Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Associate Papers

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.

The US Element: Diego Garcia as a Strategic Dilemma for India

26 November 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

With its growing strategic engagement with Washington now short of formal alliance, India must not only consider the disadvantages generated by the US Indian Ocean presence, but also the effect of any future withdrawal of US forces and the likelihood of an ensuing vacuum filled by China. Thus, there are obvious advantages for India in the continued US presence on Diego Garcia, but its commitment to decolonisation and support for Mauritius has created a conundrum.

Gilgit-Baltistan as Pakistan’s New Province could be a Game-Changer in Indo-Pacific Geopolitics

19 November 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Pakistan is set to make Gilgit-Baltistan, in the disputed Kashmir region, its fifth province. India has strongly condemned that decision and has asked Pakistan to vacate what it considers an occupied area. China is a major stakeholder in the region and has been pressuring Pakistan to exert more control over the area, with India’s response to that a critical factor in shaping the geopolitics of the Subcontinent. Amid this zero-sum game, the interests of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan do not occupy much space.

From the Ground Up – Regenerative Agriculture

FDI invites you to view the video From the Ground Up – Regenerative Agriculture, directed, produced, videoed and edited by filmmaker Amy Browne for Festival 21. Inspired by Charles Massy’s best-selling book “Call of the Reed Warbler”, Amy set out across the dry farming country of South East NSW to meet Charles and the other innovative farmers bringing new life to their land. Regenerative agriculture is one of the most promising wide-scale environmental solutions. This short documentary is a comprehensive journey through a variety of landscapes and regenerative farming techniques.

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.

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.

Too Many Eggs in the Dragon’s Basket? Part One: Australia’s Reliance on Exports to China

China is manifestly Australia’s principal two-way trading partner. Australian exports of goods and services to China were worth $153 billion and constituted 32.6 per cent of all exports. Over the past six months, the Chinese Government has either denied, or given indication of restricting, a range of Australian exports, including barley, meat, wine, cotton and services. Given that alternative or substitute markets either do not exist, or take time and market development to form, a strategic reappraisal of Australia’s export base is required.

State of Play: India’s Gulf Relations Amid Shifting Regional Ties

15 October 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

India has solid bilateral relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, both of which have normalised their relations with Israel, and with Israel itself, aided by the shared right-wing political values of Prime Ministers Modi and Netanyahu. India’s juggling of those relationships and those with Iran and the United States, constitutes skilful relationship management.

Dishing the Dirt: Australia’s Move to Store Carbon in Soil is a Problem for Tackling Climate Change

To slow climate change, humanity has two main options: reduce greenhouse gas emissions directly or find ways to remove them from the atmosphere. Storing carbon in soil is often touted as a promising way to offset greenhouse gas emissions. There is, however, a catch. This Paper offers a critique of this strategy and finds that to be effective, emissions technology in Australia should focus on improving energy efficiency in industry, the residential sector and transport, where big gains are to be made.

Decoding Chinese Strategic Intent in the Standoff at the Line of Actual Control

29 September 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Sino-Indian military posturing and muscle-flexing continues in the eastern Ladakh region. Alongside diplomatic efforts to reduce tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India should insist on the proper delimitation and demarcation of the LAC, pending a permanent settlement of the border, while also firmly holding its ground in any prolonged standoff through the approaching winter.

Sri Lanka’s Dependence on China Adds to India’s Security Dilemma

22 September 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The return of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lankan Prime Minister will likely attract further Chinese investments and loans to the country, but has caused concern in New Delhi about Colombo’s further inclination towards Beijing. India, with its sluggish economic growth and limited financial capacity to lure Sri Lanka away from China, must instead continue to support Sri Lanka in such matters as housing projects, education, health, transportation systems, small and medium business development and training.

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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