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InternationalAustralia announces record $32 billion boost to modernize military defenses over 10...

Australia announces record $32 billion boost to modernize military defenses over 10 years


In a major shift, Australia is significantly upgrading its military capabilities with a record investment of A$50.3 billion over the next decade. Addressing the Press Club, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles highlighted that the country now faces its “most dangerous security ” since War 2.

With strategic tensions rising in the Indo-Pacific region, Marles stressed that Australia can no longer rely on the traditional window of over 10 years to prepare for potential conflicts. The clear signals comes as China expands its naval footprint and the US shores up regional alliances against Beijing's growing ambitions. Geopolitical risks have also moved closer to Australia's doorstep eroding the buffer of distance once afforded.

Under the extensive plans, the Defense will rise to 2.4% of GDP by 2033-34 bringing Australia more in line with NATO defense spending levels. While only A$5.7 billion will be allocated over the short term, longer term projects aim to modernize capabilities including plans for nuclear-powered submarines and new drones and missiles. The government will also redirect A$72.8 billion to reprioritize forces for deterrence in the uncertain strategic environment.

Nonetheless, some experts note the substantial capital outlay may still not fully address capability gaps in a timely manner. According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the overarching strategic goals may take over a decade to achieve given the lead times required. With warning times diminished, questions remain if Australia can build the integrated forces needed for potential regional flashpoints that much sooner.

Overall, the strategic update underlines Australia's sober recognition that it must rapidly boost self-reliant defenses commensurate to the risks now closely encircling its borders. Sustained investments appear aimed at discouraging threats while shoring up key alliances central to regional stability.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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