Due to the on-going financial crisis, Italy's Government has recently imposed a climate of austerity over the country's welfare. However, when the funding allocated to the defence sector is considered, a paradox is evident. In fact, while the three-year plan defence budget (approved at the end of last year) facilitates an increase of approximately € 1 billion, reductions are planned in the spending on management, maintenance and training. This means that new investments in the material assets of the country are secured, however the cuts will affect the personnel and the services. In practice, this has already resulted in the controversial purchase of 90 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighters alongside a decrease in the number of personnel on duty – from 180.000 to 177.000 units, writes Giorgio Bertolin.