An Overview of the Current State of US-Italian Political-Security Relations
The relationship between the United States and Italy has historically been strong, although there have been moments of misunderstanding and tension. The new phase of European (in)security triggered by Russian imperial and revisionist ambitions has pushed Italy to commit to increasing defence spending. Although Italy was able to satisfy the operational and technological requirements to operate in the transatlantic alliance even under the current spending levels, the allocation of a larger share of the GDP to defence will reinforce its readiness, while also creating deeper connection with the United States. Italy is increasing its contributions to international missions, both on the eastern front as a means to support NATO deterrence against Russia and in the south, especially in Iraq. The latter is part of a broader effort to increase Italy’s status as a reliable partner in the logic of a greater transatlantic burden-sharing of tasks in the European neighbourhood.
Revised version of a paper presented at the 13th Transatlantic Security Symposium entitled “A Lasting Bond. Revisiting & Reinvigorating Italy-US Relations 160 Years since their Inception”, held in Rome on 13 December 2021 and organised by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
1. Strategic interests, security cooperation, defence procurement
2. Italy’s Transatlantic engagement: The Eastern and Southern Flank
3. Italy and the US–China systemic confrontation