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.

Ebrahim Raisi’s Clerical Mandate

Ebrahim Raisi’s victory has shown the key role of the theocracy in Iran’s elections. That does not absolve, however, the new conservative president-elect of the position’s responsibilities.

The Geopolitical Shift in Afghanistan: Security Implications for India

As the US withdrawal from Afghanistan nears completion, the race for influence is underway. From China to Turkey, each country has specific interests that influence its engagement in Afghanistan’s future, and the relations of regional powers demonstrate the realpolitik at play at a time when the security situation in Afghanistan is fluid and generally deteriorating.

A Bomb Attack on a Bus could Impact Sino-Pakistani Relations

The bomb that took the lives of Chinese personnel working on a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in Pakistan could have a much wider impact.

The Challenges to China’s National Rejuvenation – Part Four: The US Withdrawal from Afghanistan

As the United States withdraws from Afghanistan, China will almost certainly be drawn to it for economic and strategic reasons. Estimated to contain untapped mineral wealth worth around US$1 trillion, Afghanistan could provide alternatives to the Kazakhstan-Russia overland route of the Belt-Road Initiative and to the existing route through Pakistan to the Iranian oil and gas fields. In both cases, China would need to be able to fully secure those new routes at a time when the security situation in Afghanistan is looking increasingly precarious and while also ensuring that any unrest in Afghanistan does not spill over into Xinjiang province.

India’s Decision to Negotiate with the Taliban Could Undermine its Efforts to Establish a Democratic Afghanistan

Although India disapproves of the Taliban in public, it has engaged secretly with its representatives, which will raise the Taliban’s confidence and jeopardise New Delhi’s goal of a democratic government in Afghanistan.

India’s Chinese Take-Away: A Two-Child Policy

The two-child policy announced by the state government of Uttar Pradesh likely has little to do with population control and more with political survival.

China’s Vaccine Diplomacy, the “Health Silk Road” and a Global Pledge

15 July 2021 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Under its “Health Silk Road” programme, Beijing is supplying COVID-19 vaccines to over 80 countries, particularly in the developing world, many of which are members and supporters of the Belt and Road Initiative. While efforts to counter the virus are welcomed, the vaccines in question are largely untried and unapproved. Furthermore, while China has indeed donated vaccines to a few countries, the majority have had to purchase their supplies, in some instances using loans offered by Beijing to do so.

Violence Flares in South Africa as Ex-President Zuma Jailed

Now serving a 15-month prison sentence for contempt of court, the imprisonment of disgraced former president Jacob Zuma has triggered protests and opportunistic looting while perpetuating the division within the African National Congress government between his supporters and those loyal to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

China in a Post-US Afghanistan

China’s criticism of the US decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is likely due to a deterioration in security, which could negatively affect its investments and BRI-related projects.

Kashmir: From Demographic Majority to Political Minority

Having suffered a political lockdown since August 2019, followed by a Covid-19 lockdown from March this year, in the guise of returning “normality” to the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory, the Modi Government has launched an economic snapshot and vision statement to 2030. One indication of Kashmir’s future may be the appointment as Lieutenant-Governor of Manoj Sinha, a close acquaintance of Modi’s and a strong proponent of Hinduisation values.

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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