Forces, An Evolving Tool
; and the defenseministry’s annual
Addendum to the DefenseBudget
, which attempts to give strategic andpolitical context to the approved budget, aswell as provide details on specific accountswithin the budget.The 2001 document was the first formalpaper of its kind produced by the Italiandefense ministry since the end of the ColdWar—indeed, it was the first since themid–1980s.
The paper notes the obviousbut important point that Italy will not befacing a conventional military threat to itshomeland anytime soon. But it couples thatfact with the assertion that Italy’s interestsare “quite broad,” ranging from Southeast-ern Europe to the Caucasus, from the Hornof Africa to the Maghreb, and that Italy’smilitary contribution to collective securityand stabilization efforts in recent years hasranged far, wide, and outside the areasdirectly affecting Italy’s own strategicnational interest.
offers up a relatively ambitiousstrategic outlook, including Italy potentiallyhaving the capability to take the lead in mil-itary operations. To meet those ambitions,the paper notes that Italy will need toprogress in creating an all-professional mili-tary, work with allied countries to developand produce a plethora of new weaponssystems, and increase its defense expendi-tures from 1.5 to 2.0 percent of GDP. Thepost–Cold War “peace dividend” had to endif Italy’s military was going to be able tohandle the expected increased involvementin multilateral (NATO- and EuropeanUnion-led) military operations, and do so asa capable allied force.The 2002 white paper was published inthe wake of the 9/11 attacks on the UnitedStates and the subsequent removal of theTaliban-led government from power inAfghanistan. Not surprisingly, the paper paysparticular attention to the then-emergingthreat of Islamist terrorism and, similar tothe previous year’s document, emphasizesthe military’s need to operate abroad in con-cert with allies or under the auspices of the
05,00010,00015,00020,00025,00030,00035,00040,00045,0002000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011ItalyFrance United Kingdom
Source: Data derived from International Institute for Strategic Studies,
The Military Balance
,1991–2012 (London: Arundel House).
14,448.815,408.314,339.514,29514,360.213,613.314,930.613,798.313,552.113,347.112,465.911,00011,50012,00012,50013,00013,50014,00014,50015,00015,50016,0002007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012At current pricesAt constant prices, 2007
Source: “Nota Aggiuntiva allo Stato di Previsione per la Difesa per l’Anno 2012,” 140.