Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Indian Ocean SWA Articles

No Clarity in Yemen Conflict

Background President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s flight to Riyadh, following the attack on his presidential palace, raises considerable uncertainty regarding the future of Yemen. The US and Saudi Arabia are concerned that fighting will escalate and that al-Qaeda associated elements will increase their capability. Comment Saleh has been replaced by former Vice President Abd-al Rab Mansour...

Bahrain Instability Continues after Martial Law Lifted

Background Bahrain ended 11 weeks of martial law on 1 June, following an uprising by members of the country’s Shia majority population that began in mid-February 2011. Despite the lifting of martial law, instability has continued, as evidenced by reports that security forces attacked protesters in twenty villages across the Persian Gulf nation. The continuing...

South Africa, Mozambique to Undertake Joint Anti-Piracy Patrols

Background The South African and Mozambican Defence Ministers have agreed to conduct joint anti-piracy patrols along the Mozambique coast. Under the agreement, the two countries will also conduct joint training and intelligence sharing. Somali pirates have begun operating in the northern reaches of the Mozambique Channel, in response to international anti-piracy efforts in the Gulf...

Instability Continues in Yemen

Background Clashes between forces supporting Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and tribesmen loyal to Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahman continue as Saleh refuses for the third time to accept a GCC-sponsored request to step down. Comment A decisive outcome appears unlikely in the short term. Neither side has the military means nor the authority to defeat the...

Saudi Arabia Proposes anti-Iran Alliance

Background Saudi Arabia has asked Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Central Asian republics to join it and its Gulf allies in an alliance, aimed at containing the influence of Iran and supporting the Saudi-led intervention in Bahrain. While these countries are yet to openly come out in favour of such a grouping, the United States...

China Refutes Gwadar Naval Base Conjecture

Background The Pakistani Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar has affirmed that Pakistan is appreciative of China’s willingness to operate Gwadar port, and is also keen to see that ‘a naval base is constructed at the site of Gwadar for Pakistan.’ Predictably, the remarks attracted international attention. They reinforced existing views among foreign commentators, who believe that...

Sudan Violence Returns; Energy Interests Threatened

Background Northern Sudanese armed forces recently took over the disputed region of Abyei, which lies on the border between northern and, soon-to-be-independent, southern Sudan. While the recent clashes have so far mainly been confined to Abyei, the potential for an escalation of violence still exists. Should that occur, it would not only negatively affect a...

Democratic Alliance Consolidates Position as South African Opposition

Background In South African local government elections held on 18 May, the Democratic Alliance (DA) consolidated its support in Cape Town, Western Cape Province and the Midvaal municipality, to cement its place as the country’s chief opposition party. DA officials see it as confirmation that the tide is very slowly but surely beginning to turn...

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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