Behaviour and experience of Italian soldiers involved in the humanitarian operation “Alba” (1997)

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Almost ten years after the geopolitical transformations in the Eastern European countries, the defence system is called upon to make a solid commitment to structural, organisational and strategic reconversion to meet the new emerging challenges, tasks and objectives. The need to respond to new challenges has relaunched and highlighted the existence of a widespread perception by citizens of the defence needs. The obligation to reflect on the historical and social role of the Armed Forces has directed analytical, strategic and conceptual efforts towards the enigma of “Defence Models”, i.e. plans to restructure the national military instrument.

The opportunity to choose a model to move towards a Defence organisation in line with what has already been achieved by other European and Western states now seems to assume the character of real urgency. For this restructuring process to be completed, given the criticality and contrasts that have accompanied its development, it seems necessary to have strong cohesion within the country, with the political-institutional world and public opinion sharing the reasons, at least in terms of historical, strategic and geopolitical assumptions. The present situation, where the Italian Armed Forces are engaged in Albania, with a highly responsible and internationally prestigious role, seems to have re-proposed the unresolved questions and the difficulties that still characterise our culture about the employment of military forces. The Armed Forces, with Operation Alba, have experienced perhaps the most demanding transformation and challenge of the past decades.

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Index

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Introduction
The composition of the sample
First contact with the military
Identity and role of the Armed Forces in 2000
Armed Forces and public opinion: the terms of a comparison
The Alba Mission: attitudes and experiences
The relations with the civilian population
The quality of relations
An initial assessment of the Alba experience
A personal evaluation of the Alba experience

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Introduzione

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Operation ‘Alba’: the Armed Forces and the new challenges of globalisation

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