France to shed 24,000 military jobs

France is to cut 24,000 military and defence jobs by 2019.

Uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, involvement in former colony Mali and the civil war in Syria are among the events shaping France’s outlook, unforeseen in the last version of its strategy five years ago, when it decided to cut 55,000 jobs.

The government says France now has 228,000 military personnel. It spends about 10 per cent of its budget on defence.

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The effects of the global financial crisis and Europe’s economic stagnation helped shape the new doctrine, according to the defence ministry’s plans.

However, the broad lines of France’s strategy – maintaining its nuclear deterrent and its place in Nato – are unchanged.

Defence spending for 2014-25 will be €364 billion (£235bn), against €377bn in the previous plan for the 2009-20 period.