Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Associate Papers

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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;...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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?...

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...

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...

The Politics of Centre-State Relations and the Formulation of India’s Foreign Policy

24 November 2011 | Associate Papers

  Download PDF   Key Points Due to economic imperatives, state governments along India’s periphery are becoming increasingly influential in the formulation of India’s foreign policy with neighbouring countries. The complexity and nature of national coalition politics in India means that support from regional parties are often instrumental in not only forming governments, but deciding...

The Politics of Sri Lanka-Tamil Nadu Relations

23 September 2011 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr Ameer Ali FDI Associate   Key Points Sub-regional and caste tensions will continue to characterise relations between Sri Lankan Tamils   and their brethren in Tamil Nadu. India’s policy towards Sri Lanka will remain in support of the unitary status of the Sri Lankan state, which it views as critical to its own...

China’s Rise: South Pacific Perspectives – New Zealand and Australian Security Perceptions of China

12 September 2011 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr Robert Ayson Future Directions International Associate   Key Points New Zealand and Australia have a common interest in a peaceful relationship between the United States and a rising China, but their relationships with each are not identical. Perceptions of harder Australian and softer New Zealand views of China are not necessarily correct....

India’s Role in the Indian Ocean and East Asian Regions

2 September 2011 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Mr Sabam P. Siagian Future Directions International Associate   Key Points India should enhance its diplomatic presence and soft power in the region. The Indian Navy should increase its activities in the region by conducting more frequent port calls and joint naval exercises. Closer co-operation with Australia and India would enable Indonesia to...

South Asia: A Cold War “Quadrilateral” Redux?

15 August 2011 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Professor Sandy Gordon Future Directions International Associate Key Points The emerging “quadrilateral” arrangement in South Asia involving China and Pakistan on the one hand, and the United States and India on the other, is unlikely to give rise to the kind of “locked in” pattern that pertained during significant periods of the Cold...

The Future of China-Pakistan Relations after Osama bin Laden

8 August 2011 | Associate Papers

Download PDF Dr Jabin T. Jacob Future Directions International Associate   Key Points Despite its high profile, the killing of Osama bin Laden is unlikely to dramatically alter China-Pakistan relations, because: China continues to be concerned at the possible spread of Islamist extremism into Xinjiang province from Pakistan. After the US drawdown, significant Chinese investments...

India’s Rise as a Great Power, Part Two: The Pakistan-China-India Dynamic

14 July 2011 | Associate Papers

Download PDF   Dr David A. Robinson Future Directions International Associate   Key Points   Pakistan is unstable and is accused by India of supporting regional terrorism. Nuclear exchange and accidents remain a key threat, with global implications. India perceives China to be strategically encircling it with South Asian allies, including Pakistan. India’s military expansion...

India’s Rise as a Great Power, Part One: Regional and Global Implications

7 July 2011 | Associate Papers

Download PDF    Dr David A. Robinson Future Directions International Associate   Key Points   India’s traditional strategy of non-alignment has shifted towards “poly-alignment”. As a new regional power, India is increasing its naval, air force and missile capabilities. During this period of rapid development, domestic stability is a key challenge for India. The US...

Associate Paper: Co-operation in the Indian Ocean Region: Towards the Co-existence of IOMAC and IOR-ARC

7 June 2011 | Associate Papers

Download PDF    Summary The waters of the Indian Ocean connect four major land bodies: Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica. The Indian Ocean “rim” consists of 29 littoral countries and six island countries. The Indian Ocean “region” can either be limited to the “rim” countries mentioned above or it can be expanded to include land-locked...

Associate Paper: Afghanistan – Shooting and Chewing Gum at the Same Time

17 May 2011 | Associate Papers

Download PDF    Summary In Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T.E. Lawrence wrote ‘… the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.’ While Lawrence’s extraordinary World War One mission was in Arabia fighting the Turks, his comment epitomises the mindset one is confronted with in...

Publication Guide

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

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

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

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

  • A 1500 to 3000 word, single topic assessment.

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

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

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