While the media spotlights were transfixed on Sanremo, where even Roberta Pinotti made a spectacle of herself, singing the praises of the military missions that “restore peace”, on 10 February, the Council of Ministers approved a draft law that will allow actioning the “White Book on International Security and Defence” once Minister Pinotti has signed it off. This will involve delegating to the government “the revision of the operational model of the Armed Forces”. By revision, read “improving” on what took place in the wars which Italy participated in from 1991, in violation of its own Constitution.

After being sanctioned for 25 years by every government in sweet succession, with the complicity of a parliament almost entirely in agreement or acquiescence that never once debated the issue, it is now on the verge of becoming a national law. A bloodless coup is thus unfolding in silence.

The Armed Forces have been assigned four missions, each one entirely disrespectful of the Constitution. Thus the first mission reformulates the “Defense of the Fatherland” under Art 52 as the defense of “the vital interests of the Country”. This is followed up by the second mission: “a contribution to the collective defense of the Atlantic Alliance and the maintenance of stability in the areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea”, in order to protect the Country’s vital or strategic interests”. The prohibition contained in art 11 on the use of force as an instrument to attack the freedom of other peoples and as a means of resolving international disputes is replaced by the third mission: “the management of crises over and above areas of priority intervention, in order to guarantee international peace and legality”.

Thus the White Book destroys the constitutional pillars of the Italian Republic, now reconfigured as a power which arrogates to itself the right to intervene with the use of force in areas looking onto the Mediterranean – North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans – to support Italian economic and strategic interests, and, outside such areas, wherever in the world the interests of the West (as represented by Nato under US Command) may be at stake.

Functional to all this, is the Framework Law that entered into force in 2016. [This law] institutionalizes military missions abroad, establishing a specific fund with the Ministry of Economy and Finance to fund them. Finally, the fourth mission entrusts to the Armed Forces on the international level, “the safeguarding of free institutions”, with “specific duties in cases of extraordinary need and urgency”, a vague formula that can accommodate draconian measures and subversive strategies.

Furthermore, the new model significantly increases the “technical-administrative” powers of the Defence’s Chief of Staff and, at the same time, opens the doors of the Armed Forces to “private sector leaders” that will be able to perform the duties of the General Secretary, responsible for the technical-administrative area of Defense, and the National Director of Arms. Key duties that will permit powerful groups within the military industry to enter performing leadership roles in the armed forces and to steer them according to their interests linked to the war.

The military industry is defined in the White Book as “the pillar of the National System” due to “its contribution, through exports, to rebalancing the balance of trade and promoting goods manufactured by national industry in well-remunerated sectors”, creating “quality jobs”.

All that remains is to rewrite Article 1 of the Constitution to provide that our’s is a republic, a democratic era, that rests on the labour of the military industry.

Set out below for foreign readers are the three articles of the Italian Constitution mentioned in this article.
Art. 1: Italy is a democratic republic founded on work.
_ Art. 52: Each citizen has a sacred duty to defend the Fatherland.
_ Art.11: Italy outlaws war as an instrument to attack the freedoms of other people and as a means of resolving international disputes; on the basis of reciprocity, it permits limits to be placed on sovereignty to guarantee peace and justice among Nations; it promotes and encourages international organizations focused on this objective.

Anoosha Boralessa
Il Manifesto (Italy)