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.

South Africa Welcomes Biden Presidency

South Africa will be looking forward to working with a more globally-attuned White House from January 2021, but the scale and nature of the domestic issues in the US mean that Pretoria will have to work hard to capture the attention of the new president.

Another Chinese Red Line Crossed? US Marines Train in Taiwan

If reports that US Marines are training Taiwanese troops in Taiwan are true, it would appear that the US is deliberately challenging China. That would be seen regionally and beyond as a deliberate insult to the Chinese Communist Party, one that is calculated to provoke a response from China’s leaders or see them diminished in the eyes of the region and domestically.

Modi, Macron, and a Multipolar World Order

10 November 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The reactions of France, India, Turkey and Pakistan to the killing of Samuel Paty, a French middle-school teacher, are characteristic of regional powers interacting in a multipolar world. All are utilising the situation to acquire advantages where achievable, and the implications of Monsieur Paty’s killing extend far beyond the streets of Paris.

From Sea Foam to Concrete Threat: The Quad as a Spearhead

China may be right to be wary, if not of an Indo-Pacific NATO, at least of a Quad with teeth, but Beijing only has itself to blame for a more aggressive Quad.

Election may Sway Future US Policy for Indonesia

The bilateral relationship with Indonesia is at the foreground of US foreign policy as the presidential election unfolds. The outcome of the election could sway the US approach to Indonesia and the wider region.

Narendra Modi, Akhand Bharat and “Greater India”

3 November 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Rather than physical expansion, India is actually working towards enhancing its commercial and financial strategies, with the overall focus being the Indian economy. As such, Akhand Bharat is an internal policy of the Modi Government to motivate Indians into realising their nationalistic responsibilities for progressing India’s economy, while “Greater India” is an external policy to re-develop the influence of Hindu culture, also with the aim of enhancing economic benefits for India.

Politics in Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif vs. Imran Khan

Former PM Nawaz Sharif’s attack against the Pakistan Army and current Prime Minister Imran Khan has elicited strong responses. Sharif’s claims could mobilise the opposition, at a time when Khan, who needs to deliver improved economic and governance outcomes, also needs to dispel his image of being a puppet of the army (which is unlikely to take Sharif’s criticism without some form of retaliation).

Chinese Diplomacy Takes the Cake

Chinese diplomacy, which has been losing traction in recent times, now appears to be devolving at an accelerated pace. That can only isolate China further.

Bangladesh a Winner in India-China Rivalry but Water Dispute Settlement is Still a Long Way Off

Although India is keen to grant concessions to Bangladesh to keep it from China’s sphere of influence, domestic politics have prevented New Delhi from solving the long-standing water-sharing dispute with Dhaka.

The Test of ASEAN Centrality

ASEAN’s struggle to remain a neutral force for the advancement of regional interests has been tested by the ambitions of major external powers. To survive as a cohesive unit, ASEAN may be forced to consider evicting some of its weakest members in the near future.

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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