at the Ministry of Defence, ahead of Prime Minister...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

18 February 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 6, №5. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week by considering the implications of the requirement that foreign purchases of Australian agricultural land totalling more than $15 million be cleared by the Foreign Investment Review Board. We find the experience of New...

South Africa: Energy Crisis Headlines Chaotic State of the Nation Address

13 February 2015 | Strategic Alerts

Resolving the country’s continuing electricity crisis is the top priority in an out-of-the-ordinary State of the Nation Address by President Jacob Zuma. Background President Zuma has used his annual State of the Nation Address, on 12 February, to announce measures intended to address the electricity shortages gripping South Africa.   Given deteriorating economic conditions, rising...

Indonesia’s Energy Requirements – Part Two: Future Energy Demands

12 February 2015 | Associate Papers

Download PDF   Stewart Patterson FDI Associate Summary Despite a preponderance of energy reserves, Indonesia is facing a number of challenges in ensuring that it has sufficient energy supplies to support its continued economic growth. Looking ahead, a lack of power generation capacity, limited investment in the energy sector and the relative decline of production...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

11 February 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 6, № 4.   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. Our coverage opens this week with an investigation into the prospects of an imminent conclusion to the protracted negotiations between India and Bangladesh over the water-sharing agreement for the Teesta River. Next, we turn to...

Indonesia’s Energy Requirements – Part One: Current Energy Dynamics

10 February 2015 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Stewart Patterson FDI Associate   Key Points Domestic consumption has been a key driver of Indonesian economic growth and, should growth remain stable, result in increased demand for energy in the future. Energy supply broadly has not been sufficient to meet increasing demand and consumption trends, both internationally and domestically. Electricity generation will...

Strategic Weekly Anlaysis

4 February 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol.6, № 3 From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin with analysis of two political balancing acts. In the first, following on from our commentary last week, we examine India’s manoeuvring between China and Russia on the one hand and the West on...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

28 January 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   Vol. 6, № 2. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we open with an analysis of US President Barack Obama’s visit to India, including the possible implications for Australia. Looking next to the Middle East, we assess the approaches that may be taken...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

21 January 2015 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Download PDF Vol. 6, № 1. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the first Strategic Weekly Analysis of 2015. We open this week’s edition with an analysis of what could be a thaw in China-US relations and the possible benefit to Australia. Turning our attention to oil pricing, we examine the...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

10 December 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   Vol. 5, № 46.   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the final Strategic Weekly Analysis of 2014. This week’s edition begins with an analysis of the re-launched Health Star Rating (HSR) System, which will be an important means of providing consumers with more accessible information on food nutrition....

Strategic Weekly Analysis

3 December 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   Vol. 5, № 45. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open this week’s edition with an examination of Tanzania’s efforts to battle the corruption that plagues its energy sector. The country could lose much of its foreign aid if action is not taken soon....

SAARC Summit 2014: Long Term Opportunities and Immediate Threats

28 November 2014 | Associate Papers

Download PDF   Mirza Sadaqat Huda FDI Associate   Key Points Though often criticised for its perceived underperformance, breakthroughs at SAARC have been achieved on the sidelines of its Summits. These have come about despite the constraints placed on it by Article X of its Charter and the Indo-Pakistan rivalry. SAARC remains the only channel...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

26 November 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 5, № 44. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open this week’s edition with an examination of the potential that a Free Trade Agreement could hold for the Australianagricultural sector, particularly in terms of this country’s expertise in research, services and technology. Turning to...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

19 November 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 5, № 43. From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s edition begins with a discussion marking World Toilet Day. Access to improved water and sanitation is crucial to support development and economic growth in the Indo-Pacific Region. Greater investment, however, is urgently required...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

12 November 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 5, № 42   From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s edition with an examination of the communal violence against the Muslim Rohingya minority in Buddhist-majority Burma, resulting in over 100 thousand Rohingya fleeing the country and a further 700 thousand...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

5 November 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Download PDF   Vol. 5, № 41 From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s edition in Saudi Arabia where a criminal court has imposed the death sentence on a prominent Shi’a cleric. This could set off communal violence between its Shi’a and Sunni citizens...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

29 October 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   Vol. 5, № 40   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s edition with an examination of the rising tensions along the Iran-Pakistan border. Sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims only serves to further exacerbate the violence. Turning to Yemen, we...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

22 October 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 5, № 39   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We start this week’s edition with an examination of Iran’s threat to strike Israel if the US strikes Assad in Syria. Given the stated US resolve to strike both Assad and Islamic State insurgents, Iran’s...

Strategic Weekly Anlaysis

15 October 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   Vol. 5, № 38   From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s edition begins with an examination of the situation in Somalia. We note that corruption and ethnic strife in the country overshadows the recent military strikes against the al Shabaab group, adding...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

8 October 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 5, № 37.     From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s edition begins with an examination of India’s growing nuclear transparency. This development has enabled Indian delegates who met with their American counterparts in Washington to re-start the staled nuclear co-operation between the...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

1 October 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF      Vol. 5, № 36. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s edition begins with an examination of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the USA. During his visit, Mr Modi was issued with a summons. This report examines whether the potential development...

Household and Commercial Waste Disposal, Asset Not Liability – The Pressing Need for Better Management of Western Australia’s Waste: Ian Marshall

30 September 2014 | Feature Interviews

  Download PDF Key Points There must be a better way to use and manage urban waste than depositing it into landfill. Currently, Western Australia lags behind the other mainland states in its waste management practices. By 2020 it is estimated that Perth annually will produce over 7 million tonnes of waste The Western Australian...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

24 September 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Vol. 5, № 35. Vol. 5, № 35. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s edition opens in the Middle East, where we consider whether Iran can draw closer to the West, in light of the common threat posed by the radical ISIL....

Strategic Weekly Analysis

17 September 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   Vol. 5, № 34. From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s edition opens in the Middle East, where we analyse the implications of the decision by Qatar to ask leaders of the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood to leave the country. We...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

10 September 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF     Vol. 5, № 33.   From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin by examining the threat posed by the Islamic State to food and water security in Iraq. Despite being dislodged from the strategic – and vulnerable – Mosul Dam,...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

3 September 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   Vol. 5, № 32.   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open this week’s edition with further analysis of the potential for the Islamic State extremist movement to attract support in Indonesia. Building on last week’s coverage, we conclude that the prospects of IS gaining widespread support in...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

27 August 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   Vol. 5, № 31. From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s edition with an analysis of the potential for the Islamic State extremist movement to attract support in Indonesia and how Jakarta may be able to prevent that happening. Turning to...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

20 August 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 5, № 30. Download PDF     From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open this week’s edition with an analysis of the possibility that the extremist Islamist State militia, in concert with radical Pakistani cleric Abdul Maulana Aziz, may be turning its attention towards the...

India’s Defence Budget, Strategic Orientation and Military Modernisation

15 August 2014 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Balaji Chandramohan FDI Visiting Fellow   Key Points The July 2014 Union Budget sets the military’s allocation at US$38.35 billion and raises the foreign investment limit in the domestic defence industry from 26 per cent to 49 per cent, to boost modernisation. The defence budget accounts for 1.78% of GDP and 12.76% of...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

13 August 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 5, № 29. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open this week’s edition with an examination of the likelihood of an Indo-Japanese civil nuclear agreement. We also consider the role that India’s negotiations for a similar agreement with Australia may play in that. Next,...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

6 August 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   Vol. 5, № 28.   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin our coverage this week in Indonesia with an analysis of the role that the Indonesian parliament may play in both the latest challenge launched by defeated presidential contender Prabowo Subianto and in...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

30 July 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   Vol. 5, № 27. From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s edition in Iraq, with an assessment of the importance of the country’s dams in the strategy of the Islamic State militia group.   Next, we look at relations between India...

Turn-Around Means Prabowo will Challenge Indonesian Election Result as Confusion Continues

24 July 2014 | Strategic Alerts

Prabowo Subianto’s eleventh-hour decision to challenge the outcome of the 9 July presidential election in the Constitutional Court is unlikely to alter the overall result, given the margin of victory enjoyed by Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.   Background In a dramatic turn-around, unsuccessful presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto will now challenge the election result, his team’s chief...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

23 July 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   Vol. 5, № 26. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open this week’s edition with an analysis of Saudi Arabia’s renewed interest in India. A long-time friend of Pakistan, the Kingdom is now showing a great deal of interest in India. We consider the...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

16 July 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Download PDF Vol. 5, № 25.   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s edition begins in Indonesia with an analysis of the ongoing uncertainty following last week’s presidential election. The lack of a clear victor, with both candidates claiming to have won, and a possible...

The Role of Mycorrhizal Fungi in Regenerating Healthy Soils and Agricultural Productivity: Walter Jehne and Phil Lee

10 July 2014 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF   Key Points A type of fungi known as ‘mycorrhizal fungi’ forms an integral link between 98 per cent of the world’s flora and their soils, which assist plants in accessing limited essential nutrients. Over the past 60 years, however, industrial agricultural practices, such as the overuse of agricultural inputs, have significantly impaired...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 5, № 24.   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open this week’s edition with a discussion of the new star-rated healthy food rating system, to be introduced to Australian consumers next month. Next, we turn to Pakistan and analyse the importance to its...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 5, № 23.   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s issue with a consideration of India’s possible response to the latest map produced by Beijing, which includes the disputed territory of Arunachal Pradesh within China’s borders. Our next article looks at...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

25 June 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   Vol. 5, № 22. From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, FDI is delighted to release its latest Landmark Study, Food and Water Security: Our Global Challenge. To download the study, please click here.     We begin this week’s Strategic Weekly Analysis by...

Strategic Weekly Anlaysis

18 June 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Vol. 5, № 21. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open this week’s edition with a look at Australia’s live cattle trade with the Middle East and ask, can Australia compete with Brazil? The two countries will increasingly compete for market space in...

Distributed Water – A Concept that Western Australia Cannot Ignore: Ian Marshall

13 June 2014 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF   Key Points Mine sites are currently extracting water from aquifers in the Pilbara and Mid-West regions at an unsustainable rate, whereby available groundwater resources will be placed under significant pressure in the next ten to fifteen years. The Water Project aims to transport 1,000 gigalitres (GL; one GL = one billion litres;...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

11 June 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 5, № 20. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week with a warning that this year will see the return of the El Niño weather pattern, which may once again disrupt food supplies and political stability. Still on the subject of food...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 5, №19. Download PDF     From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open this week’s coverage with an evaluation by FDI Senior Visiting Fellow Associate Professor Claude Rakisits of the implications of the fracturing of the Pakistani Taliban.   Next, we examine the issue of the...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Vol. 5, № 18. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open this week’s coverage by evaluating the implications of the decision by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to accept an invitation to the swearing-in ceremony of Indian Prime Minister-elect, Narendra Modi. Keeping the...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Vol. 5, № 17. Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open this week’s coverage with an assessment of the implications of the election of Narendra Modi for the India-US relationship. Staying in India we examine the issue of Modi’s stated intention to...

Australia-India Strategic Relations: The Odd Couple of the Indian Ocean?

20 May 2014 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr David Brewster FDI Associate Key Points The Australia-India relationship has come a long way over the last decade, but it will require significant political will on both sides to give it more substance. Bilateral trade has blossomed in recent years, although two-way investment is still relatively undeveloped. A free trade agreement is...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 5, № 16. Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s coverage with an analysis of the general and provincial elections in South Africa. In the country’s fifth post-apartheid poll, the ruling African National Congress has secured a comfortable win at...

Time to Start Banking our Water

9 May 2014 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Professor Craig Simmons FDI Associate   Ninety-five per cent of Australia’s fresh water is held in artesian basins and other forms of groundwater. Despite increasing droughts and declining rain in eastern and southern Australia, public investment in water research and management is close to a 30-year low. Further consideration needs to be given...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 5, № 15. Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week with a discussion of the decision by the Egyptian Interim Government to reform the increasingly costly subsidy system that is crippling the country’s economy.  Next, we assess the outlook for investor...

Beyond the Status Quo – Boosting Australia-Indonesia Agricultural Ties: Ross Taylor AM

2 May 2014 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF   Key Points Although the agricultural relationship between Australia and Indonesia has been strained in recent years, especially since the controversial suspension of live cattle exports in 2011, things are improving and there is significant potential in the future.    Indonesia’s growing middle class and close proximity to Australia should be key factors...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

30 April 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 5, № 14 Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week with a look at the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which predicts serious consequences for this country’s agricultural sector. Next, we look at India and analyse...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

23 April 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 5, № 13. Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. Future Directions International Senior Visiting Fellow, Professor Lindsay Falvey, has very kindly offered a free copy of his latest book to the first 20 people who contact him directly at lindsay.falvey@gmail.com. Titled Beliefs that...

Climate Change and the Future Governance of the Micro-Island States of the Indian Ocean Region

17 April 2014 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Vikas Kumar FDI Associate Key Points The micro-island states of the Indian Ocean Region face an uncertain future due to climate change. Some of those countries do not have sufficient resources to deal with the challenges facing them, even as their ethno-linguistic heritage, biodiversity and, in a few cases, even existence are endangered....

Strategic Weekly Analysis

16 April 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 5, № 12. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s edition in Indonesia, with an assessment of what might be expected from a Joko Widodo presidency. Returning home, we review the success of Australia’s North-Asia Trade Mission and the likely benefits of...

The Role of Wildfires in the Ecology of the Australian Landscape and its Regeneration

10 April 2014 | Associate Papers

  Walter Jehne FDI Associate Download PDF Key Points Wildfires are becoming more intense, thus threatening the survival of our natural and agricultural bio-systems. Between 30 and 120 million hectares burn each year, releasing some 5 to 30 tonnes of Carbon per hectare. Returning to natural ecological grazing that limits fuel levels may be the...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

9 April 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Vol. 5, № 11. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s edition with an assessment of the presidential election held in Afghanistan on 5 April. Next, we look at the food security implications for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

2 April 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

 Vol. 5, №10. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s edition with an evaluation of the challenges posed to Indonesia by a high fertility rate. Our next piece examines the latest developments in the Iran-Pakistan and Nepal-India-China relationships. We then look at...

Pakistan’s Fragile Periphery

27 March 2014 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Vikas Kumar FDI Associate Key Points The relationship between its ethno-linguistic provinces and territories is a crucial determinant of the territorial integrity of Pakistan. Punjab is the only province of Pakistan that has both an abiding material interest in the integrity of the country and, possibly, the means to protect its interest through...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

26 March 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 5, № 9. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s edition by examining the long-term food security in the Philippines after the destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan. Moving west, we analyse the threat posed by the Don Sahong Dam to food security...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

19 March 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 5, № 8. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open this week’s edition by marking World Water Week with an analysis of the water-energy nexus as the greatest challenge in managing resources sustainably into the future. In Australia, increasing cross-industry co-operation and management will...

Can the World Feed China?

18 March 2014 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Lester R. Brown President, Earth Policy Institute     Key Points China has become a leading world grain importer. With population growth slowing, this rise in grain use is largely the result of China’s huge population moving up the food chain and consuming more grain based meat, milk and eggs. In 2013, the...

Regenerate Australia: The Concept

13 March 2014 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Walter Jehne FDI Associate   Key Points Soils and bio-systems throughout Australia are generally in decline, leading to a loss of arable land, with serious water, food, economic and environmental consequences. Australia urgently needs to focus on regenerating the health and resilience of its soils and landscapes to reverse this decline and better...

Strategic Weekly Anlaysis

12 March 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Vol. 5, № 7 Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open this week’s edition with an analysis of the longstanding relationship between India and Russia. Despite having drawn closer to Washington, New Delhi’s primary ally will continue to be Moscow.    Next,...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

5 March 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Vol. 5, № 6 Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s edition with an analysis of the agreement between Indonesia and Jordan to boost their bilateral relationship. The agreement is the latest push from Jakarta in a more active foreign...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

26 February 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 5, № 5. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we open in India, with an analysis of the latest foreign policy pronouncements on China and Pakistan from Prime Ministerial contender, Narendra Modi. Next, we report on the importance of water security at the...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

19 February 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 5, № 4. Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. FDI extends its apologies to those readers who, owing to technical difficulties experienced by our Internet Service Provider, did not receive last week’s Strategic Weekly Analysis. We regret any inconvenience that may have caused and...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

12 February 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 5, № 3. Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin by analysing the implications of the growing energy links between India and shale oil and gas giant, Canada. Next, FDI Senior Visiting Fellow Dr Emile Nakhleh takes us to Egypt, with...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

5 February 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 5, № 2. Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin with an examination of the Indonesian ban on the export of unprocessed minerals and its effects on the country’s resources industry. Next, we look at the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

29 January 2014 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 5, № 1 Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the first Strategic Weekly Analysis for 2014. We start this year’s publication with a discussion of the challenges facing the world as a result of scarcity in the water-energy nexus. The World Bank has recently launched an initiative aimed...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

18 December 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 47. Download PDF From the Editor's Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis, our final edition for 2013. This has been a busy year with a record number of publications. In 2013, our Associate numbers passed 4,000 and an ever-increasing number of people have viewed our website, with over...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

11 December 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 46. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin in Iran and examine the regional concerns being caused by its plans to build a second nuclear reactor. We also look at its strengthening ties with India. On the subject of India’s...

Holistic Management and the Regeneration of Northern Australia: Moira Lanzarin

10 December 2013 | Feature Interviews

  Download PDF Key Points   If a well-paced approach is taken, we test our decisions as we proceed, and we tailor the strategy to the northern context, the Regenerate Australia concept is definitely achievable for Northern Australia. Implementation of the concept should be taken in a staged process that focuses on perfecting methods on...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

4 December 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 45. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin in the Middle East, where we look at some of the implications of the nascent nuclear deal with Iran. Moving east, we analyse three important developments underway in India. First, we...

Indonesia Considers Cutting Australian Beef Imports: Future Implications

28 November 2013 | Strategic Alerts

While the recent spying scandal is unlikely to result in Indonesia suspending beef imports from Australia, it may further encourage Jakarta to look to other markets in the future, leading to a reduction in Australian exports. Background The fallout from the Indonesian spying scandal has continued this week, with Jakarta warning it may cut its...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

27 November 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 44. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open this week’s edition with an on-the-ground report from FDI Research Analyst Sinéad Lehanein Thailand, where the controversial Pak Mun Dam may soon be decommissioned amid major protests in Bangkok. Following the recent conclusion...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

20 November 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 43 Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s edition with an analysis of China’s decision to relax the longstanding one child policy. Next, we move to the Middle East, where we examine a new energy production initiative in Yemen.  Following...

The In Amenas Gas Facility Attack: A New Mindset Required for Corporate Sector

18 November 2013 | Associate Papers

Jason Thomas FDI Associate Download PDF   Keypoints Conventional approaches to security are not designed to cope with asymmetric attacks by terrorists and insurgents who have total disregard for Western constructs and values, such as the Voluntary Principles on Human Rights and Security. Among the measures required is an ability to adopt an imaginative mindset,...

Saudi Anger Masks Concern about Loss of Influence

14 November 2013 | Associate Papers

  Dr Emile Nakhleh FDI Associate Download PDF Key Points Several fundamental contradictions underpin Riyadh’s spat with Washington. They include Iran, the Palestinians, oil and Syria. Saudi Arabia’s frustration with the United States masks the kingdom’s growing concern about its diminishing influence in the event of a possible US-Iranian rapprochement. It is unrelated to US...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

13 November 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 42 Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, following the recent round of P5+1 negotiations between Iran and the West, we open with a look at efforts by the Iranian leadership to attract more buyers for the country’s oil.   Still in...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

6 November 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Vol. 4, № 41.   Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters,   Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. At the meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers in Perth late last week, Australia took up the role of Chair. We begin this week’s edition by considering some...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

30 October 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 40. Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin in Yemen, where a seven-point national food security strategy is to be reactivated. Remaining with the issue offood security, the 2013 Global Hunger Index reveals the extent of progress made in...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

23 October 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 39. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we open in the Middle East, where we consider a number of factors pointing towards a certain degree of liberalisation among the Gulf States, especially Qatar and Saudi Arabia, even if from differing sources....

Regenerate Australia: Our Greatest Challenge and Opportunity. A Conceptual Paper

22 October 2013 | Associate Papers

  Soils for Life and Future Directions International Download PDF   Key Points Soils and bio-systems in northern Australia are in decline, leading to a loss of arable land and fibre production, with consequent social, economic and environmental problems. Up to 30 million hectares burn each year, emitting 5 to 50 tonnes of carbon per...

Sustainability, Agricultural Development and the World’s Future Food Needs

8 October 2013 | Workshop Reports

Download PDF Lauren Power Research Manager Global Food and Water Crises Research Programme   Summary The final round of consultations hosted by Future Directions International’s Global Food and Water Crises Research Programme used the outcomes of previous roundtables to examine the issue of sustainability in farming systems and its importance in meeting future food needs....

Strategic Weekly Analysis

2 October 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 36. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we complete our five-part series analysing the role of subsidies in the global food system and their impact on food security. The final instalment investigates the global effects of the US Farm Bill. Next,...

Al Shabaab’s Attack on the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya: Professor Samuel Makinda

27 September 2013 | Feature Interviews

  Download PDF Key Points The attack on the Westgate shopping mall is the outcome of internal struggle within Al Shabaab. It has the potential to act as a major recruitment vehicle for Al Shabaab. The attack will not destroy the social fabric of Kenya; in fact, it has already caused Kenyans to grow more...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

25 September 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 35. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. In this week’s edition, FDI analyses Indonesia’s economy and Jakarta’s need for further reforms. Moving to Bangladesh, we look at the rising cost of fertiliser and ask if there could be a cheaper, more viable alternative....

Farming Sustainability Series Part III: Sundrop Farms – Growing with Seawater and Sunlight

19 September 2013 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF     Key Points Significant cost advantages can be gained by reducing the use of non-renewable and limited resources such as oil and fresh water. By employing solar desalination technology, Sundrop Farms has created an agricultural system that is both profitable and environmentally sustainable. The focus of food security planning in the Middle...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

18 September 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 34. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week with Indonesia’s plans to purchase around one million hectares of Australian farmland as part of its food security strategy. Still in Australia, we report onthe attendance of Future Directions International’s chairman, Major...

Farming Sustainability Series Part II: Sustainability in Australian Farming Systems

12 September 2013 | Feature Interviews

  Download PDF   Key Points While there is some potential for large-scale corporate farming in Sub Saharan Africa, this is not the answer to food sustainability issues on most of the continent. Rather, the focus should be placed on empowering smallhold farmers. One of the primary challenges facing the Australian agriculture industry is rising...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

11 September 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 33. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin in Indonesia, with an analysis of plans to relax a number of mining restrictions that have made the country one of the world’s least attractive destinations for foreign miners. Heading to Africa,...

Farming Sustainability Series Part I: Smallholder Farming, Future Food Needs and Sustainability

6 September 2013 | Feature Interviews

  Download PDF Key Points The discourse on “sustainable intensification” has much to gain from an understanding of traditional agricultural methods developed by smallholder farmers that have taken the cost of environmental excesses into account and have adapted agricultural systems that have long-term sustainability.  Food security is often conflated with poverty as development organisations tend...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

4 September 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 32 Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin in Mozambique, with an analysis of the increasing demands for an end to the tax exemptions given to mega-projectsand the implications that may have for companies operating in the resources sector there....

Uncertainty, Upheavals and Future Developments in the Middle East: Dr Emile Nakhleh

29 August 2013 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF Key Points The changes that have swept the Middle East in recent times are a phenomenon that is entirely new to the region: “people power”. While they have complicated the West’s relations with the region, they have not benefitted al-Qaida, either.    Initially non-sectarian, the unrest has come to take on a sectarian...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

28 August 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 31 Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week’s edition with the first of a series of five case studies produced by the Global Food and Water Crises Research Programme. The series will examine the role of subsidies in the...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

21 August 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

 Vol. 4, № 30 Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, In this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis, FDI analyses the implications of overdrawing from the High Plains Aquifer system in the USA. We consider the threat it poses to US agricultural production and exports, and the resulting impact upon globally...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

14 August 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 29. Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin with an examination of the motivations behind the purchase of hi-tech weaponry by Qatar, the UAE and Bahrain, and ask if these states are moving to ensure their own...

Peak Water: What Happens When The Wells Go Dry?

8 August 2013 | Associate Papers

  Lester R. Brown President, Earth Policy Institute   Download PDF   Key Points   Peak water poses a greater threat to our future than peak oil. We can produce food without oil but not without water. Overpumping of aquifers has created water-based food bubbles, which will burst once aquifers are depleted. Among the countries...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

31 July 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 27 Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin in the Middle East, by investigating a proposal from the  Gulf Co-operation Council to implement a joint water supply system, intended to mitigate the potential impacts of a disaster at the Bushehr...

Post-2014 Afghanistan: Another King upon an Ant Hill?

19 July 2013 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Jason Thomas FDI Associate Key Points Modern governments are often poor students of Afghanistan’s history. The US/ISAF governments, including Australia, have not clearly articulated why remaining in Afghanistan post-2014 is in our direct foreign policy interests. The West needs to resist falling into the trap of remaining in Afghanistan out of guilt for...

Africa’s “Resource Boom” and the Potential Impact on Australian Mining

12 July 2013 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF   Key Points As competition in the mining sector grows, it appears that Australia, specifically Western Australia, is struggling to remain competitive. Due to various factors including the associated high costs, the country is becoming less attractive as cheaper and more profitable options are available for the mining sector. Africa has been identified...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

10 July 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 24. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s issue begins with coverage of the evolving situation in Egypt. The recent removal of the democratically elected Morsi by the military, poses significant challenges to Washington’s influence in the area. In Malaysia, the potential...

India, the United States and South Asia: Potential Strains and Complications

4 July 2013 | Associate Papers

Download PDF N. Sathiya Moorthy FDI Associate Key Points The US is beginning to be seen as not doing enough to support India in the post-Cold War era. Reports emanating from both public and political fora refer to US engagement with individual countries in South Asia, possibly behind the back of India and with indifference...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 23 Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters,   Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s issue begins with coverage of the evolving situation in Egypt as the political standoff between President Morsi clings to power in the face of increasing pressure from the country’s army. Closer to...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

26 June 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s issue begins by looking at Indonesia’s decision to remove government fuel subsidies and the role that can play in boosting the country’s future economic growth. In Afghanistan, Kubul’s recent request to India for arms puts New Dehli...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

19 June 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 21 Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s issue begins with a review of the political turmoil in India. It considers the recent movements within the opposition, BJP-led, National Democratic Alliance, that are threatening to split apart the coalition. In Sri...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

12 June 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 4, № 20 From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s issue begins with a look at the benefits for Australia of rising demand for meat and dairy products in Asia and the Middle East. With the agricultural sector currently experiencing historically high commodity...

Strategic Weekly Anlaysis

   Vol. 4, №19. Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s issue begins with a look at the latest developments in the Naxalite Rebellion in India’s “Red Corridor”. We then consider Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s recent visit to New Delhi, including the implications of...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

 Vol. 4, № 18.Download PD  Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s issue begins with a report on the objectives of the Australian Government’s newly-announced National Food Plan. We then examine the potential for increased Australian exports to Qatar, in light of the recent visit...

The China-India Border Issue in 2013: Point and Counter-Point

28 May 2013 | Associate Papers

Download PDF  The China-India Border Issue in 2013: Point and Counter-Point Summary On 15 April around thirty Chinese soldiers crossed an unguarded section of the China-India border – the Line of Actual Control (LAC) – and set up camp, reportedly nineteen kilometres inside territory India claims. In itself this was not an unheard of incident;...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 4, № 17. From the Editor’s Desk Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s issue starts with coverage of the Second Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Thailand, and the Thai government’s unveiling of its new multi-million dollar water management project. Next, we examine how new Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif will address issues...

Food and Fuel Forever

20 May 2013 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Julian Cribb FDI Associate Australia depends critically on imported fuels for its food security and economy. This study explores a new industry with scope to make this country 100% self-sufficient in transport fuels and food, forever. This discussion paper was written pro bono publico by science writer, Julian Cribb FTSE. His aim is...

Violence against Minorities Will Defeat the Purpose of Bangladesh War Crimes Trials

17 May 2013 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr Anand Kumar FDI Associate Key Points The issue of war crimes trials was taken up by the Awami League in the run-up to the 2008 elections. The League felt that radical elements had grown stronger because they were not punished in the immediate aftermath of the 1971 Liberation War. The war crimes...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Download PDF  Vol. 4, № 16.  From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s issue starts in Bangledesh with an analysis of the recent unrest, where clashes between Islamist hardliners and security forces have increased with the war crimes tribunal handing down further verdicts. Next, FDI...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 15.  Download PDF    From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s issue starts with an examination of Indonesian interest in purchasing Australian cattle farms to provide for growing middle class demand for beef at the expense of their policy of self-sufficiency. Still on...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Reducing Disaster Risks In Indonesia Now a Major Issue for Australia Pressure on China As Burma Opens Up To Western Investors Tensions Grow As China and India Face Off Over Territorial Claims India’s Infrastructure Boost Looks like a Case of Political Jitters Iran-Pakistan Pipeline Offers Way around Sanctions Soaring Food Prices Cause Alarm in Iran...

Bahrain: Genuine Constitutional Monarchy Only Way Out for Al-Khalifa Dynasty

29 April 2013 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr Emile Nakhleh FDI Associate   Key Points The future of the Bahraini ruling family is in jeopardy because of continuing social unrest and a deepening rift within the family. The government’s crackdown has failed to defeat the opposition or to silence their demands for tangible political and economic reform. There are signs...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

24 April 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 13 Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk  Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s issue starts with New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully. He is at the half-way point of his tour of Europe and Southern African countries, as New Zealand begins to take a greater interest in...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

17 April 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Vol 4, No. 12 Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s issue starts with the recent agreement between Australia and India to share Australian water modelling technology, to assist India in developing water resource management plans to address its worsening water security issues. We...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

10 April 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 11. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s issue focusses on several issues involving India: how the current crisis in North Korea and the distraction of China may allow India greater strategic manoeuvrability; the brewing India-China space race; and a review of...

Iran’s Nuclear Compromise: Will the Latest Rounds of Talks Achieve Anything?

4 April 2013 | Strategic Alerts

Background The P5+1 talks being held tomorrow follow two previous rounds, one in Almaty, Kazakhstan from 26-27 February and a meeting of experts in Istanbul, Turkey on 17-18 March. Though the outcomes are vague and highly tentative currently, they set the scene for further discussions tomorrow. The talks are likely to be baby-steps towards a...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

3 April 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 10. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin in Indonesia. We examine the acceleration of plans to build a giant sea wall in order to alleviate Jakarta’s frequent flooding. We then analyse India’s reaction to the recent Global Arms Trade...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

27 March 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 9. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin in South Asia. First, we examine the burgeoning Chinese arms industry and its relevance to Indo-Pakistani relations. We then analyse Sri Lanka’s drift towards China, finding it a consequence of policy...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

20 March 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 8. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we open with an examination of the Indian military’s moves into space, as New Delhi seeks to match China’s space programme. Still in South Asia, we report on the recent AMAN-13 international naval exercise...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

13 March 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 7. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin in Kenya. We consider the implications of last week’s presidential election, before looking at the potentially revolutionary usage of mobile phone technology for real-time data collection in the Kenyan livestock industry. Next,...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

6 March 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 6. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week we start in Africa, examining a report on the launch of the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund, an initiative funded and led by Africans to improve food security across the continent. Next, we consider the results of the...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

27 February 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 5. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin in the Middle East, with an examination of the steadily deteriorating food security situation in Yemen. Moving across to India, we report on the interest being generated there by the System of Rice Intensification; a...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

20 February 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 4. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin with Iran. We analyse the results of the latest round of talks between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, before examining Iran’s response to the increasingly warm relationship between its...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

13 February 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 3. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we start with Burma. First, we consider the changing nature of Australia’s policy as the formerly isolated country comes in from the cold. We then evaluate the prospects for peace talks between the Burmese Government and the...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

6 February 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 2. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week we begin by looking to India and examining some key cross-border issues for New Delhi; first, with China over the potential damming or diversion of the Yarlung Tsangpo (or Brahmaputra) River and then with...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

30 January 2013 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 4, № 1. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the first Strategic Weekly Analysis  of 2013 and a warm welcome back to all our friends and Associates. As before, the SWA will be delivered to your e-mail inbox every Wednesday. This week, we look first to Africa to investigate...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

12 December 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. On 5 December, I attended the West Australian Department of Commerce’s event “Going Global with Africa”. The event included presentations from members of Austrade and representatives of the minerals sector and highlighted the positive trends and...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

5 December 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, №43 Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. On 4 December, FDI hosted Ms Nan Fife, Head of the Political Section at the US embassy in Canberra. The roundtable event concentrated on Future Direction’s research and analysis on developments in the...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

28 November 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, №42 Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. On 26-27 November, I attended the University of Western Australia’s conference “In the Zone”. The 2012 conference examined a range of strategic issues, ranging from economic growth to foreign capital management, infrastructure development,...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

21 November 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, №41 Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. On 13 November, I attended the launch of the Perth USAsia Centre, at the University of Western Australia. Professor Bates Gill from the United States Studies Centre at Sydney University officiated. Other speakers...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

14 November 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, №40 Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. Last week, FDI had the pleasure of chairing the 2012 Annual National Security and Strategy Workshop. Titled ‘Secured Prosperity: Border Security, Critical Infrastructure Protection & Strategic Sustainability of the State & the Nation’,...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

7 November 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, №39 Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. Last week, we were pleased to publish a FDI Feature Interview with Doctor Claude Rakisits, a Senior Lecturer in Strategic Studies at Deakin University. He is also the Director of the MA (Strategic...

Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Future: Dr Claude Rakisits

1 November 2012 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF Key Points The 2013 Pakistani elections are likely to produce a government that is very similar to the current one with a continuation of existing policies that might best be characterised as “muddling through”. The departure of the ISAF forces from Afghanistan in 2014 will have a significant impact on Pakistan because the...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

31 October 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 3, № 38 From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. Late last week, members of FDI attended a reception at the home of the Japanese Consul General. It was held in honour of Vice Admiral Hideaki Kaneda, JMSDF (ret.), and organised in...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

24 October 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF  Vol. 3, №37 From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. Last Friday, FDI attended a public lecture on Islamic finance, held by the Centre for Muslim States and Societies. The talk, by Ph.D. candidate Anne-Sophie Gintzburger, presented research on the global structure of...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

17 October 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 3, № 36. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week we published a Strategic Analysis Paper titled New Delhi Looks (South)-East: India-New Zealand Relationship Evolving into Indo-Pacific Strategic Partnership. Written by Visiting Fellow, Balaji Chandramohan, the paper notes that India’s...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

10 October 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, №35. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, This has been a busy week for FDI. Three of us attended the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee Inquiry into the Indian Ocean Region. Visiting Fellow Saloni Salil, a post-graduate research scholar from the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

3 October 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

 Vol. 3, №34. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week we published a Strategic Analysis Paper titled Australia, China and the United States: Maintaining an Equilibrium in the Indo-Pacific.  Written by Visiting Fellow, Saloni Salil, the paper proposes that Australia should...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

26 September 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF | Vol. 3, №34. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week’s “From the Editor’s Desk” will reflect a slightly different approach from previous SWAs. Instead of reflecting the outline of SWA items, it will describe research recently released or planned to...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

19 September 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 3, №34. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. Over the last week, FDI completed the move from premises in West Perth, to nearby Dalkeith. The move represents another exciting chapter as the organisation continues to evolve.  FDI Associate Paula Hanasz opens...

The Food, Energy and Water (FEW) Nexus and Gross National Happiness in Bhutan

13 September 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF   Paula Hanasz FDI Associate. Key Points Bhutan does not suffer chronic food, energy, or water insecurity. The export of hydro power constitutes most of Bhutan's revenue. Hydropower revenues facilitate the import of food to satisfy growing food demand. The Gross National Happiness principles ensure a socially equitable, economically beneficial, and environmentally sustainable...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

5 September 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 3, №34. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, Indian Ocean Research Manager, Leighton Luke, analyses Indian attempts to recoup revenue from companies exploiting the so-called “Mauritius Route” in attempts to minimise tax. Also in South Asia, the Food and...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

29 August 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF Vol. 3, №33. From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week, by forecasting challenges to Chinese food supply and prices, as the country battles drought and outbreaks of armyworm.    Next, the Indian Ocean Research Programme analyses the expansion prospects...

Welcome New Initiatives in Indo-Pakistan Energy Trade

27 August 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Manish Vaid Observer Research Foundation New Delhi Key Points The first meeting of the Experts’ Group on Trade in Petroleum and Petrochemical Products between India and Pakistan was held on 17-18 July 2012. The meeting discussed bilateral trade in diesel, furnace oil and natural gas in the wake of a severe electricity shortage...

Ethiopia Faces Uncertain Transition Following Death of Long-Term President

23 August 2012 | Strategic Alerts

Background Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s 20 August death ended weeks of speculation over his medical condition. A tense situation now exists regarding who will replace him and what impact this might have on Ethiopia and the region. Discussion Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will most likely act as the interim prime minister....

Strategic Weekly Analysis

22 August 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Vol. 3, №32. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week, by assessing the implications of the resignation of Afghanistan’s Defence Minister.   Next, the Food and Water Crisis Programme, analyses the prospects of expanding synergies between New Zealand...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

15 August 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, №31.   Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week, with a critique from FDI Associate, Commander S.S. Parmar on the geopolitical importance of Yongxing Island, and the strategic depth it gives China in the South China Sea....

Attack on New Zealand Soldiers Harbinger of Strategic Threat to Future of Afghanistan

13 August 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Jason Thomas FDI Associate   Key Points The two principal strategic threats to enabling the gains made in Afghanistan to stick once US-Coalition forces have withdrawn are the Haqqani Network and the quality of the Afghan National Security Forces. The Haqqani Network has turned asymmetric warfare into a business enterprise with safe havens...

Burma and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Claims, Controversies and Consequences

9 August 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr Andrew Selth FDI Senior Visiting Fellow Key Points For more than 30 years, Burma has been accused of secretly purchasing, producing and using weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Until 2000, these claims related only to chemical and biological weapons but, since then, attention has been focussed on Burma’s reported acquisition of nuclear...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

8 August 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

8 August 2012 | Vol. 3, №30. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin this week, by exploring the announcement of industrial military co-operation between China and Indonesia. FDI Associates, Margareth S. Aritonang and Novan Iman Santosa, consider this issue within...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

1 August 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

 Vol. 3, №29. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open this week’s edition with assessments from South Asia by two FDI Associates. Firstly, Dr Sandy Gordon considers the implications of communal violence in Assam, North-East India. Next, Rizwan Zeb provides an...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

25 July 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. In mid-July, Future Directions hosted a 1.5 track dialogue between Australian and Indian defence officials. This week, we open with a focus on the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation (IOR-ARC), a recurring theme...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

18 July 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

№27. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin with an assessment of the recent inquiry into education in the agricultural sector. The inquiry found that more needs to be done to encourage university students into the agricultural sector.  Next,...

India’s Strategic Perceptions: Dilemmas and Opportunities

12 July 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr Dalbir Ahlawat Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism Macquarie University, Sydney   Key Points India’s strategic orientation in the evolving power dynamic in South and East Asia will be increasingly directed towards building credible deterrence against, rather than attempting to contain, a rising China. The use of soft power while keeping open...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

11 July 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, №26. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin with an assessment of the latest sanctions and talks over Iran’s nuclear programme, analysing Tehran’s motivations and its future trajectory.           Next, we critique Chinese agricultural investment in Australia....

Strategic Weekly Analysis

№25 Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin by examining the opening of an oil pipeline, allowing the UAE to by-pass the Strait of Hormuz. This move is projected to further weaken Iran’s bargaining power, while improving economic prospects...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

27 June 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

From the Editor’s Desk Download PDF   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, Indian Ocean Research Manager, Leighton Luke, analyses the on-going ramifications of tensions between South Sudan and Sudan, and the prospects for peace. Next, we consider the limited prospects of a recent agreement between...

Pakistan: Gilani “Cops It Sweet” – For Now

22 June 2012 | Strategic Alerts

Background The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has apparently decided to accept the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and to try to avoid calling new elections. The job now is to choose a new Prime Minister and keep the minor coalition partners on side. As it is, elections are not scheduled...

Understanding China’s North-East and South Asia Policies

21 June 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr Vikas Kumar Assistant Professor Azim Premji University, Bangalore Key Points The capacity of the United States to credibly guarantee a stable international system in Asia may, in the future, become increasingly moot. In this context, aggressive posturing by China in territorial disputes is causing widespread concern in the Asia-Pacific region. Understanding China’s...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

20 June 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF  From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin by continuing our analysis of reform developments in Burma. Staying in south-east Asia, we examine the recent activities of Indonesian radical Islamic group ‘Front Pembela Islam’. Next we head to Pakistan and...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

13 June 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, № 22. Download PDF   From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, FDI Associate, Professor Sandy Gordon, analyses India’s position as a “swing state” between China and the US. Still on the topic of Indian diplomacy, we consider China-Indian relations in...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

  | Vol. 3, № 21. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters,   Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, the Energy Security Research Programme opens with an analysis of the developments and challenges in the re-emerging Iraqi hydrocarbon sector.    The South and West Asia...

The Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation: India Takes the Lead

1 June 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr Jivanta Schöttli South Asia Institute Heidelberg University, Germany   Key Points The origins of IOR-ARC were tenuous, given there was no shared cultural, historical identity or established economic interaction among its founding members to consolidate the organisation. The IOR-ARC has suffered from a lack of leadership, but now that India is, and...

The Sino-Australian Relationship: Towards A Brighter Future

31 May 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Fujian (Frank) Li FDI Visiting Fellow Key Points Although 40 years have passed since Australia and the People’s Republic of China established diplomatic relations, the relationship continues to present challenges and opportunities for both countries. In dealing with the more difficult aspects of the relationship, we can learn from history. Australia’s strategic dilemma...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Download PDF  Vol. 3, № 20.   From the Editor’s Desk     Dear FDI supporters,   Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin by examining recent elections in the southern African Kingdom of Lesotho. Staying in Africa, we analyse the impact of March’s coup in Mali on the nation’s,...

An Iranian Nuclear Resolution: Fraught with Difficulty

28 May 2012 | Strategic Alerts

Background The Baghdad talks finished at best on a hopeful note. While details are scarce, and there is no evidence of a substantial breakthrough, further discussions are contemplated. Both sides need an agreement. But do they have the capacity to achieve this given their inherent suspicions, different objectives and failure to reach any significant outcome...

Food and Water Insecurity: International Conflict Triggers & Potential Conflict Points

25 May 2012 | Workshop Reports

Download PDF Introduction FDI is to publish a Landmark Study on the potential nature and extent of global food and water crises between now and 2050. The study will seek to answer the following question: What is the extent of a possible global food and water crisis between now and 2050, how is it likely...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Vol. 3, №19.   Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters,   Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We begin by looking at food security talks at the G-8 Summit.     Next, we head to the Middle East to analyse last week’s Gulf Cooperation Council’s Advisory...

Trends in Afghan-Australia Relations: Ambassador Nasir Andisha

22 May 2012 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF     Key Points Afghanistan’s importance to Australia’s security is essentially the same as it is for all other western countries that are threatened by violent transnational extremism. Although major inroads have been made there are concerns that the reduced Australian military presence in Uruzgan Province could undermine the achievements that have been...

The End Game in Afghanistan: Pakistan’s Critical Role

21 May 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr Claude Rakisits FDI Associate     Key Points Pakistan has an important and critical role to play in the lead up to 2014, when the Coalition forces leave Afghanistan. Pakistan must be included at the negotiating table to provide the opportunity for any peace and stability. Pakistan wants to see a ‘friendly’...

Cost and Security of Electricity Generated by High Altitude Winds

18 May 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF In Australia and elsewhere, the winds at altitude are about eighty times more powerful and three times more persistent than the winds available to ground-based wind turbines. Harvesting this energy aloft gives the lowest cost of electricity in Australia and it addresses people's concerns about the ever-increasing price of electricity. The power availability...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

  Vol. 3, № 18. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters,   Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. We open with an assessment of food security in Nepal and the implications for its population. We then consider the findings of a Global Information and Early Warning System report...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

    Vol. 3, №17. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters,   Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we open with an analysis of the Iranian elections, discussing the potential implications for the nation’s nuclear programme. Still in Iran, FDI associate, Jahnu Russell, explores the impact...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, № 16. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin by examining the contentious issue of accessing the energy resources of the Arctic region. Still on the subject of energy, we also look at developments in the eastern...

Indonesia Must Choose Its Direction In 2012

30 April 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Yasmi Adriansyah FDI Associate Key Points Though progress has been made, corruption is still the biggest challenge confronting Indonesia. The coalition government headed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will come under increasing strain as the 2014 general election draws closer. The protection of Indonesian migrant workers abroad is becoming a more pressing concern...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

26 April 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, № 15. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we begin by looking at China’s ambitious plans to “drought-proof” the country, before reporting on the recent debate on food price volatility held at the United Nations General Assembly. Next,...

Maldives: Moving from Chaos to Stability?

26 April 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Professor Rohan Gunaratna FDI Associate Key Points Since democracy was established in the Maldives on 11 November 2008, the stability of the country has been challenged. High profile acts of terrorism, both in the Maldives and overseas, are likely, unless the government can arrest the rapid spread of extremist ideology and initiate a...

Water, Food, Energy, Qat and Conflict: Yemen

23 April 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF   Dr Paul Sullivan FDI Associate Key Points   Yemen is one of the most water-short countries on the planet. The increased cost of water drilling and pumping has driven farmers, who use well over 90 per cent of the water in Yemen, towards the production of qat, a mildly stimulating narcotic. Yemen...

The Australia-US Alliance: A Cost/Benefit Analysis

19 April 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF   Cavan Hogue FDI Associate Key Points It is time for a hard-headed cost/benefit analysis of the US Alliance. Any such analysis should include the following questions: Does the Alliance create more problems than it solves? In the Indo-Pacific Region, do we want a balance between the US and China, or US dominance?...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

18 April 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, № 14. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we open with an analysis by FDI Associate Professor Sandy Gordon of the security situation in the Indian Ocean; then, another leading expert and FDI Associate, Dr Christopher Snedden, takes...

The China-India-US Relationship: Where Will It Go?

17 April 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr Liu Zongyi FDI Associate Key Points The relationship among China, India, and the United States is not yet a strategic triangle, but a trilateral one. The United States wants to use India to balance China’s rise. India will act as a swing state in the global balance of power, particularly in the...

Darwin’s Importance to US Asia-Pacific Strategy

12 April 2012 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF   Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe FDI Senior Analyst   Key Points As part of the US realignment to the Asia-Pacific, the US and Australia have agreed to upgrade defence cooperation by deploying US rotational forces to Darwin to strengthen interoperability and engage in joint-training exercises with Australian and Southeast Asian forces. Darwin’s strategic location shall...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

11 April 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, № 13. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week we begin with an analysis by FDI Associate Dr Daniel Baldino of Australia’s position in the United States’ Asia-Pacific realignment. In the same vein, we look at Singapore – another...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

4 April 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, №12. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we open with a report on the consequences of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak confronting Egypt. We then investigate the findings of a new report from the Asian Development Bank, which suggests...

The ADF in Indonesia: Lessons from Operation Padang Assist

2 April 2012 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF   Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe FDI Senior Analyst   Key Points The ADF’s support to Indonesian authorities during Operation Padang Assist was an important confidence-building measure in strengthening relations between Australia and Indonesia. Modern disaster relief interventions require extensive inter-force military co-operation, including collaboration with non-military civilian agencies and foreign governments. The success of ADF...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

28 March 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, № 11. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. In the SWA this week, we begin by looking at the interest of the United States in using Australia’s Cocos Islands as a base for surveillance aircraft, together with greater use...

The New Zealand Army Today: ‘A More Responsive, Smarter and Adaptable Army’

26 March 2012 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe FDI Senior Analyst   Key Points 70 per cent of the New Zealand Army currently has overseas operational experience. Wellington is looking to refocus defence policy back towards the South Pacific as it prepares to draw down from Afghanistan. Strategic competition and state fragility pose significant security challenges in the South...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

21 March 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, № 10. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. In the SWA this week, we begin by considering the implications of reports that the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom have agreed to “tap” strategic oil reserves in...

The United States and Burma: Troubled Past, Uncertain Future

20 March 2012 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr Andrew Selth FDI Senior Visiting Fellow Key Points For twenty years, the United States pursued a hard line policy towards Burma that was never going to meet its stated objectives. This policy also flew in the face of Burma’s critical geostrategic position and growing importance in regional affairs. The reform programme launched...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

14 March 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, № 9. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. In the SWA this week, we begin with a look at Indonesia’s latest efforts to address the difficult issue of fuel subsides and improve its energy security. Next, we report on the...

‘A Third of the RAN is based in the Indian Ocean’: Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, Chief of the Royal Australian Navy

12 March 2012 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF   Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe Research Manager South and West Asia Programme   Key Points One third of the RAN operates in the Indian Ocean. HMAS Stirling, located in Western Australia, is the RAN’s largest base. While the Asia-Pacific will continue to remain critically important, the Indian Ocean has markedly risen in importance to the...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

7 March 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, № 8. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk   Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we look at the implications of the Iranian elections as a crucible for the competition between President Mahmood Ahmadinejad and the clerical élite, led by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

29 February 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, №7. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week we include two items written by FDI Associates. The first is by Tridivesh Maini, Associate Fellow with the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. He writes about the current state of...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

22 February 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, № 6. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, FDI Visiting Fellow, Fujian Li, analyses the visit to the United States of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping. Also analysed is the possibility that Iran may be considering negotiations, as...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

15 February 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, № 5. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, FDI Associate Jahnu Russell investigates the prospects for talks between the United States and the Taliban. We then look at Iran, to consider the ramifications of that country’s continuing schedule...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

8 February 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, № 4. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, FDI analyses the recently released progress report on the Force Posture Review. We then head overseas, where FDI Associate Professor Sandy Gordon examines Pakistan and its position as the Afghanistan...

The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation in Solving Global Food Crises

2 February 2012 | Workshop Reports

Download PDF Purpose The fifth workshop series, hosted by Future Directions International’s Global Food and Water Crises Research Programme, examined the role of science, technology and innovation in averting any future food crises. In November 2011, meetings took place in Sydney, Canberra and Perth. The meetings sought to answer the following question: “What role can...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

1 February 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, № 3. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we analyse Egypt’s new parliament and the escalating tensions between northern and southern Sudan. We comment on the release of a report by the United Nations Panel on Global Sustainability,...

‘The Indian Ocean is Fundamental to UK Interests’ – Admiral Sir Trevor Soar, Royal Navy

27 January 2012 | Feature Interviews

  Download PDF Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe FDI Senior Analyst   Key Points 50 per cent of deployed Royal Navy manpower and assets are situated in the Indian Ocean Region. 25 per cent of the total British force deployed in Afghanistan comes from the Royal Navy. Due to budget constraints, the Royal Navy is increasingly seeking to...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

25 January 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, № 2. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. This week, we analyse the latest round of China-India boundary negotiations, the attempted military coup in Bangladesh, the behind-the-scenes growth of ties between the Indian and Israeli Governments and the recent assassination...

Implications of European Union Sanctions against Iran

24 January 2012 | Strategic Alerts

Background On 23 January 2012, the EU placed an immediate ban on all new contracts to import, purchase or transport Iranian crude oil and petroleum products. Where existing contracts exist, EU countries have until 1 July to cancel them. EU officials also agree to freeze assets in Iran’s central bank. Discussion The EU’s move is...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

18 January 2012 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 3, № 1. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to the first edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis for 2012. In the SWA this week, the Northern Australia/Energy Security Research Programme analyses the impact on Australia of the latest round of oil and gas sanctions against Iran. Still in the...

Nation Building in Afghanistan: Australia’s Contribution to PRT Uruzgan

15 December 2011 | Feature Interviews

Download PDF Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe FDI Senior Analyst   Key Points PRT Uruzgan reconstruction and capacity-building initiatives have made progress since operations began. There have been noticeable developments in areas such as health care, education and infrastructure, the latter emphasising the construction of roads, bridges, schools and government buildings. Although significant resources have been injected, more...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

14 December 2011 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 2, № 47. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis; the final edition for 2011. This week the Global Food and Water Crises Research Programme takes us to the Middle East, to look at the ambitious plans of the Qatar National Food...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

7 December 2011 | Strategic Weekly Analysis

Vol. 2, № 46. Download PDF From the Editor’s Desk Dear FDI supporters, Welcome to this week’s edition of the Strategic Weekly Analysis. In the SWA this week, we begin with a look at the reaction from India to the decision, taken at the recent Australian Labor Party National Conference, to overturn the Australian ban...

Strategic Weekly Analysis

30 November 2011 |