Colossal works are emerging on our territory both in Northern Italy and Southern Italy. Are we talking about those for which the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport is responsible? Works that has every tongue wagging? Not at all! We’re talking about those thought up by the Pentagon that no one mentions. And yet most of these works are funded with our money and bring with them growing risks for us Italians:

 At Ghedi’s military airport (Brescia): the plan kicks off to spend more than 60 million euro (of Italy’s money), on building the infrastructure for 30 F-35s (US fighter planes), purchased by Italy and for 60 B61-12 (US nuclear bombs).

 At the Aviano base (Pordenone): around 5,000 US soldiers are stationed here with the F-16 fighters armed with nuclear bombs (seven of which are currently in Israel for the 2017 Blue Flag drill). Other costly works have been carried out at Italy’s and Nato’s expense.

 At Vicenza: 8 million euro has been picked from Italy’s pocket, to “revamp” the Ederle and Del Din barracks. Both these barracks are home to the US Army headquarters in Italy and the 173a air borne Brigade (now deployed in Eastern Europe, Afghanistan and Africa), and to extend the “Village of Peace” where US soldiers live with their families.

 At Camp Darby (a US base located in Pisa/Livorno): the construction of a railway infrastructure is beginning in December. The cost of this: 45 million dollars, an expense allocated to the US plus other expenses, allocated to Italy. This infrastructure will enable linking up this base to the Livorno Port and Pisa Airport. This work entails demolishing 1,000 trees in the natural park. Camp Darby is one of the five sites that the US Army has around the world for “stocks stationed in advance” of weapons. The camp contains millions of missiles and projectiles, thousands of tanks and armoured vehicles. From here they are sent to the US Forces in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with large militarized ships and cargo airplanes.

 At Lake Patria (Naples): Nato’s new headquarters, costed at around 200 million euro of which around a quarter is borne by Italy, entails yet more expenditure on Italy’s part. For example, 10 million euro for the new road access close to the Nato Headquarters.

 At the Amendola base (Foggia): works have been carried out for an un-quantified cost, to render the runways suitable for the F-35s and the US Predator drones that Italy has bought.

 At the Sigonella Naval Air Station, in Sicily: works have been carried out for more than 100 million dollars. These expenses will be borne directly by the United States and NATO and therefore indirectly by Italy as well (following on from its membership of NATO). In addition to providing logistical support to the Sixth Fleet, the base is the launching pad for operations in the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe, with airplanes and drones of all types and special forces. As well as this function, it will perform another one: the advanced base of the US “anti-missile shield”, not for defence but for offense, especially against Russia: should it be able to intercept the missiles, the US could probably launch a first nuclear strike neutralizing a reprisal.

 At Sigonella: the Jtags is on the verge of being installed. This is a station for satellite reception and transmission from the “shield”. Yet it is no coincidence that with the launch of the fifth satellite, Muos is on the verge of becoming fully operational. Muos is the US satellite system which has one of its four land stations in the vicinity of Niscemi.

On 7 June 2017, General James Dickson, Head of the US Strategic Command, in a Congressional Hearing declared:
“This year we have secured support from the Italian government to deploy once again, in Europe, the Jtags at the Sigonella Naval Air Station”.

Was the Italian Parliament in the loop of a decision of such strategic significance, that upgrades our country to the front line of an increasingly dangerous nuclear confrontation? Was it at least discussed in the Defence Committees?

Anoosha Boralessa
Il Manifesto (Italy)