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During the wishes to the armies, Emmanuel Macron boasts of the constant increase in the defense budget under his presidency

Only the future of the French military presence in Mali has not been clarified. The Head of State, Emmanuel Macron, took advantage, on Wednesday January 19, of the last wishes to the armies of his five-year term to praise the constant increase in the defense budget under his presidency and to salute the commitment of the troops.

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Speaking to soldiers at the army camp in Oberhoffen (Bas-Rhin), he recalled:

“I wanted, in the military programming law [LPM 2019-2025], provide armies with appropriate, modern, powerful and innovative means to better fulfill their missions today and tomorrow. »

“198 billion euros are mobilized over the 2019-2023 period: a commitment made and kept year after year for a profound renewal of our defence. » “Since its promulgation, the resource trajectory of the LPM has been rigorously respected”, he argued.

Strong tribute to the armies

“The challenge for the next few years (…) will be to further adapt our army model to new threats”, he continued, considering that « France must defend its interests and uphold its values, those of Europe, in a world where strategic competition is increasing, with a disinhibition of the behavior of certain States, while the terrorist threat remains strong ».

The Head of State paid a strong tribute to the armies:

“At your head for almost five years, I know exactly what underlies the results achieved, the operational successes, of the Battle of Baghouz [en 2019 contre l’organisation Etat islamique en Syrie] to Operation “Hamilton” [raid aérien en Syrie en 2018], from the neutralization of terrorist leaders to the deployment of a military resuscitation element in Mulhouse, or more recently, the operation “Apagan” [d’évacuation en Afghanistan en août]. »

The nation “Shows you his immense respect and infinite gratitude for your sacrifices”, he added after visiting the camp workshops of the intelligence services of the army.

The question of staying in Mali eluded

In his speech, the Head of State evaded the question of maintaining a French military presence in Mali, at a time when Paris maintains execrable relations with the Malian junta, which refuses to organize elections quickly and has recourse, according to Paris, to Russian mercenaries.

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France, militarily present in Mali for nine years to fight against jihadists via the “Serval” and then “Barkhane” operations, this summer undertook a reduction in its workforce and a reorganization of its system.

But it had so far intended to maintain troops in Gao, Ménaka and Gossi, spearheaded by the new European special forces group « Takuba », initiated by Paris to share the burden.

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The President only commented:

“Our action is adjusting, the fight against terrorism continues and is changing. I salute the commitment of our European and African partners as well as the quality of the work carried out together in order to be able to take the right decisions in the face of a very changing situation. »

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