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.

Reacting to China’s Provocations in the South China Sea

Washington’s reiteration that it will defend the Philippines and Taiwan if either were attacked by Beijing further heightens the chance of conflict between the two powers.

Israel’s Plight: An Absence of Leadership

The result of the fourth election in two years clearly points to the dysfunction of Israel’s political system and the many fault lines of its democracy. Sadly, personal rivalries rather than political platforms that address foreign and domestic policies rule the day.

The United Kingdom Returns to the Indo-Pacific

8 April 2021 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The UK’s latest defence review re-commits Westminster to the Indo-Pacific with a “tilt” to the region that is intended to enhance diplomatic and trade relations between London and its Indo-Pacific partners. While a renewed British presence will be welcomed by many, for China and its partners, it is more likely to be seen as an expansion of the informal US-led “anti-China” alliance.

Revisiting The JCPOA: The Danger to the Middle East

Any re-negotiation of the JCPOA must necessarily include a sunset clause that Israel finds acceptable and mechanisms to fully ensure that Iran does not use its nuclear programme for military purposes. Any less could lead to further regional conflict, the nuclearisation of the Middle East or both.

A Matter of Free Speech on Social Media in India

The Indian Government has recently responded to major protests with a raft of reforms designed to tighten control over social media and heighten censorship of opposition voices.

Portugal to Deploy Special Forces after Mozambique Attack

1 April 2021 | Indian Ocean, Strategic Alerts

Sixty Portuguese Special Forces personnel will be deployed to Mozambique to help train their local counterparts in the wake of the largest and deadliest attack yet in the jihadist insurgency that is ravaging the LNG-rich province of Cabo Delgado.

The US-Russia-China Triangle: How Do US Allies Perceive Recent Events?

President Biden’s emphasis on building partnerships to deal with global challenges has been welcomed by US allies. They will be closely watching the recent developments in the context of Washington’s ties with Moscow and Beijing, since many of them may be forced to make tough choices of their own in the long run.

Islamabad Security Dialogue: Nawaz Sharif Stands Vindicated

In Pakistan, if an elected prime minister makes a policy shift for the betterment of the country, it is a crime, the price of which he has to pay, but if the same shift is announced by a military general, it is plausible and tenable.

A “Global Britain” in the Indian Ocean Region

30 March 2021 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Since Brexit, the British Government has called for a strategic reorientation of British foreign and security policy towards the Indian Ocean region. That reorientation will witness an expanded British presence in the Indian Ocean, with the Royal Navy in particular adopting a proactive role. If the UK is to step up successfully in the Indian Ocean, building closer co-operation and deeper ties with allies in the region will prove essential.

A Stalemate in Afghanistan

25 March 2021 | Indian Ocean, Strategic Alerts

The Taliban are failing to understand two basic points: first, reversion to a pre-2001 Islamic Emirate system is not possible (and not acceptable to regional countries); second, the path to the corridors of true power passes through the democratic electoral process.

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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