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.

Post-Independence Security Challenges for South Sudan

20 July 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background While South Sudan’s independence on 9 July 2011 was a vital step towards greater welfare and prosperity, the country is yet to enjoy the full fruits of sovereignty. It remains to be seen whether the Government of South Sudan can maintain full control over its population, military and territory, given the persistence of border...

China Satellite Capabilities Approaching Par with US

20 July 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background According to a World Security Institute report to be published in the October 2011 edition of the Journal of Strategic Studies, China has developed the ability to monitor targets live for up to six hours a day by improving its satellite reconnaissance network. This represents a doubling of China’s surveillance capabilities over the last...

South Sudan: Many Challenges for World’s Newest Nation

13 July 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background Having formally declared its independence on 9 July 2011, the Republic of South Sudan seceded from the Republic of Sudan to become the world’s newest nation. The new nation faces a great many challenges, masked for the moment by the euphoria of independence.  Comment This event was the culmination of the January 2011 independence...

Yemen: Still No Obvious Solution

13 July 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background Despite his first television appearance since being wounded on 3 June, most observers believe there is little chance of President Ali Abdullah Saleh returning to Yemen.  As a result, the country remains a weak and fractured political entity. Comment Saleh remains for most Yemenis a distant and passing figure. His supporters appear powerless outside...

The “Hibiscus Revolution”? Kuala Lumpur Rocked by Electoral Reform Protests

13 July 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background On 9 July, the Bersih 2.0 (“clean” in Malaysian) protest took place in Kuala Lumpur, triggering a major police crackdown that resulted in the arrest of approximately 1,700 protesters. The protest, inspired by the 2007 Bersih campaign, was organised by a coalition of opposition parties of the same name, dissatisfied with the level of...

Pakistan-Iran Ties Continue to Grow

13 July 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background On 25-26 June, a senior Pakistani diplomatic delegation attended a sixty-nation counterterrorism summit in Tehran, to discuss bilateral and multilateral security co-operation. The event was indicative of the growing ties between Pakistan and Iran, which increasingly see each other as important to their future security and stability. Comment The event encapsulated the rapidly expanding...

Saudi Arabia Gives Nuclear Warning

Background Saudi Arabian Prince Turki Al-Faisal, a prominent Saudi diplomat, together with a senior Saudi official, has warned that his country would develop a nuclear programme of its own in the event that Iran acquired nuclear weapons. Comment In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Turki alluded to ‘untold and possibly dramatic consequences’ if Iran...

Bahrain: Saudi Arabia to Begin Troop Withdrawal

Background Saudi Arabia announced on 28 June 2011 that it would pull out some of its 1,500 troops sent to Bahrain following the Shiite-led uprisings in that country. The announcement follows the lifting of martial law in Bahrain. The withdrawal comes despite tensions remaining high. Comment The lowering of Saudi troop numbers in Bahrain may...

Karzai Visit Further Strengthens Afghanistan-Iran Ties

Background In another sign of growing ties between Afghanistan and Iran, Afghan President Hamid Karzai attended the Iranian-sponsored conference on counterterrorism co-operation in Tehran on 25-26 June, which was also attended by the Presidents of Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan and Tajikistan. The visit was indicative of the strengthening relations between Afghanistan and Iran, which share...

Uganda and Burundi to Fight Islamists with US Drones

Background The United States has announced plans to supply four drone aircraft to Uganda and Burundi to help fight Islamist militants. The supply is part of a US$45 million military aid package to both countries, which provide the bulk of the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia. Aiding Uganda’s and Burundi’s military commitments should increase...

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