In Defence of the Country. From conscripts to military professionals: How is the new model of the Italian Armed Forces working?

Foto In difesa della Patria. Dai soldati di leva ai militari professionisti:  sta funzionando il nuovo modello delle Forze armate italiane?

In 2018 Italy is taking part in 35 operations in 22 nations on three continents, with a maximum deployment of 8,000 troops and an average of 6,400, including police forces. Alongside the defence of national borders, in fact, the 2001 New Forces for a New Century strategic paper made of international peace-keeping and peace-enforcing missions the core task of the Italian armed forces.

The change was foreshadowed, in 2000, by the choice to abandon compulsory conscription and migrate, after 144 years, to a leaner military model (from 265.000 men and women to 190,000) entirely composed of professionals. But has the farewell to conscript soldiers worked?

The crisis that exploded in 2008 has deeply affected the fulfillment of the reform. And between reductions in personnel (expected to number no more than 150,000 by 2024), the ageing of the volunteers in service and severe cuts in spending and investment, even the commitment of troops abroad no longer reached the levels of the early 2000s.

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