Letter to Defense Online: the last slap in the face of military ethics by Elisabetta Trenta

20/11/19

The paradoxical telenovela of the Lady (?) Trenta who insisted on not leaving a state property filled the pages of the newspapers in the last days. I'm sorry, honestly. Not out of sympathy for the person concerned (it would be difficult), but because I believe that this emphasis, with its decidedly scandalous tenor, can overshadow the far more serious and lasting damage that our self-styled "expert" has done to our Armed Forces Defense and Security matters during his ministerial mandate.

Too long would list them all. From the enduring attempt to neutralize any peculiar aspect of "militarism", diluting it with goodwill and botched "do it yourself" syndicalism, with the continuous hovering over military commitments abroad (left too long suspended in terms of both financial support and of clear indication of the national strategic objectives), from the transformation of the dual-use from side effect (which must rightly be) to the reason of being of the FA, up to the embarrassing inability to take any concrete decision in the delicate sector of the defense industry and modernization of armaments and equipment (remember, among others, the stalemate in the F-35 and CAMM-ER programs and the history of Piaggio Aerospace drones). The list could continue, but now that the political career of Signora Trenta seems to have ended it would be worthy of the "vile Maramaldo" to continue in this ominous list.

What makes me angry today is relative to the last "slap" that Mrs. Trenta gave to the credibility of Italian military institutions.

Slap however involuntary, this time! Schiaffo whose responsibility should fall more on those who had to control and did not do it on those who (like the Trenta) attempted, in my opinion petty, to take advantage of his position of power.

The painful affair of housing in Via dell'Amba Aradam has not only brought to light the character aspects of the ex-minister (and the more or less conscious consort) that by many are considered at least less noble.

The story also highlighted that some uniformed officials may not be up to their job.

In fact, the assignment of the "assigned service accommodation" of the Central FA and Interforce area is the responsibility of specific sections, offices and departments of specific Major States. Sections, offices and departments headed by section heads, office heads and department heads who cannot, in my humble opinion, have not realized that the reassignment of the Minister's house to her husband could perhaps pose some regularity problems. Moreover, even admitted and not granted that this problem of administrative regularity did not exist, there was a problem of "political opportunity" which, as evidenced by the subsequent media hype, could not be neglected and which harmed the image of the FA.

They will tell me, "But what could those officers do if the minister, now" ex "but still powerful, demanded accommodation?"

It is true, but the military institution is and must remain "different" from the others. Doing the "SOLDIER" is not and cannot be like working in a factory (without wanting to take anything away from the importance of factory work, on which the national economy is based).

We are taught in the academies that we must be ready to risk our lives for the homeland and, more importantly, that we may have to ask (by example) to the men and women that the country entrusts us with being ready to risk their life for the Fatherland.

However, I wonder, if one does not even have the moral courage to represent the superior of the moment that what is asked of him is not regular or, in any case, is not in the interest of the FA, such a person will never go to fight?

How can you expect me to be ready to risk your life for those who are not even willing to risk their careers for their dignity?

Antonio Li Gobbi