Unfortunately (not) we give the numbers

(To Andrea Cucco)

Several military exercises are underway on the European continent. As we read, for example, the Defender 2023, joint multinational exercise directed by the US European Command.

According to what we learn from the US Defense portal, they will be involved 9.000 US military e 17.000 from 26 allied and partner nations, per "demonstrate the ability of the US military to rapidly deploy troops and credible combat equipment in order to reassure allies, deter those who threaten peace in Europe, and defend the continent from aggression".

The main annual exercise will ritually follow: the Defend Europe 2023. Last year involved less than 9.000 soldiers (between US and 11 allies and partners - opening photo), while in 2021 they were interested 28.000 military from 26 countries.

When half a million of men are slaughtering themselves in eastern Europe, are a few tens of thousands of soldiers mobilized as a demonstration and deterrent effort adequate?

We recall the number of soldiers involved in some of the latest Russian exercises (following photo) with their respective friends and allies...

Zapad 2021: 200.000

Kavkaz 2020: 80.000

Tsentr 2019: 128.000

Vostok 2018: 300.000

The reflection that perhaps we should begin to make (14 months late) is: “In case of war, who will go to fight? How are we going to reach a critical mass that can stop an advance?”.

Italy should not, in the light of the foregoing, worry about building one credible reserve of forces, if not for quality, at least for quantity?

At the moment the main mission of our Defense is still represented by 5.000 military of Safe Roads who, instead of training (read “fighting”) in war scenarios, contribute to public safety in the European country with the highest number of law enforcement agencies per population.

In times of war (world war!), we continue to sweep the dust under the carpet with ridiculous measures to increase the workforce "to 10.000 units of highly specialized military personnel in the technical-logistics and health sectors", or are we starting to worry about having 5-figure reserves?

While we boldly seek our "place in the sun", we shouldn't try to look like - if not Finland (last country to join NATO: 900.000 reservists*) - at least to Greece (220.000 reservists) or to Portugal (211.700 reservists)?


Photo: US Army National Guard / Russian Fed MoD