Saturday, September 2, 2023

Australia to boost long-range, northern bases.

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Australia has announced a major overhaul of its defence policy, marking the biggest change since World War II. The review, initiated by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese shortly after he was elected, has identified six priority areas for the country’s defence strategy. These include the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines, long-range strike capabilities, and the strengthening of northern bases. Additionally, the review has identified three other priorities for immediate action: improving the growth and retention of a highly skilled defence workforce, enhancing Australia’s capacity to rapidly translate new technologies into defence, and deepening defence and diplomatic partnerships with key partners in the Indo-Pacific.

The Defence Strategic Review was classified but has now been publicly released. Albanese has noted that the recommendations will strengthen Australia’s national security and ensure readiness for future challenges. The review aims to maintain peace, security, and prosperity in the region. Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles said that work on the initiatives would begin immediately, stressing that tough decisions need to be made in the best interest of the Defence Force and the nation.

The defence overhaul comes at a time of rising tension in East Asia, particularly over the self-ruled island of Taiwan. China’s military modernisation is also a cause for concern. The Australian government has previously expressed concern about the lack of transparency surrounding China’s military build-up. The government has said that a large-scale conventional and non-conventional military build-up without strategic reassurance is contributing to the most challenging circumstances in the region in decades.

The review was led by former Australian Defence Forces chief Angus Houston and former Defence Minister Stephen Smith. It recommended that Australia increase its defence spending from its current level of about 2 percent. The review’s recommendations aim to help build a more secure Australia and a more stable and prosperous region.

In conclusion, Australia’s major overhaul of its defence policy marks a significant change since World War II. The review has identified six priority areas for the country’s defence strategy, including the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines, long-range strike capabilities, and the strengthening of northern bases. The review also aims to improve the growth and retention of a highly skilled defence workforce, enhance Australia’s capacity to rapidly translate new technologies into defence, and deepen defence and diplomatic partnerships with key partners in the Indo-Pacific. The recommendations aim to maintain peace, security, and prosperity in the region and build a more secure Australia and a more stable and prosperous region.

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