Italy’s new government, devoted to nursing the economy back to health and reliant on far-right populist parties, may be tempted to curtail the country’s active foreign military missions. It should resist this temptation, for such missions give Italy an international profile and standing that far outweighs the costs involved.
If boldness, cunning and guile are the hallmarks of successful British military contributions that have allowed the UK Armed Forces to develop a reputation for excellence, then these might be the facets that need investment in the MDP, not simply new equipment.
The potential political acceptance of tax rises to fund the NHS is beginning to influence the debate on defence spending. Will this provide the impetus to defeat those political leaders who want to abet the decline in British military power?
The results of public opinion surveys in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary indicate that perceptions among these Central European countries towards European cooperation and collective identity are complex. Countries in the region cannot all be painted with the same brush.