France Raises Military Budget

France Raises Military BudgetFrance Raises Military Budget

French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday he has decided to increase the military budget by $4.2 billion (3.8b euro) between now and 2019 to allow troops to fulfill their “anti-terror mission.”

Hollande, speaking after a defense council meeting, said he will maintain “in a durable way” the 7,000 troops currently deployed on French soil to patrol in airports, train stations and other sensitive sites, AP reported.

“France is facing threats at home and overseas,” Hollande told reporters. “Security, protection, independence are principles that are not negotiable.”

The budget increase will allow the defense ministry to cut 18,500 fewer jobs than previously planned, according to a top official in Hollande’s entourage who was not authorized to speak publicly. Under the military budget law passed last year, 34,000 job cuts were planned from 2014 to 2019.

He said the defense budget in 2015 would remain at 31.4 billion euro, but that the extra 3.8 billion euro would be given to the army over the next four years. He did not say how the extra costs would be financed.

A large share of the spending will go towards bolstering forces of homeland security and equipment that will help the army counter terror threats, Hollande said.

French officials say the country faces an unprecedented terror threat after gunmen in January shot dead members of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police officers and shoppers at a kosher store in Paris. There was a reminder of the threat this month when security forces detained a heavily armed man, who investigators said was planning attacks on churches in Paris.