Italy’s military interventions and new security threats

The end of the Cold War represented a turning point for Italian defense. The bipolar constraints vanished and Italy was “allowed” to adopted a more dynamic military approach, sending troops in several operations abroad. The military missions  addressed also multidimensional threats: illegal migration, humanitarian crises, piracy, organized crime, etc..

But what has pushed Italy to intervene specifically through armed forces (instead of using other tools, such as Civil Protection or diplomacy)? Michela Ceccorulli and (our) Fabrizio Coticchia answer the above-mentioned  question through their latest paper, which examines the missions in Somalia, Darfur and Haiti, assessing three different hypotheses.

Here below the abstract:

Recently, Italy has employed the military instrument abroad to deal with new, multidimensional and transnational challenges, ranging from irregular migration and piracy to the violation of basic human rights. What has pushed the country to intervene specifically through armed forces? Through three main arguments (strategic culture, domestic interests and international norms) emerging from the interplay between internal and external dynamics, the paper analyses the national debate in the run-up to the decision to intervene militarily in Darfur (2007–2010), Somalia (2009) and Haiti (2010). In so doing the work hopes to contribute to understanding the role of the military tool in Italy, a country particularly exposed to new challenges ahead.

Here you’ll find additional info on the paper.

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Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 63

Greece: we never really talked about it. Maybe there will be a chance, also depending on if and how Russia’s promises of support will eventually materialize. For the time being, we sponsor the best travel guide on Greece. Not a conventional one, more on politics and less on dream islands.

With many issues on the agenda, from the Iran nuclear talks to the ever-present ISIS, the US still found time and resources to devote to Somalia. Foreign Policy’s Ty McCormick provides a narrative of the “shadowy presence” of the American military in the Horn of Africa.

Daniel Fiot looks at the consequences of the recently released US National Military Strategy on Europe. A summary? Time goes on, and gaps within NATO widen rather than narrowing.

An Italian cybersecurity company in the news (mostly international, by the way). Hacking Team, providing specialized cyber services, has been the victim of a cyber attack itself. Among the information released, how much it costs to crack email accounts.

A novel for the holidays? P.W. Singer co-authored Ghost Fleet, on how the future war will play out. His essays are great reads, let’s give him a chance.

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ViA at the Italian Standing Group on International Relations (SGRI)

Venus in Arms will present two papers at the VIII annual Conference of the Italian Standing Group on International Relations (SGRI). The event is a “two-day session that brings together scholars, researchers and PhD students from Italian academia to discuss issues related to global politics, European studies, foreign policy, regional dynamics and international theory“.

The 2015 Conference will be held for the fourth time in Trento from June 26th to June 27th and will be organized by the Bruno Kessler Foundation‘s Research Center on International Politics and Conflict Resolution (FBK-CERPIC).

Here you’ll find the updated programme of the conference, with panels and papers.

Here the details of the venue.

As stated before, ViA will present two papers:

  • Italy’s military intervention to face new security threats: an analysis of the national debate in three intervention cases (Darfur, Somalia and Haiti)“, Fabrizio Coticchia and Michela Ceccorulli. The panel, chaired by Pierangelo Isernia, focuses on “Italian Foreign Policy in Comparative Perspective”.  The session II analyses: “The Italian Foreign policy on Military interventions and Humanitarian aid”
  • Learning from others? Emulation and adjustment in Italian military transformation“, Fabrizio Coticchia and Francesco N Moro. The title of the panel is panel is: “Catch me if you can! European Security and Defence Integration and International Relations”. The Chairs are Lorenzo Cladi and Andrea Locatelli

See you in Trento!

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Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 19

After long holiday, Venus in Arms is back. The summer has been intense, if not for Venus, at least for its creators (who tried to finish a book manuscript). And it was a very eventful – to say the least – August indeed in international politics. With clashes in Gaza stopping, attention remained directed to two major fronts. The first is Ukraine, where signs of unfreezing seem to emerge as this post is being published. The last days were still pretty tough, and with the President of the European Council in pectore, Polish PM Donald Tusk, calling for Europe not to fall into the traps that led to the Nazi invasion (of Poland) in September 1939 and Vladimir Putin sending “humanitarian aid” in Eastern Ukraine, the situation is still very uncertain. One of the constitutive elements of this uncertainty is “how far will Putin go”: Royal United Services Institute’s experts examine possible military strategies of Russia towards Ukraine.

In the meanwhile, Iraq and Syria are still on fire. The Islamic State’s fast appearance on the geopolitical map has been striking and left most observers as well as policy-makers pretty unsettled. President Obama’s prudence also surprised (and/or annoyed) those who wanted decisive action by the US. An article of a couple of weeks ago, however, sheds light on the domestic constraints to a more forceful US approach against ISIL.

NATO’s role in the two crises is still uncertain, and NATO troops moving eastwards these days are not (yet?) a clear clue of the alliance’s intentions.  Foreign Policy magazine’s David Francis reports on the troubles of the Alliance. A good read-ahead for the NATO Summit that will take place in Wales later this week.

The inevitable focus on Ukraine and the Middle But should not obscure that other events are unfolding. The Guardian reports on US action in Somalia to disrupt the al-Shabab network organization, which is far from being defeated according to the same report.

Finally, (the return of ?) power politics in Asia. New Indian PM Narendra Modi visited Tokyo and called for close cooperation between the two countries so that they can better cope with the growing Chinese presence in the region. More than twenty years  after the end of the Cold War, is it really time for the realization for an extended version of John Mearsheimer’s “back to the future”?



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Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 9

First of all, Darth Vader. He lost. Not because of the return of the Jedi but in recent Ukrainian election. In a very dramatic scenario, take a look at this strange story. Anyway, from Alderan to Crimea, it is always a matter of power, empires and rebels. For a more serious analysis of the crisis in Ukraine see the ICG report “Running out of time”….

Harsh civil-military relations in France. The problems for the French cabinet are not limited to the shocking electoral success of the extreme right.  France’s top military chiefs threatened to resign, fearing new budget cuts. Their concern is related to the country’s ability to conduct operations in places like Mali and Central African Republic. This is not the best moment ever for President Hollande.

We suggest a quite interesting analysis on the forgotten never-ending crisis of Somalia. Despite the adoption of the inadequate label of “failed state” (which is a Weberian, Westphalian useless framework of analysis), the article provides an insightful outlook of the country, between greater expectations and Al Shabab.

Intelligence and incredible malfunctions. Here you’ll find the report of how the White House has mistakenly identified CIA chief in Afghanistan. As illustrated by “The Washington Post”: “The CIA’s top officer in Kabul was exposed Saturday by the White House when his name was inadvertently included on a list provided to news organizations of senior U.S. officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit with U.S. troops”. What a surprise…(in the meanwhile Obama announced the plan to keep almost 10.000 troops after 2014).

Finally, we suggest this new blog on global politics and other stuff. “Relations International” has excellent contributors, so we have great expectations. There are already a lot of brilliant posts, from deterrence to Inigo Montoya (a luminous career for him, as we can see in “Homeland”…)

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