France’s strategic defense review, published in April, was met with sighs of relief in several European capitals and in Washington. Many had feared that Paris would replicate the debilitating defense cuts introduced by a number of European countries since the onset of the economic crisis. According to some EU officials, European defense budgets combined have dropped from €200 to €170 billion since 2008, as governments have sought to rein in public spending. But President François Hollande resisted calls from his finance ministry to reduce the defense budget by 10 per cent. Instead he has frozen funds for France’s armed forces at just over €30 billion a year until 2019.

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