France To Make Military Personnel Cuts

By Reuters

It will be debated in the months ahead in parliament, where the ruling Socialists have a slim majority, and is largely expected to be voted into law by year-end.

The military, which has sustained repeated budget cuts in recent years, is focused on overhauling the armed forces to create a more mobile army still capable of operating in two or three different theatres at the same time.

France’s engagement in Mali this year, which drove back Islamist rebels, has underscored the need for robust intelligence resources and special forces.

For the next three years, the annual budget will be frozen at 31.4 billion euros, the same level as 2013, with the expectation that it will rise in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The six-year draft budget calls for the elimination of 23,500 posts, 16,000 of which are administrative positions. The other 10,000 staff cuts were mandated under the previous budget.

France’s military employs some 228,000 personnel today. A further 165,000 individuals are employed by the defence industry, not including sub-contractors.

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