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This paper argues that Australia's current defence strategy does not correspond with the realities of it's security situation.

The plan for the modernisation of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is focused on expensive maritime and air capabilities for conflicts that the ADF couldn’t fight alone. Consequently, the ADF is exposed with an atrophying ground force and expeditionary capability for the low-level regional operations in which it will be most likely to engage.

The ANZUS alliance is emerging as the cornerstone alliance for stability in the Asia-Pacific region but the US must understand the implications Australian defence planning will have on the future alliance.

Colonel John Angevine is a Federal Executive Fellow of the Brookings Institution which has also published a version of this paper.

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