“As the world becomes more complex and ambiguous.” Britain and Australia sign a new defense agreement “As the world becomes more complex and ambiguous.” Britain and Australia sign a new defense agreement

“As the world becomes more complex and ambiguous.” Britain and Australia sign a new defense agreement

“As the world becomes more complex and ambiguous.” Britain and Australia sign a new defense agreement

Britain and Australia announced the signing of a new defense agreement that allows the two allies to exchange hosting forces and military information, but it does not reach the level of a full defense treaty, according to “Agence France-Presse.”

British Defense Minister Grant Shapps and Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles signed the agreement during a ceremony held Thursday at Parliament House in Canberra.

“As the world becomes more complex and ambiguous, we must modernize our most important partnerships,” Marles said, adding that “the agreements we reached today will ensure this outcome in the future.”

The new document includes what is called the “Status of Forces Agreement,” which allows the forces of the two countries to “work together in each other’s countries,” but it does not amount to a complete mutual defense treaty that would obligate one of the two parties to intervene in the event that the other party is exposed to an attack or threat. Instead, both sides said they had an "obligation to consult" each other if threats emerged. 

Australia signed the Status of Forces Agreement with the United States a long time ago. 

Australia and Britain also belong, along with the United States, to the emerging "Ocus" defense alliance established to confront China in the Asia-Pacific region. 

One of the cornerstones of the OKOS agreement is a pledge to help Australia build a fleet of powerful nuclear-powered submarines. 

The Canberra Agreement would also facilitate, for example, Australian sailors using British nuclear submarines for training, or British submarine crews being stationed in Australia. 

Last February, Australia announced that it intends, over the next ten years, to double its fleet of warships and increase defense spending by $7 billion.

“This is the largest fleet we will have since the end of World War II,” the Australian Defense Minister said. “The Royal Australian Navy must be able to ensure the safety and security of our shipping routes because they are essential to our way of life and prosperity.”

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