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.

Afghanistan-Pakistan: A Visit based on Mutual Suspicion

15 June 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background President Hamid Karzai’s two-day visit to Islamabad involved discussions with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Both subsequently attended the first meeting of the Afghan-Pakistani commission that seeks to bring about a reconciliation between differing factions in Afghanistan, including elements of the Taliban. Comment Afghan officials appreciate the crucial role that Pakistan plays in...

Yemen: The Hallmarks of a Failed State

15 June 2011 | Indian Ocean SWA Articles

Background An effective Yemeni government is yet to emerge, following President Saleh’s hospitalisation in Riyadh. Instead, there are daily demonstrations, both from Saleh supporters and those who do not wish to see his return. The opposition is divided between those who are prepared to see him and his family leave without prosecution, and those who...

Pakistan, US: New Joint Intelligence Initiative to Target Islamist Leaders

Background The United States and Pakistan will reportedly establish a joint intelligence organisation, to eliminate high value al-Qa’ida and Taliban members in Pakistan. Coincidentally, the senior Pakistani al-Qa’ida figure, Ilyas Kashmiri, was reportedly killed by a US unmanned aerial vehicle on 3 June. Comment While both issues are to be confirmed, any agreement between the...

Dialogue over Siachem Glacier Indicates Thaw in India-Pakistan Relations

Background Last week Indian and Pakistani Defence Ministers met for two days, to attempt to resolve the dispute over the demilitarisation of the Siachem Glacier. Although a breakthrough has yet to eventuate, the pledge to engage in ongoing dialogue over the issue may indeed point to a thaw in bilateral relations. Comment On the Siachem...

China-India Rivalry in the Maldives Set to Intensify

Background The 28-31 May visit to the Maldives by the most senior Chinese official ever to visit the Islamic archipelago-nation, went largely unreported in the Western media. The significance of the visit by Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, underscored the increasing importance of the Maldives to China’s regional...

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...

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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