On his arrival at the Elysee Palace, President Emmanuel Macron ordered the drafting of a Strategic Review in order to frame the objectives of the new Military Programming Law 2019-2025. If the intention was certainly the right one, the constraints which surrounded the drafting of this document, in particular the respect of the format of the armies laid down by the White Paper of 2013, as well as the budgetary framework, certainly growing, but already fixed, have severely limited the expected benefits of the exercise. As one might expect, the Strategic Review presented in the fall of 2017, proving to be extremely consensual and missed several important points, such as the return of high intensity engagement, the very rapid rise of China and Russia, or the arrival of new disruptive technologies.
On the other hand, and so to speak against all odds, the commitments made during the electoral campaign by the candidate Macron, have been respected very precisely by successive governments since 2017, and the Military Programming Law 2019-2025 has so far been respected to the letter, including in the budgetary area. As soon as it was written, this military programming law provided for a “review” clause in 2021, in order to adapt its framework and application to the changes observed in recent years. It is precisely in this context that the Ministry of the Armed Forces published, a few days ago, a Revision of the Strategic Review, intended to frame this review clause, and thus adapt the LPM to the reality of the very versatile and evolving threat in recent years. Once again, the intention was good, but once again, it appears that the political constraints surrounding the exercise have emptied it of its meaning.
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