Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests


Does Australia need Nuclear-Powered Submarines and a Nuclear-Power Sector?

In light of Australia’s climate commitments, the creation of a nuclear-power sector ought to be revisited. The sector could potentially provide much of the foundational skills required to maintain and operate a nuclear-powered submarine fleet that could enhance Australia’s defence several-fold.

Can Indonesia Rally an ASEAN Response to the Myanmar Coup?

It is unlikely that ASEAN will agree to a co-ordinated response to the military coup in Myanmar, leaving it to countries from outside the region to impose stronger measures. Convincing the military to schedule a new election with ASEAN oversight, while not ideal, may be the best-case scenario for ASEAN.

The Future of Peace in Afghanistan

Uncertainty surrounds the peace negotiations in Afghanistan due to an inability to reconcile the Taliban’s demands with those of Kabul and the West.

Qatar’s Economic Recovery: LNG in 2021 and Beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Qatari economy. Economic and diplomatic developments involving neighbouring countries, as well as significant investments in liquefied natural gas production, have renewed optimism for a strong recovery.

Chinese Tariffs on Australian Wine in 2020: The Domestic Drivers of International Coercion

China targeted Australian wine as part of an economic coercion programme in 2020. Australian wine imports were also seen as a threat to the Chinese wine industry, which was a domestic driver of the trade barriers that Beijing erected. As those barriers are unlikely to be removed in the near term, the Australian wine industry will need to adapt to them.

President Biden and the Pakistan-US Relationship

18 February 2021 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Pakistan needs a more manageable relationship with the United States that also brings economic gains. Two of the major obstacles in the Pakistan-US relationship will be Islamabad’s increasing proximity towards Beijing and the zero-sum approach of Pakistan’s deep state.

Re-opening Bali for Business?

Petitioning to re-open Bali is a move of desperation from the local government. It will be difficult to attract a suitable number of tourists, though, given the many factors beyond the control of the Indonesian authorities.

After Devastating Flood, What Now for India?

Climate change, dams and a lack of glacial monitoring are making floods of this nature increasingly likely. Urgent action is needed to prevent another disaster.

China’s Likely Coercion Saves it from Embarrassment in Afghanistan

China would like to fill the vacuum left if US forces withdraw from Afghanistan, likely due to the country’s strategic significance. While that strategy may be sound, Beijing’s tactics remain questionable.

Myanmar’s Latest Coup: What is to be Done?

16 February 2021 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Successive Myanmar governments have exploited the inability of the international community to exert any real pressure on the country’s military leaders, who are increasingly supported by China. Whatever policies are adopted by the international community over the short term, there are no quick or easy answers to the complex questions surrounding modern Myanmar.

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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