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Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 63–85 | Cite as

The Evolution of the Euro-Atlantic Pluralistic Security Community: Impact and Perspectives of the Presence of American Bases in Italy

  • Carla Monteleone
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Amongst others see George Modelski, ‘From Leadership to Organization: The Evolution of Global Politics’, in Bornschier V. and Chase-Dunn, C. (eds.), The Future of Global Conflict, London, SAGE, 1999Google Scholar
  2. 1a.
    George Modelski and William R. Thompson, ‘The Long and the Short of Global Politics in the Twenty-first Century: An Evolutionary Approach’, International Studies Review, 1 (1999), pp. 109–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    George Modelski and William R. Thompson, Seapower in Global Politics, 1494-1993, London, Macmillan, 1988CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    William R. Thompson, ‘Systemic Leadership, Evolutionary Processes, and International Relations Theory: The Unipolarity Question’, International Studies Review, 8 (2006), pp. 1–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    George Modelski, ‘Is World Politics Evolutionary Learning?’, International Organization, 44(1990), pp. 1–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    George Modelski and William R. Thompson, Leading Sectors and World Powers, Columbia, University of South Carolina Press, 1996Google Scholar
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    William R. Thompson (ed.), Evolutionary Interpretations of World Politics, New York and London, Routledge, 2001; and the special issue ‘Evolutionary Paradigms in the Social Sciences’, International Studies Quarterly, 40(1996).Google Scholar
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    Robert E. Harkavy, ‘Long cycle theory and the hegemonic powers’ basing networks’, Political Geography, 18 (1999), pp. 941–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Robert E. Harkavy, ‘Thinking About Basing’, Naval War College Review, 58 (2005), 3.Google Scholar
  10. 3.
    Robert E. Harkavy, ‘Long cycle theory and the hegemonic powers’ basing networks’, p. 951.Google Scholar
  11. 4.
    “Virtually none of either the U.S. or Soviet basing assets were taken by force or conquest; rather, access resulted from diplomacy and as a quid pro quo for security assistance, albeit on both sides with an ideological “cement”. That appears to have no historical precedent”. Robert E. Harkavy, ‘Long cycle theory and the hegemonic powers’ basing networks’, p. 969.Google Scholar
  12. 5.
    After winning the war, the hegemon will establish organisations and institutions - reflecting the hegemon’s interests and ideology — in order to stabilise global politics and increase the probability of other states acting according to the norms that the hegemon promotes. In fact, one of the characteristics of hegemons is their power to persuade and their capacity to manipulate communication in order to convince their followers.Google Scholar
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    George Modelski, ‘From Leadership to Organization: The Evolution of Global Politics’; George Modelski. and William R. Thompson, “The Long and the Short of Global Politics in the Twenty-first Century: An Evolutionary Approach’.Google Scholar
  14. 7.
    George Modelski, ‘From Leadership to Organization: The Evolution of Global Politics’, p. 13.Google Scholar
  15. 8.
    The learning process takes place also cycle after cycle. While Gilpin’s hegemonic theory can be described as a circle, this one is an open spiral — it is not deterministic.Google Scholar
  16. 9.
    George Modelski, ‘From Leadership to Organization: The Evolution of Global Politics’, p. 17.Google Scholar
  17. 10.
    See Robert E. Harkavy, ‘Long cycle theory and the hegemonic powers’ basing networks’.Google Scholar
  18. 11.
    ‘The Portuguese tended to acquire bases mostly during the global war phase, but had their maximum extension during the world power/execution phase and established others during their deconcentration phase (in this case via local alliances more than conquest). Also the Dutch took most of their bases during the world power phase. Britain started acquiring its bases during the previous delegitimation and deconcentration phases but reached supremacy during the world power phase. It increased its bases again during the deconcentration and global war phases, to fight for naval supremacy with France. At the end of the Napoleonic wars, Britain had already acquired bases that were “keys which locked up the globe”. Robert E. Harkavy, ‘Long cycle theory and the hegemonic powers’ basing networks’, p. 967Google Scholar
  19. 12.
    James R. Blaker, United States Overseas Basing, New York, Praeger, 1990, p. 9.Google Scholar
  20. 13.
    Germany and Japan not only paid the construction of new bases and the amelioration of the old ones, but also the salaries of the workers directly or indirectly involved in the bases. See Annie P. Baker, American Soldiers Overseas. The Global Military Presence, New York, Praeger, 2004, p. 67.Google Scholar
  21. 14.
    Blaker, United States Overseas Basing, p. 106.Google Scholar
  22. 15.
    Congressional Research Service, U.S. Military Operations in the Global War on Terrorism: Afghanistan, Africa, the Philippines, and Columbia, 2005Google Scholar
  23. 15a.
    Congressional Research Service, U.S. Military Overseas Basing: New Developments and Oversight Issues for Congress, 2005.Google Scholar
  24. 16.
    In the case of Kyrgyzstan, for instance, the government has asked to increase the rent for the Ganci base, used for operations in Afghanistan, from $2 million per year, to $200 millions per year. See ‘US Military Base in Kyrgyzstan comes into Play as Domestic Political Confrontations Brews’, www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav042006_pr-shtlm, 20 April 2006 (retrieved 25/04/2006). The problem is more of a political one though, and has to do with opposition by the other main regional powers, as showed also by the issue of American bases in Uzbekistan and the Southern Caucasus.
  25. 17.
    Blaker, United States Overseas Basing, 26 and ss.Google Scholar
  26. 18.
    For an analysis of the regular connection between the level of state aggregation in defence pacts and the phase of leadership, see Fulvio Attinà, ‘State aggregation in defence pacts: systemic explanations’, Jean Monnet Working Papers in Comparative and International Politics, n. 56, 2004, http://www.fscpo.unict.it/EuroMed/jmwp56.pdfGoogle Scholar
  27. 18.
    and Fulvio Attinà, La sicurezza degli stati nell’era dell’egemonia Americana, Milano, Giuffrè, 2003.Google Scholar
  28. 19.
    Source: James R. Blaker, United States Overseas Basing, New York, Praeger, 1990. Blaker aggregates all installations in the area of 25 miles, and considers them as one even if they belong to different services, therefore underestimating the real number.Google Scholar
  29. 20.
    In this case base refers to the number of sites in which bases are located. Source: U.S. Department of Defence, Facilities Assessments Database; U.S. Department of Defence, Base Structure Report. Fiscal Year 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. Data from 1990 till 2000 were provided by the U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Defence for Installations and Environment Office. I am particularly grateful to the Information Resource Centre of the American Embassy in Rome for their help.Google Scholar
  30. 21.
    Interview with official of the Department of State at the U.S. Mission at NATO, 7 April 2006.Google Scholar
  31. 22.
    Emmanuel Adler, ‘Imagined (Security) Communities: Cognitive Regions in International Relations’, Millennium, 26 (1997), p. 256Google Scholar
  32. 22a.
    Carla Monteleone, Le relazioni transatlantiche e la sicurezza intemazionale, Milano, Giuffre, 2003. On the point, see also the recent debate between Michael Cox and Vincent Pouliot.Google Scholar
  33. 22b.
    Michael Cox, ‘Beyond the West: Terrors in Transatlantia’, European Journal of International Relations, 11 (2005), 203–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 22b.
    Michael Cox, ‘Let’s Argue about the West’, European Journal of International Relations, 12 (2006), 129–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 22c.
    Vincent Pouliot, ‘The Alive and Well Transatlantic Security Community: A Theoretical Reply to Michael Cox’, European Journal of International Relations, 12(2006), 119–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 23.
    Karl W. Deutsch et al., Political Community and the North Atlantic Area, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1957Google Scholar
  37. 24.
    Emmanuel Adler and Michael Barnett (eds.), Security Communities, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998Google Scholar
  38. 25.
    Divergence is more on how to face those threats than on their definition, and sometimes Europeans tend to split among themselves as much as with Americans on this pointGoogle Scholar
  39. 26.
    However the Revolution in Military Affairs and the divergence between their defence budgets are remarkable and will most probably bring consequences on this point. More lacking are other elements of tightly coupled security communities and, in particular: a) policy coordination against “internal” threat; b) free movements of populations; c) internationalisation of authority and d) a “multiperspectival” polity.Google Scholar
  40. 27.
    As Adler notes, the strong sense of identity is still present and is symbolised by the fact that, as the NATO enlargement process made clear, “new members can be admitted only after the ‘applicants’ have learned and internalised their norms. For the original members “it’s not enough to behave like us, you have to be one of us”. Adler, ‘Imagined (Security) Communities: Cognitive Regions in International Relations’, p. 256.Google Scholar
  41. 28.
    As Risse demonstrates on the basis of an analysis of crucial moments of the Cold War identified by historians as moments of American unilateralism, even in those cases Europeans influenced American policies through: 1) norms that tied allies to consultation; 2) unacceptability of the use of military supremacy to solve internal disputes; and 3) presence of transnational and transgovernmental coalitions. The cases were: Korean war, 1958-63 ballistic test ban negotiations, Cuban missile crisis and decisions on the adoption of a flexible response doctrine. Thomas Risse-Kappen, Cooperation Among Democracies, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  42. 29.
    Adler and Barnett, Security Communities, p. 428.Google Scholar
  43. 30.
    On this point see also Thomas Risse, “A Liberal World Order: The Democratic Security Community and U.S. Power”, paper presented at the conference “American Unipolarity and the Future of the Balance of Power”, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, D.C., 19 May 2000.Google Scholar
  44. 31.
    See Sergio Fabbrini, ‘The Domestic Sources of European Anti-Americanism’, Government and Opposition, 37 (2002), pp. 3–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 32.
    US Department of Defence, Base Structure Report. Fiscal Year 2005 BaselineGoogle Scholar
  46. 33.
    Leopoldo Nuti, ‘U.S. Forces in Italy 1945-1963’, in Duke S. e Krieger W (1993), U.S. Military Forces in Europe: The Early Years, 1945-1970, Westview Press, 1993.Google Scholar
  47. 34.
    The Paris 1961 agreement between the Italian government and the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe also established immunity for the highest levels of the American military forces during the exercise of their function.Google Scholar
  48. 35.
    In replying to the Italian Parliament, Martino has emphasized that American forces and bases are in Italy within the framework of NATO, but they are not extraterritorial and they are still under Italian sovereignty. Interrogazione a risposta scritta 4.12717 of 7 February 2005 and answer by the Minister Martino published on 1 March 2005Google Scholar
  49. 36.
    In the mid-‘80s, however, the Sigonella base became somehow a signal of Italian capability to resist to American requests and to impose the respect of Italian sovereignty on American bases on Italian soil, thanks to the opposition of the Italian government to the American request to hand over an OLP leader believed to be amongst those responsible of the Achille Lauro’s high jacking. In October 1985 F-14 of the US Navy forced down to the Sigonella base the plane on which the highjackers were given safe passage. As the Italian government claimed jurisdiction over its territory and refused to extradite in particular a leader of the PLO involved in the highjack, then Prime Minister Craxi ordered Italian troops to surround the US forces that were protecting the plane. The American troops withdrew. The event had such an impact that even recently the "Sigonella-effect” has been mentioned in journalistic and political language in relation to the handling by the Italian government of the case of an Italian official killed in Iraq by American fire, the Calipari case.Google Scholar
  50. 37.
    Globalsecurity, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/sigonella.htm
  51. 38.
    This decision caused an international pacifist movement to protest vehemently against the instalment of the missiles also in Comiso, and daily protests, with national and international opponents, outside the basis. Nevertheless, as Gardner, the American ambassador in Italy during those years, recognises, on this occasion the communist party, although opposed to the missiles instalment in Comiso, was somehow “sober” in the opposition to the missiles. See Robert Gardner, Mission: Italy. Gli anni di piombo raccontati dall’am-basciatore americano a Roma, 1977–1981, Milan, Mondatori, 2004.Google Scholar
  52. 39.
    In Europe troops were cut from 320,000 in the Cold War period to about 100,000, about 75,000 of which in Germany, 13,000 in Italy and 12,000 in the United Kingdom. Moreover two-thirds of all U.S. bases in Europe have already been cut. See John R. Anderson, “Plans could shift leaner units closer to hot spots”, in Stars and Stripes, European edition, June 15, 2003Google Scholar
  53. 40.
    Department of Defense, Strengthening U.S. Global Defense Posture, Report to Congress, September 2004, p. 5.Google Scholar
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    See www.defenselink.mil/speeches/2004/sp20040923-secdef0783.html
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    Robert E. Harkavy, ‘Thinking About Basing’, p. 33.Google Scholar
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    Robert E. Harkavy, “Thinking About Basing’, p. 33–34.Google Scholar
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    According to the official definition, a Main Operating Base is an overseas, permanently manned, well protected base, used to support permanently deployed forces and with tobust sea/and or air access. A Forward Operating Site is a scaleable, ‘warm’ facility that can support sustained operations, but only with a small permanent presence of support or contractor personnel. A FOS will host occasional rotational forces and may contain pre-positioned equipment. A Cooperative Security Location is a host-nation facility with little or no permanent US personnel presence, which may contain pre-positioned equip¬ment and/or logistical arrangements and serve both for security cooperation activities and contingency access.Google Scholar
  58. 45.
    Estimate of Geoffrey Prosch, Principal deputy assistant Army secretary for installations and environment, quoted in Doug Sample, ‘BRAC 2005 Comes at ‘Perfect Time’ to Help Army ‘Reset”, News Articles. American Forces Information Service, May 2005.Google Scholar
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    General U.S. Army Commanding — USAREUR, ‘Update on the Impacts of Global Rebasing on United States Army Forces in Europe’, Bell Sends, 1 April 2005Google Scholar
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    Source of data: Department of Defense, Personnel and Procurement Statistics, Worldwide Manpower Distribution by Geographical Area, years 1985–2005Google Scholar
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    Source of data: Department of Defense, Personnel and Procurement Statistics, Worldwide Manpower Distribution by Geographical Area, years 1980–2005Google Scholar
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    Jim Garamone, ‘Reduction Doesn’t Lessen U.S. Commitment to Europe’, American Forces Information Service. News Articles, http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Oct2004/nl0062004_2004100601.html, 6 October 2004.Google Scholar
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    See also John R. Anderson, ‘Expansion on other side of Mediterranean’, in Stars and Stripes, European edition, Tuesday, June 17, 2003.Google Scholar
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    Written statement of General James L. Jones, USMC Commander, United States European Command before the Senate Armed Services Committee, 1 March 2005. It has already been announced that Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Four (HC 4), will relocate from Sigonella, Italy, to Norfolk, Virginia. However, as “The U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) relies increasingly on Southern tier routes, such as Lajes Air Base, Naval Station Rota, Naval Air Station Sigonella, and Incirlik Air Base, to project U.S. forces to crisis areas in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus”, Sigonella becomes even more important.Google Scholar
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    Ron Flanders, Commander, Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Public Affairs, ‘Navy Establishes Fleet and Supply Center Sigonella, Italy, in Navy NewsStand, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2005/01/mil-050128-nns01.htm, 28 January 2005Google Scholar
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    See also John R. Anderson, ‘EUCOM commander details likely posture of post-transformation Army’, in Stars and Stripes, European edition, Thursday, March 3, 2005; and Andrea Gagliarducci, ‘Sigonella testa di ponte americana contro il terrorismo’.Google Scholar
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    See Andrea Gagliarducci, ‘Base antiterrorismo a Sigonella? Buona Idea’, in La Sicilia, 5 May 2005Google Scholar
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    Carlo Anastasio, ‘L’antiterrorismo bussa a Sigonella’, in La Sicilia, 27 May 2005.Google Scholar
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    To be clear, this is not the first case of Italian protests against an American base, as — consistent with the evolution of the political support to the global leader as described by evolutionary theory — after the smooth establishment of the American bases in Italy, protests flared in the previously mentioned cases of Sigonella and Comiso. However, in the case of Sigonella the dispute was related not to the existence of the base, but to the Italian sovereignty over it, while in the case of Comiso, the concerns were related to the existence of nuclear missiles in the base. The Cavalese accident is better known to Italians as the Cermis disaster. On 3 February 1998, an aircraft belonging to the Marines and stationing in the Aviano base, while flying faster and lower than allowed by military regulations, cut the lines of a ski lift cable-car killing 20 people of Italian, German, Dutch, Austrian and Polish nationality.Google Scholar
  75. 60.
    The statute was signed on 3 November 2003.Google Scholar
  76. 51.
    Joint Mixed Committees, or Comitato Misto Paritetico, have been instituted in 1976 at the regional level to deal with problems related to the impact and perspectives of the military bases. They are composed by 7 representatives of the Region, 5 military members and 2 members of the Minister of Economy.Google Scholar

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© Board of the Journal of Transatlantic Studies 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carla Monteleone
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento Studi su Politica, Diritto e SocietàUniversity of PalermoItaly

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