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 Saudi-Pakistani Relationship: Riyadh Turns the Screw

Riyadh has forced Islamabad to choose whether to fall in line and end its criticism of Saudi policy or give up its access to Saudi financial aid and cheap oil supplies.

Can Indonesia Still Build its New Capital City?

Building the new capital has been delayed until Indonesia’s economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. That, however, could take several years, although the government will still likely push for construction to begin before the end of Jokowi’s term in office.

Revisiting India’s Neighbourhood Policy: Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

While all eyes have been on New Delhi’s tensions with Nepal, China has bolstered its economic and strategic links with Dhaka, and Colombo-Beijing ties already are robust. There have been signs of a thaw between New Delhi and Kathmandu, and India has worked to strengthen its economic ties with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, but New Delhi needs to view its neighbourhood beyond the China factor, resolve domestic problems and address its own economic challenges.

The United Arab Emirates and Israel Normalise Ties – And Divide the Middle East

The decision of the United Arab Emirates to normalise links with Israel will have a disruptive effect on the geopolitics of the Middle East, which could see the region divided into factions that either support or object to the initiative.

Pakistan Redux: China’s Secret Deal with Iran

Iran’s decision to accept Chinese investments of around US$400 billion could bring it under Beijing’s influence, just like Pakistan, and leave its citizens none the better for it; again, just like Pakistan.

Countering Islamist Insurgency in Northern Mozambique Requires New Approach

If the insurgency is to be stopped, a concerted and holistic approach is called for; one in which the Mozambican Government and its partners combine security measures with development initiatives.

The British Indian Ocean Territory: Clouds on the Horizon for Diego Garcia? – Dr Peter Harris

18 August 2020 | Feature Interviews, Indian Ocean

UK sovereignty over the islands of the British Indian Ocean Territory (also known as the Chagos Archipelago) has been ruled to be illegitimate by the International Court of Justice and the UN General Assembly. US and British concerns over Mauritian sovereignty of the territory are centred on the possibility that the US military might be evicted from Diego Garcia, but retaining the US presence has strategic and financial value for Mauritius.

Pompeo and Marsudi in South China Sea Discussions

The discussions are part of an effort by the US to bring together a collective stance against China’s activities in the South China Sea. In the short-term future, however, it is unlikely that Washington will actually become the driving force behind such a coalition.

To Stop Chinese Harassment, India Must Grow Its Economy

New Delhi must reform its domestic business environment and boost its sluggish economy to be seen as a credible adversary if it is to stop China’s assertive and expansionist India policy.

Modi and Erdogan: Birds of a Feather – From Opposite Sides of a Religious Divide

11 August 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have much in common despite their different religious backgrounds. Both are leaders of constitutionally secular states, yet both have adopted an agenda of majoritarianism, underpinned by a commitment to nationalist political views in a rejection of the ideals espoused by the founders of modern Turkey and India.

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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