European armed forces have undergone deep changes in the past two decades. Given the breadth of the debate and the size of transformations that took place, it is somewhat surprising that relatively few academic studies have directly dealt with changes in force structure of European militaries, and the Italian armed forces in particular. The focus of this book is the organizational dimension of the restructuring of armed forces through 3 different lenses: doctrine and strategic framework, budget and resource allocation, and force structure and deployment. The key issues addressed relate to how these factors interact in shaping transformation. Of particular interest is the theme of learning, which is how armed forces endogenize change in the short and long run. This study provides valuable insights into the extent to which armed forces manage to adapt to the emerging strategic and operational challenges they have to face and to illustrate the weight of institutional legacies, resource constraints and inter-organizational learning in shaping transformation. Focusing on the Italian case in comparative perspective and based on a large variety of military operations from airstrikes to peacekeeping and counterinsurgency, the book provides an innovative viewpoint on military transformation and significantly contributes to our understanding of contemporary security that is deeply shaped by the lessons learnt in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq and Libya.
’With unprecedented access to military officials and documents, the authors have compiled a thorough analysis of the early 21st century transformation of the Italian armed forces - one unlikely to be surpassed. It details changes in military strategy and budgets and provides accounts of major Italian military operations, from Afghanistan to Libya. Particularly valuable are the comparative dimension - with well-researched discussions of the French and British experiences - and a theoretical framework that highlights learning, innovation, and institutional change.’ Matthew Evangelista, Cornell University, USA ’Over the last two decades, the Italian armed forces have been heavily involved in multiple missions abroad and yet continue to suffer from domestic indifference and scholarly neglect. Therefore, this insightful volume provides a much needed contribution to the study of defence transformation. From doctrine to budget, from operational experiences to force structure, Fabrizio Coticchia and Francesco Moro lead us in an engaging way through the complexity of Italian defence policy reform, drawing on multiple fresh empirical sources. They provide a nuanced and perceptive analysis and argue that mission requirements and operational experiences triggered multiple layers of change with profound implications. Based on a stimulating comparison with the United Kingdom and France, this is an important addition to the scholarly literature on contemporary Western war-making.’ Pascal Vennesson, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore