France plans to radically reduce the number of military personnel it deploys overseas in active theatres of war.
The Defense Minister, Herve Morin made the statement on Wednesday at the end of a parliamentary committee on the matter.
"Who thinks in 15 or 20 years to come – with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the disappearance of the Warsaw Pact and the enlargement of the European Union – that we will need 50,000 men in central Europe?” he asked.
Morin did not elaborate but did say that President Nicolas Sarkozy had indicated his desire to cut back the number sharply, AFP reported.
This is while back in April, Morin had already confirmed the loss of 6,000 defense jobs per year over the next six or seven years – out of a current total of 426,000 military and civilian defense ministry employees.
New government proposals to lay down a military policy framework for the next 15 years are scheduled for publication in June.