The title is slightly inappropriate, as Italy had previously decided to send military advisors to Libya. Maybe we should say welcome more aboad, or welcome aboard again. Well…whatever. The point is Britain and France had previously been pleading with their NATO allies for more support in the air campaign to remove Ghadaffi from power and replace his autocracy with a "democratic government" protect civilians. But now the Italians have decided to contribute some planes to the campaign to help out their British and French pals.
I don't know what the recent media climate has been like in Italy, but with Berlusconi's troubles lately, I have to wonder if we're observing an example of that elusive animal—the diversionary use of force. Or, maybe it's simply a desire to exert more control over a conflict that has been having some less than desirable spillover effects on states that are geographically proximate to the turmoil unfoling in North Africa. I think events over the past couple of weeks have continued to add some support for what others have previously made note of regarding the effects of immigration on decisions to partake in the Libyan intervention (See these links for previous comments on this subject by Steve Saideman and Phil Arena).