Following the 1998 American Embassies bombings in Dar es Salam (Tanzania) and Nairobi (Kenya), which killed hundreds of people, the Western international community and its politicians – acting through the United Nation’s Security Council – engaged a rather fiery battle against international terrorism. The resolution 1189, released on August 13 of the same year, severely condemned the attack on the embassies and called for an international campaign against the terrorist threat, mentioning the principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations and stressing that “the suppression of acts of international terrorism is essential for the maintenance of international peace and security”. From that moment on, Osama Bin Laden and his right arm, Ayman al-Zawahiri, became famous international outlaws and the word “Taliban” entered the common jargon with a negative accession.
As an important member of the United Nations and one of the main actors on the stage of world politics, Italy had to (and wanted to) take part in this war against international terrorism. The Italian Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (born under a British initiative) was therefore deployed after the adoption of another UN resolution (n.1386 of December 2001). This document, that is based on a plethora of other similar resolutions (n. 1214, 1267, 1378 etc.), called for participation in the ISAF to provide assistance to the Afghan Interim Authority in its struggle to form and train the new national army. The Italian military expedition in Afghanistan started in August 2003 as part of a multinational effort but it became – soon afterwards – a NATO responsibility. The Italians initially deployed a total number of 411 troops in this country, with limited obligations.
But it was the Americans who started the war in Afghanistan in 2001, with Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) which came under the umbrella of the more general Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), in the aftermath of 9/11. The British military followed the American example and, in 2002, launched the twin operation denominated “Herrick” as part of the same Afghani conflict.
The main goals of the United States were simple to understand and at the same time very difficult to implement: 1) find Osama Bin Laden and his allies 2) destroy al Qaeda 3) eradicate the Taliban regime.
We can see from the very beginning that the objectives of the American military were utterly different from the conciliatory NATO approach and that, for this reason, we should base our judgment on very different grounds. To be precise, the goals and means for which and through which the American army has been fighting in Afghanistan are in tune with the active role that its government has assumed on the global arena: the Americans are therefore fighting in order to win a battle against international terrorism. They are implementing every last bit of technology on the field and their casualties are far more relevant in numbers than the ones of their partners. 
This very affirmative approach lead to a first, extremely important, result: the Taliban regime was quickly and effectively ousted by the American and the British army during the initial days of this war. But this “victory” in the first stage of the conflict, has caused a tactical shift in the Afghan insurgents’ strategy: right after the establishment of Hamid Karzai’s administration (December 2001), this war turned into a deadly (especially for the locals) urban guerrilla. Since then, the insurgents adopted a new strategy that consisted in blending themselves with the local population and using Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) as well as suicide bombing missions. This prompted General Stanley McChrystal (who replaced General David McKiernan in 2009) to write a comprehensive Tactical Directive strategy guide  that was based on a crucial premise: “separating the insurgents from the center of gravity – the people”.
Regardless of the so called Inherent Right of Self Defense, according to which every General in war has the authority (and moral obligation) to “use all necessary means available” and to “take all appropriate actions” in order to defend the lives of his soldiers, the rules of engagement in Afghanistan – just because of the insurgents’ strategy – are generally considered very strict, even for the American troops. Every NATO member participating in this mission must comply with them. We can say that they are based on two main principles: 1) Necessity 2) Proportionality. These two concepts aren’t mysterious: necessity has to do with the fact that, in order to respond to an attack, the soldiers on the ground must first be sure of the very existence of that threat. In this regard a threat “exists when a hostile act occurs or when a force or terrorist(s) exhibits hostile intent.”  Also, the concept of Proportionality is self-explanatory: “Proportionality. Force used to counter a hostile act or demonstrated hostile intent must be reasonable in intensity, duration, and magnitude to the perceived or demonstrated threat based on all facts known to the commander at the time”. However, after the Rolling Stones’ scandal (General McChrystal’s very open minded interview  to this magazine constituted insubordination, according to President Obama, who decided to replace him with General David Petraeus), the Americans decided to further tighten the already strict rules of engagement for their troops in Afghanistan, demonstrating once again that the loss of civilian lives was still a major concern.
This is interesting especially because some, like Ian Manners, have implied  that the European normative power approach might have ended up influencing the American approach in some major military operations such as the conflict in Afghanistan. A part from this consideration is certainly the Americans who guided the other troops on the ground in this conflict. At first, they conducted an aerial bombing campaign (together with the British military) that started on October the 7th, 2001 and ended with the conquer of Mazar i-Sharif on November 9, the same year. Then, in a matter of a few days, the Americans and the British troops also took control of Kabul (November 13) and forced the Taliban to withdraw their forces in Pakistan. The war then continued in the south of the country, where the insurgents’ forces were capable of defending the city of Kandahar until December. After a last struggle against the terrorists of al-Qaeda and the Taliban in the battles of Tora Bora and during operation “Anaconda”, the American and the British militaries handed over the combat operations in southern Afghanistan to the NATO International Security Assistant Force mission (2006). It is important to notice, though, that the American and British militaries are still conducting some of their operations separately from the NATO mission. This clearly demonstrates that the Anglo-American coalition is still in control of the situation and is only willing to share some of the burden of this war with its NATO counterpart. Moreover, the evolution of events in Afghanistan constitutes a valid proof of the status-quo and of the local structure of power which is undeniably under American guidance.
Instead, NATO’s contingent in this country has another kind of job to accomplish, perhaps almost equally important. All the other non-American and non-British soldiers working under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are in fact focusing on coordinating efforts with the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in security and stability operations throughout the country. A considerable number of ISAF troops are also, and this is another crucial “secondary” task, training the Afghan National Police (ANP) and the Afghan National Army (ANA). This is because one of the premises of the international military effort in Afghanistan is in tune with the more general and widely accepted concept of empowerment according to which, in any peacekeeping effort, it is important to empower the local authorities and make them responsible for their governments. In this case, the Western coalition in Afghanistan is eager to pass over responsibilities to the Afghan authorities as soon as possible, if only because this has become a very lengthy and back-breaking war. Therefore, the NATO/ISAF training mission is aimed at bringing the ANA and the ANP at a self-sustainable level as quickly as possible. The Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams (OMLTs) and Police OMLTs, can be therefore considered the tools through which the Westerners are trying to accomplish this rather difficult task. Instructors of the OMLTs groups join together with the local army and police groups to perform what they call “advisory roles”. In this respect, sources inside the Italian contingent, spoke about the difficulties associated with this task and deriving from the legendary pride of the Pashtun Afghani soldiers and about how difficult it is to impose discipline over these fiery and chaotic troops. But NATO is not only training a new generation of Afghan soldiers, it is also providing equipment for them: the ISAF mission also provides for donations: at a micro level, NATO is paying for the equipment of the ANA and the ANP’s troops and at a macro level is providing the Afghan authorities with helicopters, tanks, arms and other military vehicles.  To summarize, in the light of these fundamental differences between the NATO mission and the British/American initiative, we could argue that the latter was aimed at winning the war in Afghanistan, while the first is aimed at winning the “battle of hearts and minds” and the peace.
What are the Italians doing in the Herat Province?
A Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) is usually composed by sixty to ninety specialists (or even more) in their respective fields. An average PRT would therefore comprise diplomats, politicians, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, engineers, military personnel, police officers and, of course, doctors. Task forces like these ones were first used in Afghanistan by the American government in 2001; nowadays there are PRT also in Iraq. Their main and most important duty is to make sure that a certain local government is empowered from the bottom-up, therefore we could define a PRT as a peacekeeping effort put in place by a certain country in order to help another country in its institution building process in times of war. In Afghanistan, where a PRT is always led by a high rank military official, this usually means helping out the central government in extending its authority to the peripheral provinces, but there can also be other, more technical tasks. For instance, the Italian PRT, which took control of the Herat province under the umbrella of the Regional Command West (which includes the provinces of Herat, Farah, Badghis and Ghor), is now rebuilding the forty years old Herat’s water system. Reconstructing tasks are a normal during peace keeping operations and in tune with the tradition: “the Italian Armed Forces are typically assigned tasks as protecting the Euro-Atlantic area and commit troops and assets to international crisis response operations”.  The so called in loco coordination between the United States, the United Nations and the Afghan government it is based on the rules contained in chapter seven of the UN Charter.  The more general frame of action for the forces on the ground is instead provided by the military technical agreement between the UN and the Afghan government. Under this agreement, the local authorities left all the power in the hand of the ISAF mission and, more precisely, in the hands of the ISAF Commander in chief. Article 4, comma 2 of this document states clearly that:
“The Interim Administration understands and agrees that the ISAF Commander will have the authority, without interference or permission, to do all that the Commander judges necessary and proper, including the use of military force, to protect the ISAF and its Mission”.
One important thing to bear in mind is that, initially the ISAF mission was geographically limited to Kabul and its surroundings and that only in 2003 NATO took over this mission following a UN request and slowly started to operate also outside the Afghan capital. This expansion was achieved through the so called Regional Commands (RC). Currently there are five RC on the ground in Afghanistan: the Regional Command North (RCN) under German command, covers the area of Mazar e-Sharif, the Italian Regional Command West (RCW) in the Herat province of the country, the Regional Command Capital (RCC), under Turkish command, the Regional Command South (RCS) under British guidance and, finally, the American Regional Command East. Each one of these military bases has a Command and Control (C2) Headquarter and a Forward and Support Base (FSB). The latter are “logistic installations created to provide supply, medical and transport hub in each region to assist the PRTs in their mission to extend the Government of Afghanistan’s authority”. 
Based on what we observed on the ground in Afghanistan, since the beginning of the war, we could argue that the Anglo-Americans have a very peculiar task to carry in this country and that the other (minor) partners such as Italy or France are doing their part in this war, as it was requested. But the global community kept a negative attitude towards the Italian intervention in Afghanistan, especially after the “Sarobi Incident”  (in which several French soldiers lost their life allegedly because the Italians had bribed the Taliban in this area in order to avoid any attack and failed to communicate this to the French military). The international media outlets have insisted on the fact that the Italians are doing less than what they were expected to do, or – even worse – that they are damaging the American effort and putting the entire mission at risk. Nonetheless, Carlotta Ricci, a reporter in Afghanistan working for RAI television, has documented and filmed what they called “The Battle for Bala Murgab”.  In this gunfight, which began at dawn, lasted until dusk and took place in the Valley of Bala Murgab of the Badghis area under Spanish control, the Italian parachute soldiers’ division – “Folgore” – engaged the Insurgents while (allegedly) their Spanish colleagues were watching TV in their FOB. 
National Caveats and the Italian debate
It is certainly not easy to assess carefully the validity of such statements made by journalists who are (or at least are supposed to be) in touch with the military on the ground. However, it is possible to read and analyze reports written by army officials witnessed the war first hand, like the one by American Colonel John Bessler, who commanded the ANSF trainers in Afghanistan Western Provinces from mid-2008 through 2009:
“One of the many frustrations of working in a coalition is the caveats of the member states. Coalition members contribute in various ways to the overall mission, but all operate within certain parameters and limits, which are dictated by their higher headquarters, ultimately by their voting constituents, Ministries, or Parliament, America included. This is not to say the European allies aren‘t staunch contributors to the Afghan mission; several nations have a larger proportion of their Armed Forces deployed to Afghanistan and (other places) than we do. This merely points out that many countries are in Afghanistan (and other places as willing partners) under certain national constraints – they operate with ‘strings attached’, in other words – whether to appease their voting constituencies or Parliaments, or to address other agendas within their own government”.
Bessler considers the national caveats imposed by the European governments as one of the main problems in the Afghan warfare. But at the same time, he also acknowledges that the Regional Command West has a very hard nut to crack, since the western part of this country is, in his words: “a huge area of responsibility”.  In order to understand the importance of caveats, it is useful to consider some recent developments on the ground in the Afghan war. Right after the decision by the Italian military command to increase the number of troops deployed in the Western part of Afghanistan, made in February 2010, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, expressed his appreciation: “i also thanked them for Italy’s recent commitment of another 1,000 troops, the most of any ally since President Obama’s December announcement of a new strategy in Afghanistan”. 
But the number of additional troops isn’t the core of the issue at hand. The fact, instead, that our soldiers will be able to operate more freely – meaning without caveats – is considered much more important, by both the Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa and his American counterpart, Robert Gates.
In fact, the “Brigata Alpina Taurinense”  will replace the “Sassari Brigade” in the Herat province with virtually no geographic caveats to care for. This Brigade will operate also in the province of Farah, at the border of the Helmand province, one of the most troubled areas in Afghanistan. According to La Russa, this deal was made possible by the fact that the Americans have finally agreed to share information with the Italians regarding IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) that are causing major problems to all the troops on the ground. As Gianadrea Gaiani (a correspondent from Afghanistan of Panorama) puts it, “The admission of Italy in the ‘club’ of those who get full access to the information apparently confirms that Rome is ready to use our army in every kind of military operations”.
At this point it should be clear that the question of caveats is central to every serious debate regarding the war in Afghanistan. Since everyone agrees on the fact that the numbers of troops on the ground here it is not enough to crush the insurgency and to effectively tackle the regime of Taliban warlords and drug dealers, every limitation imposed on a single national army might significantly hamper operational flexibility. In assessing the number of soldiers participating in the Afghan war, we should keep in mind that the American military deployed much more troops in Operation Iraqi Freedom than in Operation Enduring Freedom. For example in year 2008, the number of American “boots on the ground” in Afghanistan was 30,100 while there where 187,900 American soldiers in Iraq during the same year.  But Afghanistan (652,230 sq. km) is a much bigger country than Iraq (438,317 sq. km) and this country has a much more tricky terrain, made mostly of rugged mountains. Also, the “coalition of the willing” that engaged in the Iraqi war had to face one single enemy: Saddam Hussein and his army. While the situation in Afghanistan is more complex and there are various challenges here to take into account. However, the issue of caveats was at the center of attention in every recent NATO meeting from Riga to Bucharest. Remarks by NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, during the Closing press conference of the summit in Riga are quite eloquent in this regard. Speaking about the positive outcomes of the meeting, de Hoop Scheffer said that the state members shown a good level of commitment to the alliance and declared himself pleased because “real progress on caveats” were made. He also added that “about 20,000 of the total of 32,000 NATO-ISAF forces are now more usable than they were for combat and non-combat missions”. According to General Bantz J. Craddock, the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Europe until 2009, the progress made at Riga, was still not enough though.  “I think we are seeing progress, but we’re still not caveat free”, he told reporters during a trip to Afghanistan. Later on, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates also commented on the same issue during the 15th Conference of European Armies in which he asked the participants to lift as much caveats as possible: “I’m asking for your help to make caveats in NATO operations, wherever they are, as benign as possible – and better yet, to convince your national leaders to lift restrictions on field commanders that impede their ability to succeed in critical missions”.
More recently, the problem with caveats was also made public when the famous Wikileaks website reported a couple of memoirs that Elizabeth Dibble (the then Deputy Chief Mission at the American Embassy in Rome), wrote to Washington regarding Berlusconi’s attitude toward the US.
“Our relationship with Berlusconi is complex. He is vocally pro-American and has helped address our interests on many levels in a manner and to a degree that the previous government was unwilling or unable to do…In his first 90 days in office, he approved a controversial U.S. base expansion that had been halted by bureaucratic inaction and anti-American political opposition; eliminated caveats on Italian troops in Afghanistan; and allowed us to base two of three AFRICOM component commands in Italy”.
As we can see, the removal of caveats by President Berlusconi was held in high consideration by Ms. Dibble. At a national level, the issue was frequently perceived in a distorted way by Italians, since the word “caveats” was generally unknown and it’s usually mistaken for “rules of engagement”. There were several different debates both at the Parliament and at the Senate that dealt with the military mission in Afghanistan, from December 2001 till now. In the Senate interrogation of December 17, 2008, the then Italian Undersecretary of Defense, Giuseppe Cossiga, stated that the two concepts of “caveats” and “rules of engagement” should not be confused: “concerning instead the question of caveat, these are not to be confused with the rules of engagement…those are, as we saw, are the exceptions that the single national forces apply in the frame of the more general NATO rules of engagement…in the case of Afghanistan, Italy – as we know- does not apply any limitation to the usage of its army…in the West region, in the North region and in the Capitol region”. Outside of the regions mentioned by Cossiga, just until June 2008, it still was possible for the other allies to call for an intervention of the Italian army in other areas and in extreme conditions. The problem was the amount of time deemed necessary to get authorization from Italian authorities, in order to re- deploy the troops: 72 hours. This was a perfect example of we could call a “time caveat” imposed by the then Minister of Defense, Arturo Parisi, during Prime Minister Romano Prodi’s government in 2006. That was, in fact, a very difficult period for the ISAF forces in Afghanistan, since at least 3,700 people (including one thousand civilians) lost their life that year, according to a report by the Joint Coordinating and Monitoring Board.  As a result, probably in order to avoid internal political problems, Parisi decided to place this time limitation to the usage of Italian troops outside of their area of jurisdiction. At that time, according to Bloomberg’s reporter Steven Scherer, Prodi rejected “Bush on Afghanistan troop redeployment”, since he answered negatively on the call from the then United States president that urged ISAF members to be more flexible on geographical caveats.  Indeed, there was a split between Italian opinion makers and politicians on the issue of the war in Afghanistan and the caveats, but the divide was between the extreme left and the rest of the political spectrum. The major center-left newspaper, La Repubblica, did not oppose a redeployment of the Italian troops and an increased effort of our military as requested by the NATO allies. An editorial written by journalist Guido Rampoldi on May 31 2006, shows that this newspaper backed the Italian military intervention in this country and against the “pacifists that are only worried about their own virtue” and “avoid to question itself on what could happen in case of a NATO withdrawal”.  Also Franco Venturini of Il Corriere della Sera, argued in an editorial piece written on the same day, that Italy should have stayed the course in Afghanistan and not leave. “A unilateral withdrawal would cause a…costly split” between coalition forces, according to Venturini. Instead, Gianni Rufini, on Il Manifesto (a self-described “communist newspaper”), wrote that there was “no need to be a pacifist in order to ascertain the failure of the [military] intervention in Afghanistan”  and that reconstruction should be left in the hands of the stakeholders, meaning the afghan people. This kind of political cleavage, however, reflected the divide that was created both at the Senate and at the Parliament on the question of the Italian military intervention. During the November 7, 2001, the Italian lower and upper houses voted in favor of such intervention but some leftist and green senators and congressmen either opposed the law decree or walked out of the assembly in a gesture of discontent.  It was on June 11, 2008 that – during a joint meeting of the Foreign and Defense Commissions – that the Franco Frattini and Ignazio la Russa (respectively, Foreign and Defense ministers) announced the removal of the infamous time-caveat above mentioned. In that same occasion La Russa and Frattini also told their colleagues that the decision was taken after the significant amount of pressure that NATO commanders have exerted on Italy at the conference in Riga and Bucharest. After the removal of this time-caveat, in theory, Italy does not apply any other curb to the employment of its troops.
We know that the ISAF mission and the Operation Enduring Freedom have joined together to form an alliance that should – in theory – be capable of ousting the Taliban from Afghanistan and assure that this country becomes a stable democracy and a model to follow for other countries in Central Asia and the Middle East. We also know, though, the nature of these two missions is very different and that it could not be otherwise, given the profound institutional difference between Europe and the United States, or in other words, given “the impossible American parallel”, like someone has called it.  Europeans are still depending on an international military alliance for their defense. A European army does not yet exist and, therefore, every European country has to carefully balance its military decisions in order to create national consensus and allow its soldiers to take part in any military operation around the globe. On the other hand, the United States not only have full control of their army and do not depend on others for their defense, but are also capable of influencing other countries, given their military might. It is not surprising, therefore, to witness huge political divides among Europeans on the issue of caveats. National caveats are in fact a way for the national government to compromise with public opinion on the delicate question of war. By implementing curbs and restrictions to their intervention, every national parliament can in fact appease both NATO and its citizens in one sitting. The case of the Italian time-caveat of 72 hours it’s interesting because it shows how, sometimes, a government can even impose rules that aren’t realistic. How could the government of Romano Prodi have justified a 72 hour delay in case of an urgent request of re-deployment coming from the NATO? Unfortunately, due to the absence of counter factual evidence, we will never be able to answer to that question. However, we could certainly argue that the time caveat had a positive effect on the unity of that executive because it reassured far left and green elements of its majority on the impossibility of an Italian military intervention in the hottest areas of the Afghan conflict. In this respect, it seems that the then Italian Defense minister Arturo Parisi, was convinced that, in order to win “the battle of hearts and minds” in Afghanistan, he had to win the same battle in Italy. And it appears instead that, Franco Frattini is more focused on the situation that our troops are facing on the ground rather on the internal political debate.
Papers and Researches
Auerswald, P. David National War College, Washington, DC, and Stephen M. Saideman McGill University, Montreal, Canada, NATO at War: Understanding the Challenges of Caveats in Afghanistan, August 2009.
Bessler, John (Col.), Small War Journals, Mentoring on the Edge or What you Don’t Learn in a Classroom, July, 2, 2010.
Ciampini, Marco (Col.) Army Report 2009, Esercito Italiano, October 2010.
Islam, Shada – Gross, Eva, Afghanistan: Europe’s Credibility Test, European Policy Center, March 2009
Krow, Matilka, the Fog of War? The EU in Afghanistan, Dalhousie EUCE Student, 2009
La Bella, Luca – Yerep, Ilaria, La formazione delle forze di sicurezza afghane, Osservatorio di Politica Internazionale, Maggio 2010
McNamara, Sally, NATO Allies in Europe Must Do More in Afghanistan, The Heritage Foundation, December 2009
Michel, Leo, NATO-EU Cooperation in Operations and Implications for Italy, in: La Comunità Internazionale, inst. 2/2007 pp. 249-258© EDITORIALE SCIENTIFICA SRL
Sundquist, Leah R., NATO in Afghanistan, a Progress Report, U.S. Army War College, 2008
Articles and other media sources
Italian Deputy Chamber, Documentation regarding the situation in Afghanistan, July, 29, 2010: http://documenti.camera.it/leg16/dossier/Testi/di0254.htm#_ftn11
Loquenzi Holzer, Andrea, Losing the War we Cannot Afford to Lose, Hudson-ny, 2009: http://www.hudson-ny.org/808/losing-the-war-we-cannot-afford-to-lose
Radio Radicale, http://www.radioradicale.it/scheda/269091/commissione-difesa-del-senato, Audio Registration of the parliamentary interrogation of December, 17, 2008 regarding the modification of the rules of engagement for the Italian soldiers in Afghanistan.
Rampoldi, Guido, La Missione in Afghanistan e la Scorciatoia Pacifista, La Repubblica, may 31, 2006: http://ricerca.repubblica.it/repubblica/archivio/repubblica/2006/05/31/la-missione-in-afghanistan-la-scorciatoia-pacifista.html
Ricci, Carlotta, Afghanistan, gli Italiani Combattono e gli Spagnoli Stanno a Guardare, l’Occidentale, 2009: http://www.loccidentale.it/articolo/afghanistan,+gli+italiani+combattono+e+gli+spagnoli+stanno+a+guardare.0078560
Ronzitti, Natalino, Afghanistan: la Base Giuridica della Missione Italiana, 2006, in AffarInternazionali.it
Rufini, Gianni, L’Italia in Afghanistan? Un Fallimento Come in Iraq: http://www.terzomondo.org/writings/writings/Gianni_Rufini_2006_Italia_in_Afghanistan.pdf
Venturini, Franco, Afghanistan, Perché Restare?, Il Corriere della Sera, 2006: http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2006/maggio/31/AFGHANISTAN_PERCHE_RESTARE_co_9_060531047.shtml
 Joseph Nye, “Nato after Riga”: http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/nye40/English
 Marco Vicenzino is the founder and director of the Global Security Project, based in Washington D.C.: http://www.google.com/search?q=marco+vicenzino&hl=en&num=10&lr=&ft=i&cr=&safe=images&tbs
 United Nations press release: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/1998/19980813.sc6559.html
 NATO Tactical Directive in Afghanistan: http://www.nato.int/isaf/docu/official_texts/Tactical_Directive_090706.pdf
 Chaiman of The Joint Chief of Staff Instruction: http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/dod/docs/cjcs_sroe.pdf
 McChrystal’s interview with Rolling Stones: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236
 Ian Manners, Normative Power Europe Reconsidered: http://www.arena.uio.no/cidel/WorkshopOsloSecurity/Manners.pdf
 2009 Italian Army Report: http://www.associazionelagunari.it/files/rappo09_100609.pdf
 Charter of the United Nations: http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter7.shtml
 Military Technical Agreement: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.operations.mod.uk/isafmta.pdf
 Carlotta Ricci, Gli Italiani Combattono e gli Spagnoli Stanno a Guardare, l’Occidentale, 2009: http://www.loccidentale.it/articolo/afghanistan,+gli+italiani+combattono+e+gli+spagnoli+stanno+a+guardare.0078560
 “What You Don’t Learn in Classroom”, Colonel John Bessler, Small Wars Journal, p.4
 John Bessler, Ibid.
Andrea Gaiani, Afghanistan, più truppe e più impegni bellici per gli italiani: http://blog.panorama.it/mondo/2010/02/19/afghanistan-piu-truppe-e-piu-impegni-bellici-per-gli-italiani/ (“L’ammissione dell’Italia al ‘club’ di coloro che hanno pieno accesso alle informazioni sembra confermare la disponibilità di Roma a impegnare il nostro contingente in ogni tipo di operazioni belliche”).
Zaki Laïdi, Norms Over Force, The Enigma of European Power (translated from the French by Cynthia Schoch). Palgrava McMillan, New York, 2008, p. 24-25