France to Boost Military Spending by 40%

French Pres. Emmanuel Macron on Friday said France would increase its military budget by more than one-third over the next six years to respond to "the dangers of the century," including threats posed by the Russia-Ukraine war and technological advances.

France to Boost Military Spending by 40%
Image credit: AFP [via Aljazeera]

Facts

  • French Pres. Emmanuel Macron on Friday said France would increase its military budget by more than one-third over the next six years to respond to "the dangers of the century," including threats posed by the Russia-Ukraine war and technological advances.
  • The planned 2024-2030 budget will reportedly be raised to €413B ($447B), up from €295B ($320B) in 2019-2025, to aid France's military "to be one war ahead" and adapt to the possibility of high-intensity conflicts.
  • Macron also stated the increased defense spending would go to modernizing France's nuclear arsenal, boost its military intelligence budget by 60%, double the number of military reservists, reinforce cyber-defense, and develop more remote-controlled weapons.
  • A significant part of the increased budget would also be spent on expanding the French submarine surveillance capacity to depths of 6K meters (19,685 ft) for military reasons and protecting critical infrastructure such as undersea cables carrying energy.
  • The 27-nation European Union largely depends on the US and NATO to protect its security. With a higher budget, France — the only EU country with nuclear weapons — will likely meet NATO's military spending guidelines of at least 2% of GDP by 2025.
  • France's massive rise in defense budget comes as other nations also increase their military spending, including Sweden, Finland, Japan, and Germany.

Sources: Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, Independent, Telegraph, and BBC News.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by ECFR. The government must increase France's military budget to ensure the nation's security, freedom, and prosperity. Russia's invasion of Ukraine, hybrid warfare, and a deteriorating global economy have increased the threat of high-intensity conflicts, which is why it's all the more important for Paris not only to boost its own defense capacities but also set an example for the rest of Europe.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Al Mayadeen. While military spending is important, Macron needs to be careful not to exhaust public expenditures in one area. As France grapples with mass protests following recent pension reforms, the timing of his announcement is thoughtless and risks fueling the current unrest. There must be a balance between beefing up France's security and supporting the French people amid the tumultuous economic environment; Macron's new budget sorely misses this target.

Predictions