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Actualité de la défense et des industries militaires du Moyen-Orient اخبار الدفاع و الصناعات العسكرية في الشرق الاوسط

New potential for Algeria and its strategic ambitions in the region worry Paris and Washington

New potential for Algeria and its strategic ambitions in the region worry Paris and Washington

Algeria has more than doubled its defense budget for 2023 from the current year, to more than $22 billion, according to the finance bill approved by parliament.

The budget allocated about 3186 billion dinars (over $22 billion) for defense spending next year, according to the bill approved by the National People's Assembly, up from 1300 billion dinars (over $9 billion). dollars) in the current year's budget.

Algeria has allocated in the finance bill for the new year 2023, which it transmitted to parliamentarians, the largest budget in its history for the Ministry of Defense since its independence, since it has doubled from almost 3 times, compared to last year.

In the draft New Year's finance bill, which has been handed over to parliamentarians for consideration before being debated next month, Algeria has allocated nearly $23 billion to the defense budget.

The budget was divided into three parts: National Defense ($9 billion), Logistics and Multifaceted Support ($5 billion), and Headquarters ($8.5 billion).

Algeria's defense budget peaked at $13 billion in 2015, and Algerian military spending over the past decade has fluctuated between $8 billion and $13 billion.

Algeria ranks 23rd in the world and third in the Arab world, after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, in terms of military expenditure, according to the American Global Fire Power ranking for 2022, and it is expected to rise to the top 15th in the world in the 2023 ranking after increasing the budget by 120%. And according to our own estimates, the Algerian army now ranks unquestionably as the 2nd power in the Arab World and Africa, after Egypt.

New potentials and strategic ambitions

According to what was stipulated in the finance law in Algeria for the year 2013, the 23 billion dollars for defense were divided into three sections, which are defense, logistics and multifaceted support.

The owner of the Mina Defense website, which specializes in military affairs, said part of the army's budget will first be devoted to solving the social problems of army pensioners and dependents, which are of concern the military establishment.

As for the second part, it is linked to Algeria's change of strategy in the Sahel region, because it can intervene there with logistical support at the request of certain countries, the African Union or the United Nations.

It should be noted that Algeria had added a new article in the constitution, allowing the army to be sent outside the borders, to participate in peacekeeping missions after the approval of the Parliament by the majority of the two third.

As for the third part, it aims, according to the same source, to renew equipment and modernize the army in the light of developments in the Russian-Ukrainian war.

It should be noted that the Algerian treasury benefited from huge funds due to the increase in oil and gas prices in the world, following the Russian-Ukrainian war, because the government expected to generate about 50 billion this year from oil and gas revenues.

Priority of military secrets over state administration

Although military expenditure is included in the general state budget and the amount is known in Algeria, it is a defense secret and its details cannot be discussed publicly or secretly in Algeria.

The allocations of the Ministry of Defense are included in the finance law, and they still take the lion's share, at around 20% of the total budget.

Despite the attempt by some opposition blocs to try to discuss the defense budget in recent years, these attempts have failed, despite the existence of a special defense committee within the Algerian parliament.

To close the door on repeated attempts to discuss the army budget, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune issued a presidential decree on September 14 banning parliamentary debate on issues related to defense and diplomacy, as they are secrets. of state.

French concern over the rise of Algeria

Paris has always expressed its concern about the Algerian armament, and this has manifested itself through the criticisms addressed by the French media and the questions about the objectives of this important expenditure.

The French concerns are correct in my opinion and according to my analysis, and this makes sense for three main considerations

First, the Algerian army has made no secret of its desire to extend its field of action to the Sahel, and a constitutional law has been promulgated to this effect. Let's not forget that France considers this region as part of its political and economic influence and uses it as a theater of its operations.

Second, the Algerian army continues to acquire the latest technologies and systems it can obtain, and strengthens its land, coastal and air defenses against any intrusion, which reduces the relative technological superiority of neighboring European countries.

Third, Algeria has not neglected the formation of a solid naval fleet with coastal defense, submarines, helicopter carriers and a large number of frigates and missile boats. European countries, especially those bordering the Mediterranean, have not forgotten the past maritime glory of Algeria and its fleets which restricted the movements of European navies for centuries.

Paris is not the only one to indirectly express its concerns, the White House does not appreciate this rise in power. The United States recently tried to prevent the sale to Algeria of Pakistani Shahpar observation and attack drones, equipped with Barq laser-guided surface-to-air missiles. These missiles, weighing 60 kg, have a varying range of 8 to 16 km.

Apparently, the White House could not prevent Beijing from very recently supplying CM-302 coastal defense systems according to the NATO nomenclature or YJ-12B "Hawk Attack" in Chinese and which are considered the best in the world and were preferred by Algiers to Russian Bastion-B systems. These anti-ship missiles are 4 times faster than sound and almost impossible to intercept. These Chinese missiles have a range of 1200 km and can destroy even an aircraft carrier within this range. They can track the target through an infra-red seeker or guidance by its millimeter radar, which makes them accurate and difficult to jam.

Here is the testimony of the French deputy, Phillipe Michel-Kleisbauer before the Commission De La Défense, where he indirectly expressed certain concerns by evoking the quality and potential of the Algerian Navy.

You also said it, President... about the navy... there, those whom we had auditioned, told me about a navy of professional quality... uh... which deserves respect, which commands respect and which proves that Algeria has very important military capabilities. Those we interviewed told us. The joint exercises that were carried out between France and Algeria, before certain tensions arose, made it possible to provide feedback, on a much higher level of qualification. And what is happening in the arms race between these two countries which have the tensest relations, namely Morocco and Algeria, still shows a great imbalance. With an Algeria which is a great power and a Morocco which, despite all the efforts that we see, would not arrive where Algeria is today.

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