162nd Anniversary of the Army: Believe, Obey, Stand…

(To Andrea Cucco)

In a semi-deserted Piazza del Popolo, in Rome, the 162nd anniversary of our land armed force was celebrated yesterday.

For the little ones it is necessary to underline that in 1861 theItalian army but the "Royal Army" or, at most, theArmy of the Kingdom of Italya. The EI will be born only in 1946. This was rightly commented by the Chief of Defense Staff, adm. Cavo Dragone (referring however to the birth of the Air Force).

Faced with a conflict in which half a million men and women are being massacred, our Army can today field only a few thousand soldiers: 7000 in "operational readiness" (yesterday's press release). In addition - previous words of Defense Minister Crosetto - we have "armed peacekeeping forces".

An energetic Chief of Staff of the Army, General Serino, underlined the need – even before equipment – ​​for training and related necessary areas, such as shooting ranges. Alarms already supplied to the parliament for some time (listen passage) and whose failure to listen “History could one day ask for the bill!”.

Allow me to specify that, even before "History", in the event of the use of weapons and the consequent higher cost in human lives, it will be the future citizens (no longer "subjects") of the Italian Republic who will "ask for an account..." .

Yesterday, in the front row, the president of the Senate La Russa and the undersecretary of Defense Rauti were present: the former, in 2008 as defense minister, allowed theemployment of military personnel belonging to the Armed Forces for specific and exceptional crime prevention needs, the second with delegation to issues in any case connected with the problems relating to the operation "safe streets"… However, they seem not to notice that the "Strade Sicure" project (probably useful 15 years ago) must now come to an end. Combat training must replace the time lost garrisoning in the sun or rain (in the European country with the highest police-to-population ratio!).

On the contrary, the president of the Senate declared yesterday that the mission should be "intensified" (with an official request to the government) to combat the growing phenomena of insecurity in the big cities.

La Russa then recalled an episode from his first visit to Afghanistan as defense minister: faced with a request to the soldiers, away from the commanders, about what he could provide them (thinking, for example, of "food"), he was told "more helicopters for do our job better." Moved, he recalled how the military had put the desire to carry out the mission better than any individual interest.

If today the second office of the state were to ask any military for urgent needs, the list would be decidedly long...

Since Senator La Russa seems to be the staunchest supporter of "Safe Streets", we will ask* - after denials from others - an interview and no questions in advance (on the other hand he is among the few who do not read speeches…).

Will we be lucky? Or we will have to wait for a new Republic really democratic to get answers like citizens and no longer rare "graceful concessions" as "subjects"?

* The interview request was submitted at the time this article was published.

Photo: Ministry of Defense