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Analysis Assessment

A bridge too far.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

Jiaozhou Bay/Qingdao-Haiwan Bridge, China. Photo: Feel the Planet (   The Labour-led government in New Zealand has settled on a new mantra when it comes to addressing the US-China rivalry. It claims that New Zealand is ideally situated to become a bridge between the two great powers and an honest broker when it comes to […]

Confronting Sharp Power.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

  Source:   International relations is about exercising power to achieve objectives on the global stage. The actors that do so are states, companies, non-governmental organizations or criminal and non-state political actors acting directly or as proxies. The tools they employ have traditionally included hard power, which is the threat and use of diplomatic, economic […]

On intelligence oversight, a broader perspective.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

Introduction. Director Paul G. Buchanan has been named as a member of the New Zealand Inspector General of Intelligence and Security’s Reference Group, an external interest intermediation panel. The backdrop to his appointment is that historically the IGIS has been a hollow agency posing as an institutional check on the agencies it is statutorily charged […]

Analytic Brief: Influence Operations, Targeted Interventions and Intelligence Gathering: A Primer.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

Revelations of Chinese influence operations in Australia and New Zealand, and the ongoing sequels to the Russian “interference” in the 2016 US election, have caused outcry and concern amongst policy-makers and public alike. Beyond the xenophobic aspects to fears of the spectre of a “Yellow Peril” emerging in the Antipodes (a fear that we do […]

Brazil enters the military airlift market, with New Zealand as a target.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

 Photo:   Military aviation has become a global business that transcends strike forces and combat-only platforms. Flexibility in non-military missions such as search and rescue, firefighting and medical evacuation are now added to traditional military airlift missions like troop and weapons transport, airdrop and long-range patrol, surveillance and intelligence gathering. In this analytic brief […]

The Importance of Leadership Analysis.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

Leadership analysis is a vital yet under-utilised tool in the field of geopolitical risk assessment and strategic analysis. In this brief we explain why it is important, how it is undertaken and what 36th Parallel Assessments can offer clients in this regard. Source: The election of Donald Trump to the US presidency has revived […]

From failure, opportunity beckons.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, a multinational trade and investment accord involving eleven Pacific Rim countries other than the US, is seen as a blow to hopes for a freer flow of goods and services in the Asia-Pacific Region. In this analytic brief we look at the potential opportunities presented […]

Constitutional Coups.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

A disturbing development in democratic politics is the emergence of a new form of forced ouster of presidents. Although military-led coups continue to occur, they have increasingly been met with disapproval at home and abroad. In their place have emerged “constitutional coups” whereby impeachment is used as a weapon against executive branch incumbents by disloyal […]

Political Risk and Sustainable Enterprise.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Boomslang canopy walkway, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa.   The terms “political risk” and “sustainable enterprise” are not often associated. They should be. The degree of sustainability of an enterprise has direct and long- term cultural, economic, social and political ramifications for the communities in which it is located. The less sustainable the […]

Occasional Paper Series: Foreign Policy Realignment, Issue Linkage, Institutional Lag and the New Zealand Intelligence Community.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau facility in Waihopai, South Island (41° 34′ 35″ S, 173° 44′ 20″ E). Source: Shultz via Wikimedia Commons.   Introduction.  This essay examines the subject of institutional lag after foreign policy realignment, using as an example the “core “ of the New Zealand intelligence community (the Security Intelligence Service […]

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