Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Indian Ocean

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

The Limits of Hard Power

14 October 2021 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

While the preservation of American democracy should be a lodestar of any US foreign policy, having employed hard power over 200 times since the end of the Cold War, such events as Washington’s exit from Afghanistan and departures from Iraq, Syria, Libya and elsewhere, with their human, economic and political costs, have demonstrated the limitations of using excessive military force as a leading component of foreign policy.

Breathtaking Hypocrisy: France and Its Naval Sales

Paris’s anger at having lost the contract to supply conventionally-powered submarines to the Royal Australian Navy is redolent with unmitigated hypocrisy.

“New Africa-France Summit” Seeks to Re-Invent Relationship

By bringing together around 3,000 young people rather than political leaders, the New Africa-France Summit sought to chart a new course for the countries involved, but the true measure of success will be the degree to which the views of the participants gain traction among those in power.

India’s Dilemma: Strategic Autonomy or New Alliances?

7 October 2021 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The “rebirth” of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad”, is an outcome of China’s assertive policies. Despite not yet being as comfortable in its relationship with the United States as it is with Japan, New Delhi’s ties to Washington are progressing faster than ever before, although Prime Minister Modi’s fixation on a “Hindu” India could act as a brake on that alignment.

Different Approaches from the US and China to Economic and Humanitarian Challenges in Afghanistan

There is a consensus in the global community as far as providing financial support for dealing with the economic and humanitarian challenges in Afghanistan is concerned. China, however, has been the only country which has said that economic sanctions against the Taliban should be removed and that the reserves of Afghan Central Bank should be released, given the multiple challenges the country is facing.

The SCO’s Real Strategic Challenge

The evolving strategic alignment in the Indo-Pacific has ramifications for the region, which could well be the harbinger of a New Cold War, with potential catastrophic consequences. Therefore, American and Chinese leaders will be well advised to manage their strategic competition without any military confrontation(s). The Shanghai Co-operation Organisation’s (SCO) first real test would be to bring back normality and harmony in Afghanistan for overall peace, stability and prosperity in the wider region.

Bells are Tolling for a New Cold War

30 September 2021 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The marshalling of alliances in the Indo-Pacific region has rung the bell for the commencement of a New Cold War. Even though the United States and China must not fail to manage their rivalry, it is imperative to develop a clear understanding of the dangers and consequences of any possible New Cold War, including of the pitfalls for the allies of both the global powers.

Mining, Famine and Infrastructure: Good News and Bad in Madagascar

While the world’s first “climate change famine” continues unabated, the Madagascan Government’s ambitious infrastructure plans and updates from two Australian mining juniors with projects in Madagascar bring some welcome good news.

The Importance of the SCO and Iran in Sino-Indian Relations

Apart from the discussion of important connectivity projects and events in Afghanistan, the recent Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) Summit was also important because it provided India and China with an opportunity to engage on important issues. The SCO is likely to remain an important organisation in the evolving geopolitical landscape.

Joe Biden’s Doctrine: Ending International Liberalism

23 September 2021 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The United States is no longer interested in prolonged military engagements in foreign lands to effect regime change or in financial investment to enable nation building; the project of nation building is to be the job of the local populace and not that of the US military. Working with partners, Washington will continue to promote such democratic norms as basic human rights, humanitarian aid and regional diplomacy.

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.

Donate Now and Support Independent Research

Donate now to help us provide independent research and advice on global issues facing Australia