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Macron wants to reassure the Armies, with a budgetary effort “unpublished and incomparable”

Ⓒ AFP – Anne-Christine POUJOULAT – | Emmanuel Macron in front of naval soldiers aboard the
Dixmude ship, in the harbor of Toulon, January 19,
2018

Emmanuel Macron wanted to reassure the military on Friday
during his wishes to the Armies, expressing the “recognition”
and “pride” of France and promising a budget effort
“unpublished and incomparable”.

“Do not be afraid,” said the head of state in front of 1,500
soldiers aboard the ship Dixmude, in the harbor of Toulon,
borrowing the famous formula of Pope John Paul II.

Six months after the resounding resignation of army chief of
staff Pierre de Villiers, which originated from the savings
claimed in 2017 to the armies, Emmanuel Macron reiterated that
the defense budget would be increased to 2% of the GDP of here
in 2025, recalling that by 2018 it would be increased by 1.8
billion euros to reach 34.2 billion.

In return, the president asked the
Armed Forces “the greatest collective demand”, warning that he
would look after it “personally”. “Every expenditure will be
evaluated by the yardstick of its operational utility,” he
warned.

The president announced “renewal works” of the two
components of nuclear deterrence, “the oceanic force and the
air component”. Nuclear deterrence has been “the cornerstone of
our defense strategy for more than 50 years,” Macron said,
adding that the “debates” on this topic were “now decided”.

Macron also pledged “a major push” for military intelligence
and “enhanced cyber defense capabilities.”

Addressing the issue of universal national service, campaign
promise, he assured that it “will be (it) brought to an end”,
responding to the doubts that emerged at the beginning of the
year, especially because of the expected cost of the
project.

– Industrials called to order –

“I want to reassure everyone, it will be completed, it will
arrive safely, it will be driven by all relevant ministries,
and not just by the Ministry of the Armed Forces, it will have
ad hoc funding, which will come in nothing to impact the
military programming law “2019-2025 to be presented soon, he
said, without giving more details on the form that will take
this future service.

The head of state also issued a warning to defense industry
demanding “better cost-effectiveness” for military equipment.
He notably deplored the “unavailability rates” of certain
equipment within the armies. He also criticized the lobbying of
“corridors, corridors” by supporters of the construction of a
second aircraft carrier.

In the field of operations, the president confirmed that the
Islamic State (IS) organization in Iraq and Syria was “almost
totally defeated”. The international coalition fighting the
jihadist group should win the “military victory” on the ground
“in the coming weeks,” he said.

“This will not be the end of this fight, but we will adapt
our national system according to the operational situation
during this year and I want now that we commit ourselves
resolutely in the stabilization, reconstruction and assistance
to populations with our partners, “he said.

Stressing that France is “becoming the European reference
army”, Emmanuel Macron pleaded for “cooperation” in defense,
saying that Germany “is for us a prime partner”, while the UK
will remain, despite the Brexit, “an essential partner”.

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