France will upgrade its nuclear arsenal

  • Daniela Tkadlečková
  • 9.2.2018 14:45

Following last year's decision to enhance the country's military capabilities, French Defence Minister Florence Parly unveiled on 8 February a plan to invest €37 billion in order to modernise France's nuclear arsenal. This expenditure is part of the €300 billion set to be invested in defence by 2025, which is when France expects to reach the NATO 2% GDP threshold.

France is determined to continue using nuclear forces as a deterrent against potential adversaries. The boosting of its defence capabilities comes following growing calls in this regard from its American and British allies, but also because Russia's revisionist policies are currently testing NATO's resilience. However, French sources indicate that, through this move, Paris also aims at strengthening EU's strategic autonomy. Thus, the French announcement comes after the US published its 2018 Nuclear Posture Review on 2 February, in which it emphasizes the need for flexible nuclear providing an increased deterrence potential. Although the general view held in both US and France is that nuclear weapons are indispensable for maintaining the global strategic balance of power, experts on arms control warn of possible proliferation risks, as other countries argue for the right to pursue their own nuclear interests.

About author: Daniela Tkadlečková

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