Australia’s Defence Budget to increase 81% Over Next Decade 26 February, 2016

Australia unveiled a new investment in the nation’s defence capabilities on Thursday to address what Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called “high stakes” and “momentous times” in Asia. Canberra plans the most ambitious regeneration of its naval forces since World War II. Australia’s defence spending will increase from US$23.07 billion in fiscal year 2016-17 to US$41.08 billion in 2025-26, according to the new 2016 Defence White Paper released by the Australian Department of Defence this week. That’s an 81 percent jump in expenditure over the next decade. Citing increased defence spending around the region and potential flashpoints in the South China Sea and the Korean peninsula, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government was committed to combating the most challenging strategic environment “we have faced in peacetime”. The announcement comes with Australia’s close ally the United States pursuing a foreign policy “pivot” towards Asia, while Beijing flexes its muscle in the region through a military build-up in the contested South China Sea. At the same time, tensions are high on the Korean peninsula after North Korea’s January nuclear test and a rocket launch this month.

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