Defence Budget : the rant of Gwendal Rouillard, member of parliament LREM

A beginning of rebellion within the Republic in March? The cuts in the defence budget announced on Tuesday by the minister of the public Accounts Gérald Darmarin do not pass. Not really. “I consider that the proposal of the ministry of Finance is unacceptable, simply unacceptable”, said about the savings requested from the department of the army, deputy of the Republic on the gulf of Morbihan, Gwendal Rouillard on the channel BFM Business. “You can’t tell one side that we must protect our fellow citizens, because today the state of the threat and at the same time the first blow of the plane budget go and take this kind of decisions. I do the move not”…

“I am outraged by this proposal and by the fact that some in government may not be able to deliver on our commitments, said Gwendal Rouillard. The president of the Republic has confirmed the operation Sentinel on the national territory. It has been confirmed in Mali, the commitment of our troops in the Sahel and the Levant. One of two things, either we guarantee our military with the means of their missions and in which case the proposal of Bercy should be recalée and I ask it solemnly this evening (Wednesday, ed) ; that is, we shares the withdrawal of the French troops, and in which case we must explain it, assume it”.

And Gwendal Rouillard is not the only one who thinks in the majority. On several occasions the members of the commission of national defence were very warmly applauded the chief of staff of the army, general Pierre de Villiers during his hearing Wednesday, according to several participants. A war chief himself very wound up. As The Tribune wrote on Wednesday morning, the general has expressed his anger about the budget cuts during his hearing with the defense commission of the national Assembly : “I will not let myself not b….. as this”.

That is going to make a Macron?

“We want to collectively (commission of national defense, editor’s note) that the commitments of Emmanuel Macron to be respected in the coming hours”, wished to Gwendal Rouillard for which “it is already a beginning of truth”. “In any case, I consider that the issue of trust today is asked. (…) I say it with solemnity, strength and determination”, he stressed. Gwendal Rouillard already a first answer of the spokesman of the government. The Head of State will remember Thursday night during a reception at the ministry of Armed forces in honour of the participants in the parade of July 14, his “priority” is given to the budget of the armed forces, said on Thursday Christophe Castaner, then the military is concerned about 850 million euros of savings announced by Bercy to 2017. But according to him, it is not going to change “notice here this evening.”

Emmanuel Macron “will have the opportunity to express its priority (…) that is to ensure that the budget of the armed forces during this backtracking is in strong increase, because it is needed for its modernization,” said the spokesman of the government. “Starting in 2018 there will be an effort which will be made on this budget,” said Christophe Castaner.

“It was necessary for the minister of the Budget, that is, find $ 4.5 billion, excuse me, the little budgetary savings. All the departments contribute to it. And on some lines of the ministry of the Armed forces, there is the possibility to shift not wages, not the security, not the military members themselves, but to offset a few of the commands, on coarse material for example, and it is for that that we have identified these 850 million,” said Christophe Castaner.

This is where we can see very clearly the limit of the reasoning in the government. First, the ministry of the Armed forces contributes to 20% of the savings, or the cash cow the greatest producer of Bercy. And, finally, to shift programmes are in general much more expensive in the end. Spread the program of frigates FREMM has resulted in a cost overrun of 15%, said Philippe Plouvier, associate director at the Boston Consulting Group. Either an additional eur 1 billion. “60% of all vehicles in the army are not shielded. By the way, I have a thought for the soldiers who are dead because of this lack of shielding”, further explained Gwendal Rouillard. This decision of Bercy there was “no sense, no coherence”.

“Until proof to the contrary, I had understood that we nourish a beautiful ambition for France, strategic power, especially as I go back to the main thing – it is in the interest of our own safety,” he said Wednesday in anticipation Gwendal Rouillard.

The industrial surprised and worried

“It’s a surprise,” said on BFM Business the chairman of GIFAS, Eric Trappier. Why ? The president of the Republic announced that it was “an effort in the field of defense,” with a desire to rise to 2% of GDP in 2025, but “to reach those two billion more per year when we do an average, you can’t start by a notch”, said the CEO of Dassault Aviation. “When we start to go back down a staircase is much more difficult to then up the stairs”, he explained. “To make a notch now doesn’t seem consistent with the fact that it is necessary to build budgets,”-he stressed.

“The fear that one may have is that this cup may affect the equipment, that is to say, research and technology, development, or acquisition. This de facto is of concern for the profession,” noted Eric Trappier. (…) “Could lead to shifts in deliveries. We can’t stop in the middle of the ford. You must have prospects. We are industrial, we must engage on 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40 years and say when we launch a program, the France will continue the effort over this period. This is very important because of the blows of stick, it’s tired engine”.

For Eric Trappier, the defense budget is “an affair of ambition”. “Either we have the ambition and we have the means and, therefore, we réaugmente the budgets of the defence, since the dividends of peace have not arrived, the world remained unstable, more dangerous,” he explained.He also recalled “the high-tech prepares in advance” because it allows you to have “equipment is the most adequate in the hands of the French armed forces ten to fifteen years later”. even if we can understand that it is necessary to iron under the 3% deficit – it is very understandable.

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