Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Strategic Weekly Analysis

Rizieq’s Return Unwelcome News for Australia

The presence of the firebrand cleric in Indonesia will make Canberra uncomfortable as he represents a cultural shift that could further alienate the two countries and complicate any initiatives towards gaining a better understanding of each other.

Tigray Violence Threatens Ethiopian Transformation

With the country already riven along ethnic lines, the escalating violence between government forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front further threatens both Ethiopia’s recent advancements and its future progress.

Food and Water Security on the Agenda as Israeli Delegation Visits Sudan

Improved relations with the United States and Israel could help Sudan repair its economy and improve food and water security. As that will help it gain access to international finance and assist it in expressing its interests in regional water sharing negotiations.

Increased Risk of “Day Zero” Droughts due to Climate Change

While there is uncertainty about future climate conditions, it is probable that South Africa, Australia and other regions with similar climate conditions will experience severe droughts that could deplete water sources, mainly as a result of climate change.

Pakistan Releases “Proof” of Indian-Sponsored Terrorism: Does it Matter?

Pakistan’s release of “proof” of Indian-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan will further substantiate the beliefs of those who suspect India is complicit in those events and cause others who see it as more unsubstantiated Pakistani claims to dismiss the charges out of hand. Nothing has changed.

Russia to Build Red Sea Naval Base

The proposed naval logistics facility on the Sudanese coast continues Russia’s quest to regain influence in the Middle East and Horn of Africa regions in the face of competition from the United States, China, Japan and Western Europe.

South Africa Welcomes Biden Presidency

South Africa will be looking forward to working with a more globally-attuned White House from January 2021, but the scale and nature of the domestic issues in the US mean that Pretoria will have to work hard to capture the attention of the new president.

Iran: A Passion for Large-Scale Water Projects is Unlikely to Alleviate Complex Water Problems

As Iran inaugurates the first stage of a major water transfer project this month, history shows that similar projects failed to alleviate water insecurity as they did not address the root causes of water scarcity.

Another Chinese Red Line Crossed? US Marines Train in Taiwan

If reports that US Marines are training Taiwanese troops in Taiwan are true, it would appear that the US is deliberately challenging China. That would be seen regionally and beyond as a deliberate insult to the Chinese Communist Party, one that is calculated to provoke a response from China’s leaders or see them diminished in the eyes of the region and domestically.

From Sea Foam to Concrete Threat: The Quad as a Spearhead

China may be right to be wary, if not of an Indo-Pacific NATO, at least of a Quad with teeth, but Beijing only has itself to blame for a more aggressive Quad.

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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