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.

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 in such matters as housing projects, education, health, transportation systems, small and medium business development and training.

Indonesia-India Maritime Defence Relations: Time for a More Robust Partnership

10 September 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean, Indonesia

Indonesia, and to a lesser extent India, have jurisdiction over the major maritime choke points of the Malacca Strait, the Six-Degree Channel and the Sunda Strait, through all of which large volumes of maritime trade pass. Both have been made uneasy by China’s expansionist maritime activities and its ambivalence towards international law. As custodians of vital maritime choke points, India and Indonesia have a duty to ensure that the rules-based order is maintained in those waters.

Modi and Erdogan: Birds of a Feather – From Opposite Sides of a Religious Divide

11 August 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have much in common despite their different religious backgrounds. Both are leaders of constitutionally secular states, yet both have adopted an agenda of majoritarianism, underpinned by a commitment to nationalist political views in a rejection of the ideals espoused by the founders of modern Turkey and India.

What is Regenerative Agriculture? Declan McDonald

Soil scientist Declan McDonald has hosted a series of eight short videos articulating the key principles of Regenerative Agriculture. Topics covered include introducing regenerative agriculture, minimising soil disturbance, maximising crop diversity, keeping soil covered, maintaining living roots systems year-round, integrating livestock and trees, and how farmers can transition to regenerative agriculture.

Pakistan under the China Model of Governance

4 August 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Many Pakistanis perceive an agonising drift from democracy in their country and are gradually awakening to the reality that the China model of rule – reduced opposition, controlled society and structured consent – is becoming the norm in their country. The Pakistani media and judiciary are victims of that trend.

The Modi-Morrison Reset: Australia-India Relations 2020

30 July 2020 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The two Prime Ministers have indeed raised the bar in the relationship, even if that outcome may be more the result of circumstance than whole-heartedly planned effort. They may even be able to take the on-again, off-again Indo-Australian relationship to a point where (yet another) newly comprehensive elevation of earlier strategic partnerships enables institutional, political, defence and security undertakings to reach solid ground.

Land Acquisition, Labour Reform and a Mobile Workforce: Modi’s Grand Plan

Prime Minister Modi has promised “bold reforms” to create a self-reliant India, that is more engaged in attracting international investment and playing a bigger role in the global supply chain. While the promise is of a future self-reliant India, the building blocks were in place. Overseas development industries have started, land acquisition is becoming less onerous, and labour laws are under reform.

Regenerate Australia: The Concept

Over the coming decades, humanity needs to address fundamental challenges relating to the provision of adequate and sustainable food and water supplies, protection of habitats and meeting changing climatic conditions. The implementation of a regeneration strategy has the potential to deliver immense opportunities and outcomes for northern and rural Australia. It could produce a more productive and resilient landscape while creating new social, economic and environmental opportunities. It could also deliver significant national and global benefits through increased food and fibre production and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

COVID-19 Adds a New Dimension to an Undeclared Third World War

The strategic competition among major powers has already pushed the world into an undeclared “Third World War”, with changed dimensions and instruments of warfare. In that context, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the devastating potential of viruses as a weapon of mass destruction capable of changing the intensity, dimension and trajectory of a conflict. The primary battleground of such a Third World War will be the Indo-Pacific region, with the world having already entered in its preparatory phase, albeit without recognising or declaring it as such.

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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