Elections 2018 - M5S Defense Minister Elisabetta Trenta, "our soldiers: professionalism and heart!"

(To Andrea Cucco)

Elisabetta Trenta, an almost unknown candidate with a remarkable curriculum. Graduated in political science, she has a master's in international cooperation, and one in intelligence and security. Today she was a university professor - among many positions - political advisor of the commanders of the Italian Joint Task Force in Iraq e country advisor for the mission Leonte under UNIFIL in Lebanon in the 2009.

The 5 Stars Movement could provide the country with a Minister of Defense - finally - up to the role?

Dr. Trenta, you have experience of the Armed Forces as an officer of the selected reserve and for having worked together as a civilian. What opinion does the Italian Defense have in terms of resources, resources and personnel?

I happened to read with interest a mantra lately very used by the Farnesina: "live Italian style".

I believe that in the world of defense and international security, the Italian approach is clear and recognizable, one of those most appreciated and significantly representative of the country's cultural and human identity. This, I guarantee you, is recognized to us by the main international partners, with frequency and transport far superior to what normally happens "at home".

The way in which our Armed Forces have carried out the tasks that the governments that have alternated have assigned them, is a reason for an absolutely optimistic view on the role that our country can aspire to hold with ownership, in a very important situation that it is redefining the concepts of defense and security in Europe and internationally.

I think it is necessary to know better the reality of Italian Defense, very often relegated to images of rhetoric that for a long time have kept it in a decentralized position and far from the community.

Precisely in this regard, I believe it is necessary to reciprocate to the women and men of the Italian Armed Forces, the consideration of their service to the country. The specificity of this sector, one of the most active and significant in the service to the community, must be known and optimized to make it in line with the leading role that a country like Italy wishes to have on the international scene.

How do the Defense Industry see the 5 Stars?

The defense and security industrial sector is an important topic to which we will pay close attention. This is a much more complex area than that which is normally thought of and which constitutes a basin of primary importance for the maintenance of an adequate national technological base. Around the well-known names of the main companies in the sector, there is a reality made up of numerous small and medium-sized enterprises, which represent - in their own way - a technological excellence whose relevance - even from a social point of view - goes far beyond the boundaries of their productions concerning the "war" component. 

Today at the juncture we call Industria 4.0, the strength and modernity of this sector, of the thousands of workers who at all levels consolidate the privileged position of our country in the technological landscape, is an important vehicle for progress, for intercepting this fourth revolution industrial, whose effects are and will be much wider than those strictly related to the specificity of the individual materials produced.

The security and defense of our communities are a public good. They are insured by citizens and citizens who in many different roles play an important role for the entire community. These peculiarities must be understood in order to make it even better to exploit the driving force, from both a social and an economic point of view.

For this reason Italy has been fighting for some time, also in the European Parliament, in order to safeguard the possibility of the national technological industry, to be able to compete with a prominent role for all the numerous and important opportunities offered by the rediscovery, also in the field Community, of the irreplaceable role of Defense and Security. I am talking about the drive for European cooperation in this field, well represented by the Preparatory Action on European Research and the European Defense Industrial Development Plan, within the EDAP, the European Defense Action Plan.

Our European parliamentarian, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, vice president of the European Parliament, has contributed decisively to the Regulation establishing the European defense industrial development program (Edidp), whose task is to support competitiveness and the capacity for innovation European industry. He was the author of the amendment that in the Foreign Affairs Commission has allowed to affirm the principle that in order to take advantage of the financing the action must be undertaken by at least three companies from at least three different countries, thereby undermining the Franco-German aims to degrade this fund a sort of bilateral cooperation and instead defending its European added value and, with it, a significant and important role for Italy. Furthermore, it has encouraged, with other amendments, the presence and participation of SMEs and networks between SMEs. On these last amendments, I had the pleasure of providing Fabio Massimo Castaldo with my technical contribution.

I would like to add that, from a national point of view, a further effort will have to be made to understand which common challenges affect the various sectors of the public administration, in order to ensure a coordinated response and in a single vision of needs and solutions. In this overall vision, the Defense must be ready to do its part, making available skills, knowledge and values ​​that can constitute, together with the rest of the resources, an important piece of the common effort to improve social, economic and technologies of the country.

What memories do you have of missions, what can and wants to tell us?

I tell you the first event in which I understood what the Italian Way consists of international missions and why I consider Italians the best peacekeepers in the world.

I was recently in Nassiriya and attended a donor group meeting with the provincial governor. He was one of the donors who had built a purification plant for the approximate cost of 200.000 dollars, at the same time he was complimenting and thanking the Italians who had made a small intervention of 30.000 dollars.

The reason for the different attitude was that the first donor, in realizing the project, not having been confronted with the local authorities, had destroyed the only power line still working in Nassiriya. We have never made these mistakes and we will never do them. The comparison with local representatives, tribes, institutions, businesses, and all those who in English are called "stakeholders", is the starting point for every activity related to reconstruction, as well as an essential element to enjoy respect and estimation of the population and, therefore, also to contribute to the security of the quota.

Finally, just an image, I do not name, but some soldiers took care of Iraqi boys who had suffered major burns. For several years they hosted them for long periods at home, in Italy, together with a parent, and assisted while undergoing treatment in our country. These are our soldiers: professionalism and heart!


Elisabetta Trenta was born in Velletri in 1967, and is resident in Rome. She is a candidate for the Senate for the M5S in the multi-member college of Lazio 2. She has a degree in political science, and has a master's degree in international cooperation, and one in intelligence and security. She is a manager of development programs and projects, an expert in defense, security and international cooperation, as well as a university professor. He is also currently Deputy Director of the Master in Intelligence and Security of the Link Campus University of Rome. She is a security and defense researcher at the Military Center for Strategic Studies. For nine months, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she was Political Advisor to the Commanders of the ITJTF in Iraq. She also held the role of governance expert in Thi Qar's Reconstruction Assistance Unit. Since 1998 she has been responsible for many development and assistance projects for governance both in Italy and abroad, where she coordinated interventions such as that for assistance to the City Councils of the province of Thi Qar (Iraq) or that for the strengthening of skills of the Ministry of the Interior in Lebanon. She was also Country Advisor for the Leonte Mission within UNIFIL in Lebanon in 2009 and participated in military and civil activities, in Italy and abroad, on behalf of the Ministry of Defense.