07:16 GMT04 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Australian government will increase the country's defence budget by approximately $51.8 billion within the next 10 years due to rising strategic competition in the Indo-Pacific region, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday.

    "An updated 10-year funding model that will enable defence to deliver the strategy and the complex capabilities it requires to keep us safe. This will see capability investment grow to [AU] $270 billion [US $186.5 billion] over the next decade. Now, that's up from [AU] $195 billion [US $134.7 billion] we committed in the decade following the 2016 Defence White Paper," Morrison said in a speech on the 2020 Defence Strategic Update.

    The prime minister justified the decision by invoking the global, economic and strategic uncertainty in the region not seen since the 1930s and 1940s.

    "Now, we must face that reality, understanding that we have moved into a new and less benign strategic area, one in which the institutions of patterns of cooperation that have benefited our prosperity and security for decades, are now under increasing - and I would suggest almost irreversible - strain. The Indo-Pacific is the epicentre of rising strategic competition. Our region will not only shape our future, increasingly though, it is the focus of the dominant global contest of our age," Morrison said.

    The country plans to strengthen its longer-range strike weapons, cyber-capabilities, area-denial systems to be prepared for the full spectrum of potential threats.

    Tags:
    Budget, Defense, Australia, Scott Morrison
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