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.

Social Media in Pakistan: The War of the Narratives

4 February 2021 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The “post-truth” age has inflicted serious harms on Pakistan, and the authorities are now making a concerted effort to control social media because it has gained the power to deconstruct official narratives. In also making people aware of their past errors and prompting them to find the truth, social media is thereby transcending the boundaries imposed by the judiciary-military mix.

The Myanmar Coup: A Geopolitical Approach

The coup d’état in Myanmar will have a wider impact on a region beset by constant tensions in the civilian-military leadership balance, but it also shows how the US and China will play their respective regional roles in the future.

China Ups the Ante in the South China Sea: How will the US React?

China’s new law authorising its Coast Guard to use deadly force if required against foreign entities is likely a test for President Biden; it comes, however, with significant risk for Beijing, Washington and the region.

US Ties to Allies under the Biden Administration

Some of the first Executive Orders signed by President Biden indicate that he favours multilateralism and a more outward-looking US. While the new president has made working with allies a priority, his primary challenges, however, are domestic. In terms of India-US ties, it remains to be seen how Washington and New Delhi will reconcile their differences over the latter’s dealings with Russia.

Timor-Leste Pipe Dreams: After Compulsory Conciliation, What Comes Next?

28 January 2021 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Eighteen months after the ratification of the Australia and Timor-Leste Maritime Boundary Agreement, the development of the Greater Sunrise hydrocarbon field remains just a “pipe dream”, with the revenue-sharing formula still open to conjecture.

Ethiopia Accused of Weaponising Food in Tigrayan Conflict

While it is difficult to prove the allegation that Addis Ababa deliberately blocked the delivery of food aid, it is likely to tarnish the reputation of its reform-minded Prime Minister.

Whither US Africa Policy under the Biden Administration?

Confronted by serious domestic issues, the Biden Administration is likely to continue the Africa policy of its predecessor but, as that is framed largely through the lens of China’s presence on the continent, it may become necessary for Washington to finesse its Africa policy sooner rather than later.

Sino-Indian Confidence-Building Measures: A Waste of Time

China’s duplicitous breaches of the terms of the agreements that it has entered into with India are one consequence of India’s failed policy of strategic autonomy.

Modi Government Caught Up in a Serious Protest, Again

After India’s Parliament passed three agriculture-related Acts in September that farmers want repealed, the Supreme Court temporarily suspended them and asked the government and the farmers to jointly resolve the matter. The question is, will the government give in to one of the largest protests seen in India or withstand it?

Death Bells Tolling for Turkmenistan’s neo-Soviet Government?

Political protest is beginning rise in Turkmenistan and, due to the worsening state of the economy and influence of the Turkmen diaspora, the nascent movement may even have a genuine chance of overthrowing the repressive Democratic Party of Turkmenistan.

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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