The budget of the French armies will increase by a third for the next seven years

A commitment of nearly 120 billion euros. Faced with the military, during his New Year’s greetings, Emmanuel Macron promised to increase the budget of the armies to 413 billion euros over seven years, within the framework of the future military programming law (LPM). This is a third more than the previous LPM, which amounted to 295 billion euros.

“The military programming law reflects the country’s efforts in favor of its armies” and “these efforts will be proportionate to the dangers, that is to say considerable”, announced the Head of State during his greetings to the armies, on the air base of Mont-de-Marsan (Landes), by ensuring that the armies would have a total of 413 billion euros between 2024 and 2030, taking into account extrabudgetary revenues. “We must have a war in advance” to “be ready for more brutal, more numerous and more ambiguous wars at the same time”, commented the president in front of an audience of high-ranking officers.

War in Ukraine and inflation

This long-awaited law, while the war in Ukraine has highlighted weaknesses in the French military system, will thus continue the massive financial effort in the defense tool after a 2019-2025 LPM of 295 billion euros, which had ended years of budget cuts in the armies. The LPM, whose new budget envelope will however be tempered by inflation and the explosion of energy costs, should be submitted to Parliament for a vote by the summer.

“After having repaired the armies, we are going to transform them” because “we must do better and differently”, argued the Head of State, who wishes to “prioritize the speed of action and the rise in power, because we will not choose not the conflicts that we will have to lead”. The new LPM will emphasize sovereignty, while France intends to remain a respected power and a credible partner, as underlined by the latest national strategic review.

Acting with or without NATO

The increase in credits will be particularly sensitive for deterrence and risk detection. The budget allocated to military intelligence will thus increase by nearly 60% over the period 2024-2030, announced Emmanuel Macron. The budget of the Military Intelligence Directorate (DRM) and the Defense Intelligence and Security Directorate (DRSD) will notably be doubled. Efforts to modernize French nuclear deterrence, to which 5.6 billion euros in payment appropriations are devoted in 2023, will be continued, and cyber capabilities will be “very significantly reinforced” to have a “first-class “.

“We must all carry out an introspection in the light of Ukraine”, insists the presidency, which wishes “to adapt our organization of command”. On the other hand, warns the Elysée, there is no question of modeling French capacity needs on those of the Ukrainians. “France is not Ukraine, it does not have the same security interests, no border with Russia, we have nuclear weapons and we belong to the European Union and NATO” , emphasizes the presidency.

On the other hand, France must be able to act within a European framework, with or without NATO, which implies being able to deploy a joint capability of 20,000 men. The Overseas Territories will be the subject of additional investments in terms of equipment and staff, because the progress of the world puts many of these territories, particularly in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean, “at the forefront of possible confrontations of tomorrow”, underlined Emmanuel Macron.

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