French troops to increase for the 1st time in 10 years
PARIS (AP) — President Francois Hollande says France will increase its total number of troops this year for the first time in 10 years, prompted by the extra security measures taken following the deadly Paris attacks.
Hollande said in a speech Thursday the defense budget will reach 32 billion euros ($34.7 billion) in 2016 and the total number of troops will be raised by 2,300.
France’s military is involved in several operations abroad including the anti-IS coalition in Iraq and Syria and counter-terrorism operations in Africa’s Sahel region.
Last year the French military consisted of a total of 270,000 people, down from 343,000 in 2006.
France remains under a state of emergency since the November attacks that cost 130 lives, with 13,000 troops deployed on its territory to protect sensitive and crowded areas.