First published April 12, 2012

A «radical structural reform»: this is how Minister Di Paola defines the revision of the military instrument that the Monti government presented on his proposal. There is no doubt that it is radical. For more than 20 years, bipartisan moles are ferretting out Art. 11 of the Constitution («outlawing war as a tool of attacking the freedoms of other peoples and as a means of resolving international disputes»).

Works in the galleries began in 1991, after the Italian Republic waged its first war, the one the US launched in Iraq. Under the Pentagon’s dictatorship, the Andreotti government drafts a «new model of defence» that establishes, the mission of the armed forces as not only defending the homeland (art. 52), but «protecting the national interests wherever necessary».

In 1993 – whilst Italy participates in military operations led by the US in Somalia, and the Amato government succeeds to the Ciampi government – it is declared that «it is necessary to be ready to launch ourselves in the long range» in order to guarantee the national well-being by maintaining the availability of the sources and ways of replenishing our supplies of energy and strategic products».

In 1995, during the term of the Dini Government, it is declared that «the function of the armed forces transcends the strictly military sphere in order to raise the status of the country in the international context ».

In 1996, during the Prodi government, it is argued that the military must be «an instrument of foreign policy». In 1999 – after the D’Alema government brought Italy into the US-led war against Yugoslavia, it declares «the need to transform the military instrument from a static configuration to a more dynamic model, that projects itself abroad», a task for which «an entirely voluntary model» is suitable - that is, an army of the war professionals.

The foregoing is valuable for military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq under the Berlusconi government. At this juncture is introduced the Pentagon’s strategic concept articulated by Di Paola, the chief of staff in 2005. Faced with the «global threat of terrorism», it is necessary «to develop a capacity for effective, timely intervention even at great distances from the homeland». The Italian armed forces must operate in zones of «strategic interests» that include the Balkans, East Europe, the Caucasus, Northern Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Near and Middle-East and the Persian Gulf.

The war against Libya of which Di Paola was one of the architects in 2011 as President of the NATO Military Committee, confirms the need for Italy to build a «projectable instrument», with extreme «expeditionary» capacity, through systematic planning. This is what Di Paola now wants to institutionalize through a legislative decree, in order to create smaller but more efficient armed forces, with more advanced technological means (including the F-35) and more resources for its efficiency.

This is not due to the «need to contain costs» due to financial crisis, but as per Art. 18, to ensure economic and financial oligarchs, the architects of the crisis, strengthen their tools of domination. With the aggravating factor that it needs to dismantle, together with one of the cardinal principles of the Statute of Workers, one of the fundamental principles of the Constitution.

Anoosha Boralessa
Il Manifesto (Italy)