Australia plans $190 billion defense boost over decade
Wednesday, 1 July 2020
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s prime minister on Wednesday announced 270 billion Australian dollars ($190 billion) in additional defense spending over the next decade, which will include long-range missiles and other capabilities to hold enemies further from its shores.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned that the post-pandemic world will become more dangerous and announced a renewed focus on Australia’s immediate region, although its military would be open to joining U.S.-led coalitions as it did in Afghanistan and Iraq in campaigns that were in the Australian national interest.
Australia had not seen such economic and strategic uncertainty in the region since World War II for reasons including tensions between the United States and China, he said.
“This simple truth is this: Even as we stare down the COVID pandemic at home, we need to also prepare for a post-COVID world that is poorer, that is more dangerous and that is more disorderly,” Morrison said.
Tensions over territorial claims were rising between India and China and in the South China Sea, Morrison said.
“The risk of miscalculation and even conflict is heightened,” Morrison said. “Regional military modernization is at an unprecedented rate.”
“Relations between China and the United States are fractious at best as they compete for political, economic and technological supremacy,” he added.
Australia will invest in more lethal and long-range capabilities that will hold enemies further from its shores, including longer-range strike weapons and offensive cyber capabilities.
To increase maritime strike capability, Australia will buy the AGM-158C anti-ship missile from the U.S. Navy at an estimated cost of AU$800 million, the government said.
The new missile is a significant upgrade...
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