The "dual use" seen by the military soldier and the politician


It may happen that by catching the eye of a military man engaged in an activity of the varied range dual use, an Italian citizen is taken by the curiosity to find out what lies behind that look, in addition to the obvious "I obey" that underlies the work. This happens when social networks and television screens offer images of soldier-laborers unloading stalls rotated by a truck; of Alpini who in Piazza Stazione in Milan watch impassively (evidently following orders received) at the stone-throwing of some black drug dealers against an overly curious television crew; of an armed patrol that checks that swimmers on a Ligurian beach are wearing masks; of engineers who clear garbage or plug the road holes of a metropolis or, finally, of soldiers who watch over Roma camps and detention centers for illegal immigrants.

The gaze of the general called to fill the role of also does not escape the analysis in question Commissioner for the vaccination campaign (voluntary or compulsory) of the national community. What is certain is that in the latter case the citizen in question, bewildered by a chaotic and contradictory media bombardment, before making a choice between vaccine-yes / vaccine-no also refers to the gaze and message launched by the general-commissioner: "... never in human history had it been possible to produce a vaccine against a terrible pandemic in such a short time but above all tens of millions of doses of vaccines were injected in a very short time without clearly knowing the outcome ...". Although it sounded like the prelude to a refusal of the post, for the general-commissioner this premise had the sense of an acceptance of the investiture. To support the hypothesis of refusal, the content of the forms for "informed consent" actually plays a role in which the pharmaceutical companies specify, giving proof of commendable honesty, that the vaccines produced may not protect against contagion, which are still under study and therefore sub judice of unknowns relating to "non-exhaustive studies in progress" (to be taken into account among these unknowns the effects of any interference with other vaccines).

In summary, the message of the pharmaceutical companies is that we are in a phase of experimentation with vaccines tested day after day on the vaccinated, a circumstance that "does not exclude the possibility of serious reactions outside the clinical trials" in progress. A picture that seemed to suggest not exposing the military world to involvement and encroachments in the medical-scientific field, also in consideration that the whole problem is affected by political conditioning as well as by the conspicuous economic interests at stake.

The mere fact that Pfizer's turnover exceeds the budget of the Italian defense should lead to some reflection, even more so if we consider the anomalous financing of drug agencies, such as EMA and AIFA, by the pharmaceutical companies themselves. Even a non-expert should consider it unacceptable that the companies that produce it, rather than national or community governments, finance the bodies that decide whether and how to use a drug.

However, it should be noted that with the development of philosophy dual use the behaviors and viewing angles of politicians and the military tend to identify with each other. However, there is the risk that the emergence of any ethical problems could lead to either the interruption of the collaboration or to connivance.

However, it is significant to note that the activities are carried out in the context of the armed forces dual use are becoming a priority and central to the more exquisitely "military" ones. Suffice it to compare the monopoly of information that characterizes the media coverage of the vaccination campaign in progress with the quasi-indifference reserved for the conclusion of the twenty-year mission in Afghanistan, which cost over 50 deaths and hundreds of injured. A situation that has brought to mind the unacceptable handling by the Monti government of the affair of the marines Girone and Latorre returning from the mission in India.

In summary, there is the distinct feeling that our soldiers are praised and gratified if they dedicate themselves to dual use while they are ignored or treated with undisguised indifference when "they are soldiers"; so much so that no representative of our political-military summit was present when the war flag of the last Afghan contingent returned to Italy.

The national jubilation for the Italian victory in the UEFA cup on the occasion of the final played in the London Wimbledon stadium, a football event that recorded the presence of the supreme commander of the Armed Forces Italian. The consolation remains that at least in this circumstance the Tricolor continued to flutter in the wind, even if in the sky of an English stadium ... and also undergoing some outrage by miserable characters who remained anchored to their atavistic barbaric lineage.

The question that flashes in the mind of both the military and the citizen cited at the beginning is inevitable: an Italian who chooses the path of the stars wants to be a soldier or… what?

At the political-military summit the arduous sentence. Faced with the predominantly or only football patriotism of the Italians and the pre-match kneeling of our players, a second question arises in the mind of the writer: but when will we learn to be a serious people?

Nicolò Manca

Photo: US Army