max 14th November 2015 French secret services: license to chill? What just happened in Paris highlighted a gigantic hole in the French counterintelligence system. the hole in the intelligence system is as big as the hole in La Defense The city that was still recovering from the Charlie Hebdo massacre, has been beaten up and left bleeding once again last night in a carnage of such a magnitude and brutality that will for sure shape the European homeland security for the years to come. But the real question is: how on earth heavy-armed men with Kalashnikovs in their hands, grenades in their pockets and explosives in the trunks of their cars can freely roam the streets of Paris completely unnoticed? If this was a surgical coordinated event on seven different locations, where were the French secret services? Yearly budgets on national defence are fairly hard to decipher and, mostly, they are covered by secrecy for national security reasons. What we can find are rough estimates on military expenditures that cover counterintelligence, civil defence, Police and military forces and military pensions but we can say for sure that the French government yearly allocates €500 million ($538.4 million) on intelligence. Last year, the executive added €48.9 million ($52.6 million) to its annual budget and, after the Charlie Hebdo attack, French President François Hollande promised he would raise military spending by €3.8 billion ($4.2 billion) over the next four years. Now, given that France spends more on military budget that any other major European country, this hole in the counterintelligence systems appears to be an appalling paradox.