Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Strategic Analysis Paper

Measuring Soil Carbon and Soil Carbon Change

There are compelling reasons to find ways to regularly and accurately measure soil carbon deep into the root zone across the full extent of cropping and pastoral lands, however, currently this remains a technological aspiration. The barriers to achieving a cost-effective solution are challenging but hopefully not insurmountable. There has been a strong commitment globally to carbon accounting and if these schemes are to be broadly successful, agriculture must be able to take advantage of, and contribute to, the economic and environmental benefits.

The Yemeni Civil War: A Microcosm of Rivalries

Since intervening in Yemen in 2015, the Saudi Arabian-led coalition against the Houthi rebels has become embedded in a protracted counterinsurgency. Not equipped or prepared to cope with such a scenario, progress has been limited, resulting in a dire humanitarian crisis. The resulting breakdown in human security has fuelled sectarian violence and further complicates the Saudi mission.

Chinese Food and Water Security: The Effects of Air, Water and Soil Pollution

Chiense air, water and soil pollution must improve as these have a direct impact on food and water security. Addressing pollution levels will not be easy and will be costly for China. Australia is in a position to be able to assist through closer agricultural co-operation and knowledge sharing.

The Sino-Indian Standoff: Is Compromise Possible?

China and India are equally aware that neither can afford a prolonged standoff or an all-out conflict, as both stand to lose economically, politically and strategically in those situations. Despite the harsh rhetoric of recent times, there are signs of conciliation emanating from both countries, making a settled compromise more likely.

India’s Groundwater Crisis: The Consequences of Unsustainable Pumping

India’s groundwater has reached a crisis point after years of unsustainable extraction and contamination. Addressing the problems requires demand and supply-side initiatives that recognise the role of the hydrogeological settings of the country’s aquifers.

Leadership in South Africa: Who will be the Next President of the ANC?

The two current frontrunners to replace Jacob Zuma as president of the African National Congress at the next ANC Elective Conference in December are Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. While both are very accomplished, neither has a perfect track record and each has failings or perceived weaknesses.

Responding to Australia’s Biosecurity in the Face of Climate Change

As global temperatures rise, the risks to Australia’s biosecurity and our natural and agricultural environment are consequently increasing. Though existing policies and processes are sufficient to meet operational needs, robust response strategies for future and unknown threats must be developed. These strategies must include government at all levels, the private sector and allow for practical community involvement.

China’s Threat to Review Its Stance on Sikkim Could Backfire

Absent a careful evaluation of every decision that they make in the course of the current standoff between their troops, China and India risk entering into a conflict which they can ill afford and that could retard their growth for a significant period of time.

Consequences of Inequality in Indonesia: Extremism, Corruption and Economic Costs

Economic inequality in Indonesia is largely derived from the disproportionate amount of wealth and influence held by the top one per cent of the population. The consequences of that include greater susceptibility of the poor to extremism through cheap or free religious education, a lack of social services stemming from corruption and long-term economic costs for the whole country.

Indo-Russian Ties in the Age of Trump – Part Two: The Re-formation of the Partnership

The strong India-Russia relationship, having diminished, appears to be set to be revived because of changed international circumstances. Russia needs India’s economic strengths just as much as India needs Russia’s technological and strategic advantages. This mutual need can only see the bilateral relationship grow once again.

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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