LPM 2023: France wants to give its Armed Forces the necessary means to deal with new threats

Following the election of François Hollande as President of the Republic in 2013, the new government of Jean-Marc Ayrault undertook to design a new Military Programming Law, with the clearly stated objective of reducing military expenditure to a strict minimum. state in this area. It is in this context that the services of the Ministry of Finance of Bercy undertook to propose the famous "Plan Z", aimed at limiting the French armed forces to an expeditionary force of 60.000 men for external operations, and at deterrence to treat the international threat then perceived as particularly diffuse, despite the numerous alerts which showed since 2008 that Russia, but also China, Turkey or Iran, were following confrontational trajectories. It then took all the political weight of Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, and one of the firmest positions of the 4 Chiefs of Staff at the time, to make Bercy and Jean-Marc Ayrault renounce their objectives. Although the budget of the armies did not grow over this five-year period, and the format of the armies was revised downwards, the joint action of the heads of the armies made it possible to considerably limit the damage by maintaining a global army format, even if some of its components were reduced to just maintaining skills.

It is in particular thanks to their stubbornness and their determination that Emmanuel Macron and Florence Parly were able to launch, from 2017, a budgetary trajectory in order to repair the armies, because there was something left to repair? The strict application of the 2019-2025 Military Programming Law has brought the budget of the Armed Forces to €41 billion in 2022, compared to €32 billion in 2016, i.e. an increase of almost 30% in 5 years. While the new Minister for the Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu has undertaken to design a new Military Programming Law for the period 2023-2029 in order to respond to the very rapid deterioration of security issues, including in Europe, it seems that a new faith, and despite the consequences that one can imagine if Plan Z had been implemented in 2013, Bercy intends to play the arbiter against the budgetary ambitions announced by the Hotel de Brienne, but in a radically different way.

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It took all the determination of JY LeDrian and the 4 Chiefs of Staff in 2013 to prevent the budgetary scuttling of the French Armies

Indeed, Sebastien Lecornu and the Ministry of the Armed Forces are currently working on an overall trajectory of €400 to €410 billion over the period 2023-2029, i.e. an average of €57 to €58 billion/year, i.e. an increase of €16 billion. /year and almost 40% compared to the 2022 budget. Bercy, for its part, remains camped on an overall expenditure of €377 billion over the same period, i.e. an average budget of €53 billion per year and an increase limited to €12 billion and 31% per year. Once transposed into a linear increase in credits, the Ministry of the Armed Forces would target an Armed Forces budget of €73 billion in 2029, i.e. a defense effort of 2,7% (the value recommended on many occasions in our articles), while Bercy would like to limit this objective to €65 billion in 2029 and a defense effort of 2,4%. It must be recognized that Bercy's proposal would probably have delighted all the military only a few years ago, while the trajectory proposed by the Ministry of the Armed Forces precisely meets the needs of the Armed Forces by taking into account objective realities. French. However, the trajectory proposed by the Hotel de Brienne would offer multiplied opportunities to France, both in Europe and in the world.

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  1. […] In fact, for several months now, long-range artillery systems, whether large-caliber self-supporting systems carrying 50 km today, and more than 70 km tomorrow, and systems precision rocket launchers such as the American HIMARS or the South Korean K239, carrying between 80 and 300 km, have experienced an extraordinary resurgence of interest within Western armies, Poland alone having announced an order for 300 K239 Chunmoo with Seoul, and 200 additional HIMARS with Washington, constituting, with some 624 South Korean 9mm K155 self-propelled guns, the most formidable artillery capacity in Western Europe, and one of the most powerful on the whole planet. In France too, the problem is topical, and is also one of the main areas of progress identified as part of the preparation of the next Military Programming Law 2023-2029 currently being prepared. […]

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