“I perfectly arrange my players on the pitch. The biggest problem is that then they move”
(Sabastiao Lazaroni – Brazilian football manager)
“…on major strategic and international questions today, Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus: They agree on little and understand one another less and less”
And still, no matter how reluctantly, European countries often recur to the use of (military) force. Be it for peace-keeping, peace-making, stabilization, humanitarian reasons, major European countries have been very active in terms of military action in the past decades. The debate on Europe (intended as the EU) looking for a common defense policy is endless. National debates often focus on, and are more or less inflamed by, procurement issues. Europe might be Venus, but it is “in arms” (perhaps that rings a bell). Venus in Arms is about describing, possibly explain, and most generally contributing to understand, the complex relation between Europe and defense (war, one might say, but that concept is at the heart of the matter here).
Venus in Arms is also about talking defense and security policies in a country, Italy, where military force is often seen as a mysterious object. As such, it is sometimes treated as an absolute evil, sometimes ignored, and sometimes simply misrepresented.
The national consensus over military operations abroad has largely been based on the shared framework of “peace missions”, through which decision-makers have justified the deployment of citizens in uniform abroad since the end of the Col War. “Peace missions” are still conceived as the most valuable among the various activities carried out by the military. Despite the Italian military dynamism in the post-bipolar era, the prevalent “peace rhetoric” (which we shouldn’t confuse with “pacifism”) produces a marginalization of the “culture of defense” and “security culture”. This produced a limited, and biased, public debate, even at the highest level, on issues related to security, warfare and defense.
The aim of Venus in Arms is to constitute a place where academic research and policy problems can meet, providing intelligible research outcomes and reference to what’s hot in defense and security issues.
Venus in arms aims to build a bridge between theory and practice in Italian, European and international security policy by focusing on the following themes:
- Contemporary warfare
- Defense in Europe
- Italian military operations abroad
- Italian Strategy and Doctrine
- War by other names
Venus in Arms is not affiliated to politics, but it is deeply political as it aims to encourage sound debate on security issues in Italy.
Venus in Arms is in English because we hope that our audience will benefit from constant to reference to the lively international (and, let’s be honest, American) debate, but some of the posts will be in Italian too.
External contributions on these topics are welcome, just write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org