Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Strategic Analysis Paper

Atmospheric Carbon Drawdown – A Global Imperative

To meet the targets set by the Paris climate change conference, greenhouse gas may have to be actively removed from the atmosphere and stored indefinitely. Carbon capture and storage technology will also have a key role in reducing future greenhouse gas emissions. Storage deep underground, in the oceans and in the soil, are some of the possible options but there are technological, financial, environment and time considerations.

Chinese Intentions Towards the Mekong River and Mainland South-East Asia

A recent scientific analysis has shown beyond reasonable doubt that Chinese dams are capable of lowering water levels in the lower Mekong River basin. It is now clear that Beijing could use its geographical position at the headwaters of the river to influence or coerce downstream riparians, to the detriment of the US and other countries that share its vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Tourism as an Agent of Recovery in Post-COVID-19 Southern Africa

The tourism sector will not be the sole path to recovery, but it can offer the hope of an economic lifeline. Possible challenges may include the funding of promotional initiatives, the often poor quality of land transport infrastructure in much of the region, the precarious state of the civil aviation industry, and the need to protect locals and visitors from the spread of COVID-19.

Trump or Biden? The Potential Impact of the US Election on India

While strategic and defence ties have strengthened under Trump, differences on economic issues not related to trade have surfaced. Biden, who visited India as Vice-President, has been an ardent supporter of strengthening the bilateral economic relationship and a Biden victory could pave the way for closer economic and strategic ties. Trump’s behaviour towards US allies has been unpredictable and a (presumably) more predictable Biden may be better able to work with US allies and partners, including India, in countering China.

Soil Carbon Restoration: Can Biology do the Job? Part Three

In this, the third and final part of Jack Kittredge’s paper he firstly asks the question: what practices do we need to use to build and keep carbon in our soil? He then discusses, in detail, the soil management practices that will enhance and maintain soil carbon. He then describes the advantages of building organic matter in the soil in addition to of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. To conclude the article, the author makes states that if we wish to survive, we have no alternative but to restore carbon to the soil and that it can be done through biology. It utilises a process that has worked for millions of years. Anyone who manages land can follow these simple principles and restore carbon to the soil while renewing our atmosphere agricultural land

Saudi Strategies for Religious Influence and Soft Power in Indonesia

Saudi Arabia’s push for influence in Indonesia has primarily taken shape through religious educational facilities and they remain the key source of influence today. Brakes on that influence will come in the form of Indonesian Muslim groups that object to the imported Salafist teachings, as well as from Indonesia’s founding doctrine of Pancasila and, in a broad sense, nationalism.

Soil Carbon Restoration: Can Biology do the Job? Part Two

In Part Two of his paper, Jack Kittredge discusses in detail the components of soil highlighting its complexity which is driven by the interrelatedness of these components and importance of the living components of soil, particularly the microbes. Part Two will include a description of the carbon cycle and introduces the topic of stable soil carbon which, the soil component critical to the successful sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere and the mitigation of greenhouse gas influenced weather extremes.

Soil Carbon Restoration: Can Biology do the Job? Part One

A great deal of discussion continues to focus on how to deal with greenhouse gas emissions and the resulting weather extremes. Many analysts believe we must stop burning fossil fuels to prevent further increases in atmospheric carbon and find ways to remove carbon already in the air. In this paper, that will be published in three parts, Jack Kittredge provides a carefully researched argument for returning the carbon to where it came from, the soil.

China, India and the Galwan Valley Clashes: What Can India Do?

Although neither side will want matters to escalate to an outright conflict, neither one is backing down and the situation has the potential to significantly affect the bilateral relationship. While India should seek to strengthen its ties with its neighbours in South Asia (and with countries elsewhere that also seek to reduce their dependence on China), it needs to make up a lot of ground in the strategic and economic spheres to reduce its inadequacies in relation to China.

The Covid-19 Pandemic Draws Attention to Vulnerabilities in the Global Food System

The global food supply system has performed better than first anticipated during the Covid-19 pandemic. A number of vulnerabilities have become obvious, however, mainly in the growing and processing stages of the industrial food supply chain. Reforms that value food and agriculture workers and increase competition in segments of the processing industry would make the food supply more resilient in times of crisis.

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.

Donate Now and Support Independent Research

Donate now to help us provide independent research and advice on global issues facing Australia