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The Italian Government and NATO's New Strategic Concept


The conservative nature of the report on NATO's new Strategic Concept, written by a group of experts chaired by Madeleine Albright, suits Italy's status-quo oriented agenda. As long as NATO's evolution into a kind of international security organisation does not shift its focus away from Europe, the insistence on expeditionary capabilities is acceptable to the Italian government. The Italians could also find comfort in the fact that the report insists on calibrating NATO ambitions to NATO resources. Italy could insist on making the advantages of NATO-EU cooperation more explicit, as this would favour EU defence integration, which in turn is the only way to save money and maintain acceptable military standards. The section on NATO's relationship with Russia is the part of the Albright report which Italy is perhaps most uncomfortable with, as it seems to perpetuate NATO's ambiguity towards Russia. In the final analysis, however, if one is right to assume that the Albright report is a credible preview of the next Strategic Concept, the Italian government is hardly losing sleep over it.

based on a speech given at the international seminar on "NATO's New Strategic Concept: New Roles and Tasks", organised by the Foreign Policy Institute, Ankara, 4 June 2010.