No need to choose between guns or butter

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By Frank Yuan

The Morrison government’s plan for defence spending outlined in the Defence Strategic Update last month has been incorporated into the Canberra consensus, with Labor offering no criticism and the mainstream press largely supportive. Yet as the government grapples with debt and deficit as the country fights the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s also safe to expect more pressure in favour of freezing, if not squeezing, funding for defence and diplomacy in the years ahead. Indeed, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has already suffered from downsizing.

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