Elections 2018: the experience in the Defense committee of the Hon. Gianluca Rizzo (M5S)

(To Andrea Cucco)

The electoral consultation is upon us and, even in the best of cases, a difficult period is looming for the Republic. The world of defense is traditionally kept subdued - if not subject to censorship! - in "happy" times, let alone what a decade of acrobatics and compromises could reserve for us.

To get a more correct idea, or at least "less fake" of the ideas in the field, we host some interviews with politicians who have had or will still have to do with the Defense.

Waiting for the "lists of ministers", let's start with a representative of the 5 Stars Movement, a reality apparently far from the military but that can be a surprise.

Mr Rizzo, during the term, he was a member of the Defense Committee. How did you experience the experience?

It was certainly a strong experience full of intense moments, which gave me the opportunity to deepen the functioning of the World of Defense, a world little known to the public or that was until we entered the 5 Movement Stars in Institutions.

The Defense contains a myriad of professional fields: health, work, industry, training, research and development, representing a reality apart, complete, with the specificities that are assigned by the Constitution to ensure the security of the country and the protection of our interests in the world. Having actively participated in the work of the commission has allowed me to fully understand the importance of the role that Italy plays in the Euro-Mediterranean Geo-Political chessboard and in the world context; based on these principles, I have always assumed the responsibility of every vote and of every opinion expressed on the acts put to our examination.

When it comes to supporting the military world, the 5 Stars Movement is not the first political subject that comes to mind ...

Probably will come to mind who has had the opportunity to know the way we work. We have gone beyond the very concept of "parliamentary inspection", for our part there has been a firm desire to know more closely and more deeply the working environment of our men in the Defense sector, carrying out hundreds of cognitive visits among all the forces armed, passing from the MM to the AM to the EI and to the CC, experiences that have allowed us to have a more realistic perception of the issues covered by our parliamentary works.

Did you do military service?

I carried out the compulsory service in the 1996, at the 62 ° rgt carri "Sicily" in Catania, but almost always I was on a mission and for a long time employed in operation "Vespri Siciliani" in Syracuse at the court, I did vigilance coasts in Pantelleria and about a month in the polygon of Capo Teulada. After so many years I have been able to review some places where I have lived experiences that have certainly made me grow humanly, but I looked at differently what I had seen with the eyes of a twenty-two who had received a camouflage uniform with degrees of corporal.

Today I am secretary of the commission of inquiry "Uranium" and the present tells me the story of a boy, who no longer exists, who wrote to his mother describing the exercises and explosions in the Sardinian polygons, transfiguring that reality and transforming those flashes and sparks in spectacular and fascinating fireworks ... with the eyes of a boy who felt protected from his country, convinced that those fumes had not been harmful to his health.

The final report of the parliamentary committee of inquiry into depleted uranium has been discussed. What are your assessments on this?

As already said I had the honor of being part of a commission of inquiry that the 5 Movement Stars strongly desired through the commitment of my colleague, first signatory of the proposed law that called for its establishment, Marialucia Lorefice.
This was the fourth commission of inquiry authorized by Parliament following the first soldiers who died after serving abroad, particularly in the Balkans.

This committee has positively affected in the debate on those who have suffered damage to health or worse suffering the loss of loved ones, putting "black and white" the existence of a causal link between the diseases contracted by our military and exposure to ' depleted uranium and the nanoparticles produced by its explosion and all the other environmental factors covered by the commission's work. I particularly remember asbestos, radon or massive vaccinations. This can be seen with the approval of the final deed voted in the past few days. The report was very precise thanks to the excellent work done by the commissioners and our consultants.

Our vote in the report was favorable and what makes me proud was the recognition to the 5 Stars Movement, from almost all the colleagues of the other political parties, of the great merit for the result obtained.

General Bertolini stressed that there are more serious dangers to take into account (v.intervista): the first security measure for a soldier is training. Absolutely inadequate activity in our country ...

I have respect for the militaristic vision of General Bertolini but it is not the same that we perceived with the visits of the commission of inquiry and hearing the many figures of the Italian Defense world called to Rome. How can we not expect, especially for everything related to the training of staff and everything that revolves around it, compliance with current legislation on safety at work. We can not attend other Nasta cases or count other victims who, while obeying very specific orders, would remain victims of the dangers to which they would meet in the Polygons, or in environments where bombings took place.

Paradoxically it is as if our men in action were equipped with bulletproof vests not to save their lives but to make them able to continue fighting despite a possible injury to an arm or a leg. If Italy aspires to achieve excellent results from the point of view of protecting its personnel, surely it can not fail to adopt new procedures and tools able to overcome the "domestic jurisdiction" that we have had the opportunity to get to know in the military field.

Video of the movement criticize the component (in percentage) of the defense budget allocated to salaries, promising solutions. What will you do, will you further reduce the number of staff or increase the funds?

The Defense budget, net of the additional funds guaranteed by the MEF and the Ministry for Economic Development, is heavily biased towards personnel costs. We consider the 50 / 25 / 25 report valid, where 50 is the percentage of the Ministry's budget allocation (which I remember is over 20 billion) to pay salaries, overtime and various bonuses, as well as auxiliary pensions and ARQ.
The percentages of the 25 indicate instead the budget values ​​to which to aspire for the maintenance of the military instrument and to invest in upgrades and weapon systems. I give you an example of what happened: The M5S intends to revoke public funding to newspapers, do you know what the result was? Most of the newspapers that receive funds do not fail to discredit us with articles and interviews. Here, we can say that even in the field of Defense it was intended to exploit a strictly personal consideration made by one of our consultants who launched the alarm to what in Italy still happens: we have a relationship between managers and commanded very low, which could let us presage that there is a need to lighten the chains of command, while also achieving that relationship between the three spending configurations to which I have already mentioned.

In this regard, I take this opportunity to disprove the fake news that farnetic on any cuts in salaries for men in the defense and security sector by the M5S, is not absolutely true, never discussed such a thing and only a fool could do it!

Too many Italian military missions support foreign foreign policies that are too often competing. With a 5 star government will anything change?

We think that it is essential to participate in international missions where the aims of protection of our nation and its interests in the world are clear or a clear matrix of aid to civilian populations from the violence of wars and revolts dictated by economic, racial or dictatorial reasons. unscrupulous. The mission in Afghanistan not only does not embody any of these premises, but, at a distance of 12 years, measuring its effectiveness, we can only certify the failure of an American-led strategy that has produced little in terms of fighting terrorism, production opium and the reduction of violence on Afghan soil. This is why we do not consider it essential or useful. Unlike instead of the mission in Lebanon or that in the Balkans to protect and guarantee peace in those regions devastated in the past by fratricidal wars.

Do you love our flag and would you give your life to defend it?

Yes, no ifs and buts!

The communication (and the relative transparency) of the Defense was almost canceled with the current minister. The political, ideological and personal management would end up with a minister 5 Stars?

There are two lines of thought, one opposed to the other, for which or we end up with a tortoise and that happened with the Minister Pinotti or we open to citizens / taxpayers always with a view to guaranteeing the security and privacy prerogatives that must continue to be maintained for those delegated to manage the security of the country. Too much closure leaves you open to interpretations, slander, gratuitous accusations that our men do not deserve to suffer.

I have had the opportunity to speak with many soldiers in recent years, many with important leadership duties, others from graduates or simple soldiers and what I could perceive from the speeches made is the unwelcome public perception of the lack of recognition for the excellent work done at all levels. We are fortunate to have thousands of men and women who carry out their task with commitment and dedication, convinced of their means and able to obtain prestigious awards all over the world.

Why should a soldier vote for you?

A military man, woman or man, is first of all an Italian citizen who has embarked on a career in the armed forces, the priority of the 5 Star Movement is to improve the quality of all citizens ... without distinction. These days we hear several sirens of politics, too bad they are the same sirens of that policy that has produced enormous damage in the last 30 years in this sector: from the failure to carry out a vigorous reorganization of careers, to the cut of salaries, to the reduction of turnover to the lack of reform of military representation, from guaranteeing billion-dollar orders for weapons systems, sometimes useless, to not being able to guarantee adequate standards of
functionality in barracks, air or naval bases.

The 5 Stars Movement does not have filters to affix its own priorities or promises to be held against any lobby, we only have the will to do what is right for all Italians, including those belonging to the Defense sector, who face every day his working day with great dignity and to which a better quality of life must surely be guaranteed.

It is also necessary to re-evaluate the contribution offered by civilian personnel to whom to delegate those activities that fall outside the sphere of military specificity and for which it is not necessary to wear a uniform to perform important activities.

Finally, it is necessary to maintain adequate standards of professionalism, invest in weapon systems adequate to current or foreseeable threats and a management machine able to eliminate waste, cutting where possible, in order to improve the infrastructures necessary to accommodate the staff and able to produce state-of-the-art training methods useful for carrying out the activities delegated to the sector.