Evolving arms transfer rationales: the case of Italy
Pickar, Charles K.
Laurance, Edward J.
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Conventional wisdom about European arms suppliers holds that they are motivated primarily by financial considerations when faced with a decision to sell arms. This paper argues that the economic rationale is becoming less important in the Italian case. Evidence suggests that as Italy moves into the next decade, the political rationale will become more important. Italy is using arms transfers for reasons of policy rather than economics. There are three reasons for this change: 1) The Italian government has recently instituted a number of changes in the arms transfer mechanism designed to increase control over the export process; 2) The new and still developing defense policy offers Italy an opportunity to use arms sales to increase Italy's power in the Mediterranean; and 3) the Italian nation, long the object of scorn from its northern European neighbors, is gaining a sense of pride in its accomplishments. Italy's gross national product exceeds that of Great Britain and Italian technology is becoming increasingly in demand. These developments have resulted in Italy being treated as a serious middle-level power and in reflected in the arms transfer area
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