Short on troops, Australia opens military to non-citizens

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SYDNEY: Australia will allow non-citizens to join its armed forces, the government said on Tuesday, as the sparsely populated country struggles to meet its recruitment targets. Defence Minister Richard Marles said from July, looser eligibility criteria would allow “permanent residents who have lived in Australia for 12 months” to serve. Citizens of Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States would be given preference, he added. Australia has a coastline that would stretch one and a half times around the Earth but a population of just 26 million.

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