Algeria approves doubling its military budget

Algeria approves doubling its military budget

Algeria approves doubling its military budget

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In 2023, more than $22 billion should be allocated to defense issues, according to the finance bill adopted by the Algerian National Assembly on Tuesday (November 22).

This increase in the military budget, first announced in October, can be explained in particular by the need to renew military equipment, says Akram Kharief, an Algerian journalist specializing in defense issues. ” These computers are in need of updates and upgrades, especially the ones that were purchased during the 2007 big deal with Russia. This is the fleet of combat aircraft, submarines, anti-aircraft equipment. All of this calls for a midlife review. “, he says. ” I also think that Algeria is thinking about new acquisitions and preparing to modernize its army. »

Another issue that consumes the budget: the revaluation of the pensions claimed by retired soldiers. And according to Akram Kharief, the growing involvement that Algeria could have in the Sahel can explain this budget effort. ” In particular, by collaborating with neighboring armies, such as Niger, I think Algeria is gradually moving towards establishing a kind of permanent aid to the Niger army to deal with the problem of terrorism. And by extension also, to face the problem of jihadism that exists in the rest of the regions of the Sahel. Finally, security issues in the Mediterranean are also among the priorities of the Algerian authorities.

Also read: Sahel: “Algeria intends to fully play its role in resolving the conflict”

Algiers could be supplied from Rome, Berlin, Beijing… or Paris

It remains to be seen which suppliers Algeria, one of the main military powers in Africa, will turn to to renew its equipment. Because the war in Ukraine has also shuffled the cards of the Algerian armed forces, largely equipped so far by Russia. But in recent months, Moscow has prioritized its war over exports. And on the Ukrainian front, the Russian team did not shine with its quality.

So Algiers, what lack of liquidity thanks to the explosion in gas prices and oil, now look elsewhere. ” Algeria is now allowed to choose. Basically, it equips itself in Russia, but it evaluates the performance of Russian equipment, and in case of failure or poor quality, it sources supplies from other partners, observes journalist Akram Kharief. Therefore, it will probably benefit countries like Italy, Germany, China and perhaps France as well. Paris is improving its relations with Algiers, which in the past was a very reliable partner and supplier for the Algerian army. »

Algiers is likely to sign major arms contracts in the coming months, either with the Europeans or the Russians, or even with Beijing. In recent years, China has become the second largest supplier of weapons to the National People’s Army.

Also read: War in Ukraine: “We are seeing a redefinition of alliances at this time”

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