France’s budget cuts threaten to make foreign operations near ‘impossible’

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France is on the precipice of a dubious first: the inability to successfully conduct military operations abroad.

Members of the top brass in the French army, navy and air force — as well as its joint chief of staff — have threatened to quit if the government continues to slash the defense budget, the non-partisan think tank The Atlantic Council reported Friday.


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France’s defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that further cuts would render foreign operations “impossible,” The Atlantic Council reported.

The list of members who have threatened to quit last week include:

• Gen. Bertrand Ract-Madoux, who heads France’s army

• Adm. Bernard Rogel, who heads Frances navy

• Gen. Denis Mercier, who heads France’s air force

• Pierre de Villiers, France’s military chief of staff

France’s prime minister sought to quell the uproar on Friday, saying further cuts would not happen, the Associated Press reported. France currently spends roughly $43 billion a year on defense needs, but a five-year plan by its Finance Ministry would cut it to less than $40 billion.

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