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France’s New Military Budget: Rethinking Power

RUSI Newsbrief, 13 Nov 2013 By Frédéric Charillon
Following a comprehensive review of both the means and ends of its military apparatus, France has this year set out its defence and strategic posture for the years to come. As part of this process, it published a new defence White Paper in April and, after a vote in the Senate in October, adopted the loi de programmation militaire (Military Programming Law), outlining military spending provisions for the period 2014–19.

This review has come at a paradoxical moment for the country. On the one hand, France has been hit hard by budgetary constraints, while, on the other, it is shaping up to be the most interventionist of the Western powers. Examples of this more engaged posture abound – from Paris’s strong stances on the crises in Côte d’Ivoire and Libya in spring 2011 to its involvement in Mali in January 2013, and even to Syria, where France’s willingness to strike the Assad regime has been no secret. Perhaps France’s attention will now turn to the Central African Republic, with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announcing in October an increase in troops to confront the chaos in the country.

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Further Analysis: France, Europe, Defence Policy

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