France Defence & Security Report Q1 2014: New research report available at Fast Market Research

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Tue Jan 07 2014

BMI's France Defence and Security report for Q114 examines several aspects of the country's defence posture, its defence industrial complex, armed forces and defence decision-making process. Currently the government is reducing defence expenditure. During 2013, the government has attempted to raise defence revenue by auctioning some of the electromagnetic spectrum used by the military. Similarly, it has also reduced the budget of the country's DGA procurement organisation, the armed forces' maintenance, repair, and overhaul organisation, and also the information technology and logistics budgets of the Ministry of Defence. Despite these reductions, the French defence budget is expected to broadly grow until 2017 at a rate of circa 3% per year.

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The defence budget is also being reduced by downsizing personnel levels. For example, in late October 2013 the Franco-German 1,000-strong infantry brigade activated in 1989 was dissolved, comprising 850 troops and 150 civilian staff. Other personnel reductions were announced in early October 2013. These include plans to restructure four French Air Force airbases and to dissolve a tank regiment. The reductions are part of a plan to reduce the military by up to 23,500 personnel by 2019. Reform plans also saw the elimination of a total of 54,000 posts by 2019 as part of the cuts.

At the time of writing in November 2013, speculation focused on whether France would undertake a military intervention in the Central African Republic (CAR) amid a worsening security situation there. The African country has witnessed large-scale sectarian violence, human rights violations and what appears to be the impending collapse of the state. French intervention could take place to stem further violence between armed gangs taking advantage of the security vacuum there. France is expected to put forward a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for the deployment of a peacekeeping force to restore stability and to end the violence. The plan could see up to 1,000 French troops being deployed to strengthen the contingent of 400 who already guard the country's main airport at Bangui.

During Q413, Paris played a key role in supporting a Russia-US-Syrian brokered deal, which has seen the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad accept the deployment of Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons teams on Syrian territory to identify, catalogue, collect and destroy the government's chemical weapons stocks, production facilities, deployment means and infrastructure. The move occurred following a chemical weapons attack on a Damascus suburb in August 2013, which may have killed over 1,700 people. France has also played an important role in the brokering of a deal in late 2013 that saw Iran agree to a degree of monitoring of its nuclear infrastructure in return for the lifting of some economic sanctions imposed upon the Islamic Republic.

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