France to slash 20K military jobs, seeking savings

France to cut 20K military jobs, seeking savings as economic crisis looms

Associated Press

PARIS (AP) -- France is cutting 20,000 military jobs in coming years and sharply tightening its defense budget in coming years.

The new cuts are aimed at dealing with undiminished demands on the French military at the same time that the bill for France's decades of deficit spending is coming due.

According to the defense ministry's new "White Book on Defense and National Security" France will cut an additional 20,000 defense posts by 2019, in addition to the 55,000 cuts called for under the last top-to-bottom defense review five years ago. According to the government, there are 228,000 members of the military now.

The broad outlines of France's defense strategy — maintaining its nuclear arsenal and its place in NATO — are unchanged, according to a review of long-range plans released Monday.

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