Foreign nationals can now join the Australian army

Foreign nationals can now join the Australian army

Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said that from July looser eligibility criteria would allow “permanent residents who have lived in Australia for 12 months” to serve in its military.

Recruitment of British, Canadian, New Zealand and American citizens will be favored, he added.

Australia has a very large coastline but a population limited to 26 million inhabitants. In recent years, Canberra has increased its defense spending, investing in submarines, aircraft and numerous combat vehicles in the face of growing regional tensions.

But the country is struggling to recruit enough pilots, sailors and soldiers. Experts warn that too few Australians are wearing uniform to meet current needs, let alone those predicted for the future.

According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the Australian army now has 90,000 personnel, including reservists. In the same Asia-Pacific region, the Chinese army has a strength of around two million people.

Australia’s defense minister stressed that increasing the military’s numbers was “essential to meeting the nation’s security challenges over the next decade and beyond.”

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