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Keeping the sea lanes open: a cost–benefit analysis

Defence Shipping Australia Southeast Asia Asia China

Defence and economics mix in ways that aren’t considered by military strategists

ONE OF the convictions that drives military policy in the developed world is a shared belief in the importance of keeping sea lanes open. For the authors of Australia’s white paper on defence, released to a generally favourable reaction earlier this month, freedom of the seas self-evidently justifies the expenditure of $150 billion or more on new submarines. The only real controversy arises from the second-order question of whether the task requires a rushed replacement of our existing fleet or a slower and more careful response…

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