Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Strategic Analysis Paper

The Wasteful Dragon: Food Loss and Waste in China

Reducing food loss and waste will provide China with economic, social and environmental benefits. Changing legislative and regulatory conditions will help to reduce food loss and waste but, to ensure greater success, cultural attitudes will also need to change.

The Lacklustre Australia-Indonesia Economic Relationship

One of Australia’s most important bilateral partners, Indonesia is expected to become the fourth-largest world economy in terms of gross domestic product by 2050. With significant growth expected as the size of its middle class continues to expand, Indonesia provides an opportunity for Australian businesses to tap into a large and increasingly affluent market. So far, however, the economic relationship has failed to reflect the full geostrategic importance of the wider relationship.

The Management and Use of Ancient Water in Northern Australia

Northern Australia contains three major and individually unique subterranean water systems. The sustainability of an aquifer depends on how frequently it can be recharged and there is evidence that for some aquifer recharge events occur on a timescale of millennia. The management of these systems, therefore, must address significant challenges and arrangements must be tailored to the individual aquifer characteristics. Water use is also fundamental and the needs of pastoralists, mining, heavy industry and households require different strategies. Cross-jurisdictional compliance, such as the National Water Initiative, add an additional layer of complexity.

Trump’s Approach to Afghanistan: Some Ramifications – Part Two

If the measures outlined by the US President are enacted, Pakistan runs the risk of losing its friends in the West and having to rely almost entirely on China. India, however, may need to temporarily sacrifice its goal of strategic autonomy to avail itself of the opportunities in Afghanistan that were presented to it by the President’s speech.

Trump’s Approach to Afghanistan: Some Ramifications – Part One

28 September 2017 | Indian Ocean, Strategic Analysis Paper

President Trump’s speech on Afghanistan may have touched on that country in order to provide a basis for his reasons to retain a military presence there, but the implications of that reasoning, which demonstrates the influence of his military advisers in the White House, extends past Afghanistan and will have a major impact on other regional actors, including China, India and Pakistan.

Energising the Pilbara by Exporting Solar Power Generated Electricity to Indonesia

Continental Australia has arguably the highest potential for solar power production in the world. A recent study commissioned by the Pilbara Development Commission has inquired into the feasibility of exporting solar power from the Pilbara and Kimberley regions to Indonesia. It found that it was technologically possible, and may be commercially viable within the next decade. The project is incredibly ambitious, comparable to other major projects such as the NBN or the North-West Shelf oil and gas ventures. A solar energy venture of this scale would not, however, be unprecedented.

Boko Haram: Exacerbating and Benefiting From Food and Water Insecurity in the Lake Chad Basin

There are multiple social and environmental stressors acting upon the population of the Lake Chad basin. Boko Haram, the largest non-state armed group in the region, has exacerbated and benefited from these stressors.

The Emerging Strategic Importance of India’s Joint Military Exercises

14 September 2017 | Indian Ocean, Strategic Analysis Paper

Bringing together a diverse range of platforms and focusing on aircraft carrier operations, air defence, surface and anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue and joint manoeuvres, the Malabar exercises will take on increasing relevance, not only for the participants, but also for regional states, including Australia and Indonesia, and extra-regional actors, such as China and Russia, which have important stakes in the Indo-Pacific.

Water Resource Management in Northern Australia

There exists a public enthusiasm for the potential for northern Australia to be developed as ‘a food bowl for Asia’ or as a reliable source of drinking water for dryer southern regions. Much of northern Australia receives a high annual rainfall but this rainfall is extremely seasonal and is rarely reliable. The availability of water in norther Australia is key to the development of the region, however, the economic feasibility of water storage, reticulation and irrigation infrastructure remains under researched.

Russia: Hectare in the Far East Programme does not Address Agricultural Realities

Moscow’s “Hectare in the Far East” programme, which encourages citizens to move to the Russian Far East to take up farming, risks diverting attention from the agricultural regions in the west that would benefit from a greater focus on mechanisation and modernisation.

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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