A significant engagement in military missions is probably the most distinctive feature of post-Cold War Italian foreign policy. In the last three decades, Italy has participated in an extensive number of operations across the world, including those in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Several studies have described Italian troop deployments abroad, providing alternative explanations of the Italian military activism. However, despite a recent growing attention on the topic, mainly focusing on specific peacekeeping operations, a comprehensive investigation of the evolution of Italian interventions is still missing. In other words, a detailed picture of main trends, data and patterns – since the end of the Second World War – is lacking. This article aims to fill this gap, using the most detailed and complete data on Italy’s participation in peace and security operations to date. We show that Italian involvement steadily grew between 1990 and 2010 and decreased in the following ten years. Our empirical findings also indicate how Italy’s efforts were increasingly directed in the Mediterranean and North Africa region in recent years. The article contributes to the existing literature on military operations abroad by offering a broad quantitative perspective on the post-Cold War defence policy of a ‘middle power’.

Italy’s Military Operations Abroad (1945–2020): Data, Patterns, and Trends

Fabrizio Coticchia
2022

Abstract

A significant engagement in military missions is probably the most distinctive feature of post-Cold War Italian foreign policy. In the last three decades, Italy has participated in an extensive number of operations across the world, including those in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Several studies have described Italian troop deployments abroad, providing alternative explanations of the Italian military activism. However, despite a recent growing attention on the topic, mainly focusing on specific peacekeeping operations, a comprehensive investigation of the evolution of Italian interventions is still missing. In other words, a detailed picture of main trends, data and patterns – since the end of the Second World War – is lacking. This article aims to fill this gap, using the most detailed and complete data on Italy’s participation in peace and security operations to date. We show that Italian involvement steadily grew between 1990 and 2010 and decreased in the following ten years. Our empirical findings also indicate how Italy’s efforts were increasingly directed in the Mediterranean and North Africa region in recent years. The article contributes to the existing literature on military operations abroad by offering a broad quantitative perspective on the post-Cold War defence policy of a ‘middle power’.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1077404
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