Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Strategic Weekly Analysis

A number of short articles addressing current intelligence topics, issued each week.

Ardern Diplomatic but Comments Point to Hardening of New Zealand’s Attitude to China

Addressing the China Business Summit in Auckland, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave a clear signal that her government has no illusions about China. Ms Ardern’s comment that the differences between the two countries’ systems, interests and values are becoming harder to reconcile indicates that Wellington is refining how it manages its relationship with Beijing.

Israel’s Greatest Stigma: Poverty

It is hard to fathom how, in a country that boasts about its technological advancements, scientific breakthroughs, economic prosperity and military prowess, 23 per cent of its population lives under the poverty line as an underclass that is potentially far more ominous than any of Israel’s external enemies.

Japan’s Quiet Pushback Against China

Japan’s understated strategy of pushing back against China’s technological and military plans appears to be accelerating. The question is, will Prime Minister Suga continue the Abe Administration’s expansion of its own military’s remit in doing so?

China Boosts Djibouti Presence: More Investments and Naval Base Capable of Docking Aircraft Carriers

In tandem with the warning from US Africa Command that China’s naval base in Djibouti – for now, its only overseas military facility – has the ability to accommodate vessels as large as aircraft carriers, China is continuing its massive investments in the strategically-located country. With Chinese money pouring in, Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh will have little interest in turning off the taps, even at the risk of his country falling victim to debt trap diplomacy.

Is the Likelihood of War with China Increasing?

After years of appeasing China in order to gain access to its markets, the US now appears to be taking a much harder line against Beijing, emphasising national security over commerce. That could be dangerous.

Erdogan’s Misogyny Transcends His Moral Decadence

President Erdoğan’s decision to withdraw Turkey from the 2011 Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women is by far the most despicable turn he has yet taken against women.

India’s Neighbourhood Connectivity is Improving, But Slowly

Due to troubled ties with its neighbours, India’s attempts at enhancing its transport connections in South Asia and beyond have not been entirely successful. With both the Pakistani and Indian economies facing difficult challenges, it makes sense to boost bilateral trade relations and explore new forms of connectivity. While better connectivity with Afghanistan and Central Asia would benefit India, Pakistan, too, would benefit from more harmonious relations, economically, politically and security-wise.

Reacting to China’s Provocations in the South China Sea

Washington’s reiteration that it will defend the Philippines and Taiwan if either were attacked by Beijing further heightens the chance of conflict between the two powers.

Israel’s Plight: An Absence of Leadership

The result of the fourth election in two years clearly points to the dysfunction of Israel’s political system and the many fault lines of its democracy. Sadly, personal rivalries rather than political platforms that address foreign and domestic policies rule the day.

Revisiting The JCPOA: The Danger to the Middle East

Any re-negotiation of the JCPOA must necessarily include a sunset clause that Israel finds acceptable and mechanisms to fully ensure that Iran does not use its nuclear programme for military purposes. Any less could lead to further regional conflict, the nuclearisation of the Middle East or both.

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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