Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Gulf States Bracing for Financial Fallout

10 August 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background Global economic uncertainty caused by the downgrade of the United States’ sovereign credit rating and the euro-zone debit crisis, has hit the Persian Gulf. With most Gulf states exposed to US debt and dependent on strong oil prices for continued growth, the outlook remains somewhat unpredictable. This has prompted a fall in regional markets....

Science Latest Victim of Somali Piracy

3 August 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background Scientific monitoring equipment in the waters of the western Indian Ocean is the latest casualty of the Somali piracy epidemic, as merchant shipping – previously used to deploy the buoys – avoids the area. The resulting gap, covering roughly the entire north-western corner of the Indian Ocean, is having consequences for weather forecasting and...

ADF Reviews Plans for the Indian Ocean with a Mining Industry Protection Focus

3 August 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background  In an example of Australia’s increasing awareness of the importance of the central and north-west of this country, the ADF has announced a force structure review with a focus on onshore mining and offshore oil and gas infrastructure and operations. It includes a shift in defence strategy towards the Indian Ocean’s vital sea-lines of...

Afghanistan: Implications of the Karzai and Khan Assassinations

27 July 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background Two key powerbrokers assassinated within a week – that’s an impressive feat even by Afghanistan’s infamous history of assassinations. The separate killings of Ahmad Wali Karzai and Jan Mohammed Khan raise questions about the stability of the country as it seeks to assume responsibility for its own security. Comment The first question is, does...

Sarkozy Afghanistan Visit Confirms French Withdrawal by 2014

27 July 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background With the next French presidential elections now just around the corner, the war in Afghanistan has become a focal point in France. It has been very costly of late for French troops stationed there, losing twelve of the four thousand active troops since the beginning of June 2011. These losses have bolstered anti-war sentiment...

Zardari Visit Affirms Saudi Arabia’s Importance to Islamabad

27 July 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background The visit of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on 20 July 2011 to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz is indicative of the ongoing close relationship between the two countries. The economic aspect of the relationship is clearly dominated by Pakistan’s significant need for Saudi oil; this weights the bilateral trade relationship...

Yemen Crisis Continues; No Sign of a Settlement

27 July 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background The political situation in Yemen remains unchanged with little prospect of any group assuming control over the fractious country. Comment President Ali Abdullah Saleh shows no sign of preparing to hand over power. He may even be firming his hold by conducting meetings in Riyadh with a number of senior foreign officials, including the...

US Seeks Increased Trade with Indonesia

27 July 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background During bilateral talks between the United States and Indonesia, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on Indonesia to cut tariffs in an effort to promote trade between the two countries, thereby deepening the relationship.  Comment Following the second Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) of the US-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership on 24 July 2011, Secretary...

Khartoum to Levy Oil Transport Fees on South Sudan

27 July 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background The Sudanese Finance Minister, Ali Mahmud, has announced parliamentary approval for a fee to be charged to South Sudan for use of the north’s oil infrastructure, which includes pipelines, refineries and seaports. With the South’s secession causing Khartoum the loss of three quarters of its oil production, accounting for around a third of its...

Indo-US Defence Co-operation a Confluence of Strategic Interests

20 July 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background In another example of increasing co-operation between Washington and New Delhi, the US Defence Security Co-operation Agency recently announced India’s intention to purchase 32 US-manufactured MK-54 lightweight torpedoes, in a deal worth US$86 million. The agreement is indicative of the growing confluence of strategic interests between the two countries, which in recent years has...

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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