Morocco Adopts a Record Military Budget

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Morocco’s military budget has been steadily increasing for several years since it embarked on the dynamic of strengthening and modernizing its army. It is expected to increase from 4.295 billion Euros in 2021 to 4.8 billion Euros in 2022, and would constitute the largest military budget in the history of the kingdom.

The Government of Aziz Akhannouch will not stop the ongoing dynamics of turning the kingdom into a military power. The 2022 finance bill presented by the new Moroccan executive provides for a historic increase in the military budget and will be mainly dedicated to the purchase of weapons, as well as the reinforcement of the Moroccan members of the armed forces.

“In 2021, Morocco’s military budget increased by 30% compared to the previous year, amounting to 4.295 billion Euros. In 2022, it is expected to increase to 4.8 billion Euros, an increase of 11.76%. If passed, this budget would constitute the largest military budget in the history of the kingdom. Currently, military spending accounts for 4.28% of GDP and more than 12% of the country’s total public spending”, La InformaciĆ³n reported.

Morocco has launched since 2012 an ambitious program to modernize its army. With this in mind, it acquired 36 Apache helicopters, 200 Abrams M1A1 tanks, anti-tank and surface-to-air missiles, and renewed its fleet of F16s. Over the past two years, Rabat has signed arms contracts with Washington worth more than 10 billion Euros and has just concluded an agreement with Israel to manufacture combat drones and short- and medium-range missiles.

In April, Rabat had reached an agreement with the Turkish government to acquire 13 Bayraktar 12 drones.

“With all these acquisitions, Morocco has been placed as a first-rate military power in the Maghreb, and could “be used in any armed conflict that may erupt with Algeria or to counter any attack by the Frente Polisario along the Western Sahara wall”, Military Analyst, Mohammad Shkeir, stated in an article published in ‘Defense News’.

The 2022 military budget also sets aside an important part to strengthen the members of the Royal armed forces. Currently, there are about 175,000 troops. Yet, it is expected to reach 200,000, which would, according to the Moroccan authorities, make it possible to further secure the borders.

By Nouhaila El Bouhli

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