Sébastien Lecornu: “The military programming law allows France to remain world power”

The Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, details the challenges of the new military programming law, unveiled Friday noon by Emmanuel Macron.

Interview by Cédric Pietétraunga and Elise Vincent

France will devote 413 billion euros to its armies between 2024 and 2030, Emmanuel Macron announced during a trip, Friday, January 20, at the Mont-de-Marsan air base (Landes). The Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, details the priorities and the challenges of this new military programming law (LPM), unprecedented by its magnitude.

to which ambition corresponds to this envelope of 413 billion euros on Seven years?

This is a historical sum. If we had to find a comparison on this political, budgetary, military, technological effort, we should go back to the Gaullists in the 1960s, when they transformed our army model and launched themselves in the race for the Atom to make France a power endowed. This law has two objectives: to protect us, including in the face of new threats, and to project ourselves outside, with our allies, to defend, if necessary, our security and our values. This budget allows France to remain a world power. Without this choice, we would be relegated.

How was the explosion of factors into account, such as the cost of raw materials and energy, many of which feared the effects ?

It is obviously integrated. The debate is not there. We are now talking about a doubling of the Annual Budget of Armed Forces between 2017 – 32.7 billion over the year – and 2030! These 413 billion euros are more than a budget envelope. It is an effort requested from the nation, at the service of a strategy to guarantee the protection of the country.

This envelope will allow you to respond to all requests from the armies or will they have to give up to some things?

With 413 billion euros, we can hardly talk about renunciation. On the other hand, you have to make bets. Do not hope to win a battle in 2030 with the equipment of 2020: technological jumps are increasingly rapid. Let us not do like those who cling to their horses by pushing the programs of mechanized tanks … You have to be agile.

The president uses the term “transformation” to characterize this new LPM, after the Previous (2019-2023) was described as “repair”. What do you want to transform?

The French army has long been damaged, with brutal budget punctures. Our military apparatus was able to operate in slow motion in training, in terms of stocks, or even sometimes evolve in a degraded environment. Now, it is no longer so much a question of repairing, even if it will continue, especially in terms of infrastructure or support for forces. The evolution of the world requires us to pragmatically adapt our defense model: “Tell me your dangers, I will give you your army.”

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/Media reports cited above.