The French government today revealed that it will freeze its defense budget for the next six years as part of proposed cuts to hamper its ability to mount military operations such as its intervention in Mali.
The freeze will still lead to the loss of 34,000 jobs in the defense ministry at a time of growing unemployment in France, according to a strategic review announced on Monday.
The decision also means the Socialist government will need to look elsewhere to raise funds as it tries to reduce state spending by 60 billion euros over its five-year term and meet deficit targets, according to a Reuters report.
"France wants to maintain its ability to react alone. This recent period has proved that there is a definite lack in the army in terms of equipment," President Francois Hollande said.
French lawmakers and military officials, blasted Hollande, and feared that cuts ordered by the finance ministry would harm France's military capability.
In January, the French military was praised for its intervention in Mali in January which drove back Islamist rebels. But the operation showed its limitations in mid-air refueling, troop transportation and intelligence gathering, Reuters added.