The Italian Debate on Defence Matters

This study analyzes the debate in Italy on defence matters, with regards to two main themes: international missions and military expenditures. The debate is influenced by five structural factors: the scarce public consideration for the concept of national interest and the potential need for Armed Forces to defend it; the limited Italian experience as a colonial power; the perception of an absence of threats to national security in the post-Cold War era; the impact of the Italian politico-institutional system on defence policy; the effect of the international and particularly transatlantic context. In the debate, Italy's participation in international missions is often presented by emphasizing the humanitarian tasks over the combat ones. Military expenditures are debated mainly in light of budgetary considerations, because of the austerity measures, rather than in relation with defence policy goals. Many actors participate in different ways to the debate, including but not limited to institutional and political ones.

Revised and updated English version of "Il dibattito italiano sulle questioni di difesa: questa sera si recita a soggetto?", a study produced within the framework of the research project "Defence Matters", with the support of NATO Public Diplomacy Division.

Roma, Istituto Affari Internazionali, 2013, 36 p.
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1. The structural factors that influence the debate
2. The development of the debate on Italian missions abroad
3. The development of the debate on the acquisition of F-35 aircraft
4. The weaknesses in the Italian debate on defence matters
5. The actors in the debate
   1. Political parties
   2. Minister of Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs
   3. President of the Council of Ministers
   4. President of the Republic
   5. Armed Forces
   6. Pacifist movements
   7. Catholic Church
   8. Defence industry
   9. Trade unions
   10. Media
   11. Experts
List of interviews

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