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Defence expansion would break the budget if Australia ditches US alliance: Angus Houston

Scrapping the US alliance would force Australia to meet its own defence costs, hammering the federal budget, former chief of defence Angus Houston has warned, while also counselling the Turnbull government against over-reacting to China’s territorial expansion in the South China Sea.He said Australia should not contemplate naval exercises close to the recently constructed islands, and should instead focus on diplomatic representations designed to halt further militarisation.

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Sir Angus, arguably Australia’s pre-eminent defence elder, said the US-Australia and New Zealand defence pact known as ANZUS, had been the institutional key to Australia’s national security since the blackest days of World War II.”It has been the cornerstone of our defence policy ever since,” he said during an address to the National Press Club on the topic of Australia’s US alliance.
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