Recess is over

(To Walter Raleigh)
02/02/24

Politics retains its places of election; there Ville Lumiere it is one of those, despite the national media outlets only mentioning it for other events. Without taking anything away from vest, fashion and tractors, the fact that at the end of January it is part of the leaders of the Navy1 potentially most influential on a regional and planetary scale have gathered in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, should arouse considerable interest. The conditional is a must because this was not the case: the habit of courtyard squabbles and looking only at one's own navel does not change of emblee.

Deterrence, interoperability, conflicts in gray zones and technological innovation are relevant topics which are accompanied by other closely related ones, in a context in which the destruction of targets must be considered as a given. Given that the presence of an aircraft carrier strike group retains an indisputable dissuasive power despite the sophistication of the interdiction capabilities, a credible and above all motivated naval force in its crews, human capital that has ever been impoverished, remains the only real political lever -diplomatic.

Easy to say, much less to do, firstly due to very thorny internal problems, and then due to what reverberates from the outside; the American electoral cycle, depending on who wins the White House, will offer different challenges; Trump's aversion towards NATO is not new. Net of populism and short arms on budgets with a burden shifting and not sharing, the hypothetical end of the Alliance would deliver, to a multilateralized world, infinite micropolises with anarchic imbalances productive only of weak and indefensible political subjects. Through their fault, obviously.

Sterile positions of principle and fashion cannot have citizenship, given that black swan The Donald will try to take back the pond with all the possible isolationist radicalisms. Who will the Dems propose, sprightly old men aside? Meanwhile, given that with great power comes great responsibility, one thing is certain: the limitation of the global presence of the stars and stripes, despite the electoral proclamations, it is impossible, given the effects produced by Ukraine and Hamas in shuffling the cards between Europe and the Middle East.

What would remain to be done for unprepared and genetically inclined Europeans political somersaults as the Polish version of Stalin reminds us, and pacifistically devoid of fighting spirit, in case of emergency?

1. hope that the Americans change their minds and retrace their steps, as in '41 (difficult; would a Bostonian agree to die for a European?);

2. please the best imperial messenger on duty, offering humiliating and silky oriental vassalages (easy, already done);

3. finally understand that showing up with an olive branch does not exempt us from being shot by those who have completely different intentions towards us (see Piero's war).

Not understanding that we depend on these dynamics is a flaw; it's globalization doll: a flap of wings in Washington sets off a missile in the Red Sea. American entropy is a problem for everyone also because leadership and power projection are not things that are easily given up, given that the price to pay would be immensely higher than that to be paid to maintain primacy.

So how much do the attacks on shipping in the Red Sea cost? Too much, but the threat cannot be eradicated only from the sea and concerns everyone, not just the Americans, hit by enemy drones on the Jordanian border. The Houthis have demonstrated that any choke point can become a political fault point, and that the declining West is effectively devoid of strategic autonomy.

In the Indo Pacific, China, for now, prefers control even if pervasive, it being understood that the Anglo-Saxon Aukus shows no propensity for any form of vassalage, whether silky or otherwise.

Who benefits from an American sunset? To whom do you invoke the BRICS, an anti-Western alliance competing within itself? It would be enough to analyze the South African economic situation and the former aspiring Argentine adept hungry for lack of aid to be aware of this.

Probably what is most needed is deterrence, fear of reprisals, decisive containment of anarchy in international relations; Europe, within the already available capabilities of Emasoh/Agenor in the Strait of Hormuz, has planned the Operation Aspides, a mission defensive e non projectable towards Yemen and which brings with it hopeful political auspices however all to be confirmed.

Italy Chapter. Without long-term strategies, the country is witnessing the usual and disheartening backyard arguments; The Mattei plan it won't be perfect, as the bard said the future we will only find out by living but, after the Libyan failures hastily and badly hidden under the carpet (Turkey thanks), is at least a foreign policy plan against which lashing out weakens the famous country system, concept cited by many but understood by few, where few it's optimistic. Of course, buying fossil resources from Algeria can create problems arising from the policies of pouvoir but, seeing that everyone sooner or later it must to cry the consequences of the decisions taken, the self-forced choice of energy sources can only lead to dependence on whatever supplier it is, a cardinal sin not having understood it yet.

What the political system (that of the courtyard) is unable to understand is the Italian position in an international context which attributes to Rome geopolitical responsibilities which must be adapted quickly, maintaining coherence and reliability, qualities which are acquired also thanks to projectable and equipped FAs; presenting itself as the weak link in the chain, as happened with the signing of the BRI MoU, hampers relations with traditional partners, in any case they are already well disposed as competing sellers of used cars at a trade fair, just as it doesn't help to resort to propaganda refrains that misrepresent reality for the convenience of lazy souls, assuming they are innocent souls. But since innocence in international relations is an oxymoron, Churchill would have said that the the belly was soft and remained soft.

The theme of war equipment resurfaces periodically; the Freudian slip of the Minister of Defense on the subject of missiles refers, (un)consciously, to what the head of the Navy has already stated in parliament for some time. No mystery, perhaps just late-emerging concerns.

Italy is therefore evoked in the political-diplomatic sphere both in the Middle East and in the Indo Pacific, with active partnerships and prestigious participations in RIMPAC2; the problem is being able to provide wide-ranging strategic continuity to be managed carefully, establishing contemporary relationships with India, (South) Korea and Tokyo, Beijing's antagonist. Will we be capable of it? The Libyan experience raises strong doubts.

Meanwhile, the Navy is needed more than ever, called to play strategic and balancing roles; there is no point in going around in circles: the Houthis are damaging the Italian economy, given that the country does not have Atlantic ports and that the drop in traffic is becoming significant. It is therefore essential to exploit the position, which rewards distances and logistics.

According to Luttwack, a mission should be undertaken in the Red Sea that is not merely representative but involves Western intelligence, aimed at directly protecting national interests and freedom of navigation, thus assuming an important role both in the Western system and for Egypt , suffering from the loss of revenues from the Suez Canal, and for Saudi Arabia, for which Jeddah remains economically fundamental. However, it is necessary to ascertain how falsely comfortable and unproductive it is quietism strategic impact of national policy on concrete results.

Enlarged Mediterranean Italian and Indo-Pacific Strategy Americans summarize the same needs: freedom of navigation between the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea must be guaranteed for Italy as they are accesses to a territorialized Mediterranean; for Washington the balance of power must be rebalanced as long as regional geopolitical stability is preserved, containing Chinese ambitions. It goes without saying that a strategic depth of this type, which the Turks know well and practice better, it must be connected to military, political and economic capabilities capable of supporting competition and globalization even in waters that are geographically distant but economically all too close.

1 The Chief of US Naval Operations Admiral Lisa Franchetti, the French Chief of Staff Admiral Nicolas Vaujour, the English Admiral Sir Ben Key, First Sea Lord and Chief of Staff of the United Kingdom Navy, Admiral Enrico Credendino Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharcar of the Indian Navy

2 For the first time Italy participates in the most important exercise in what will be the area of ​​the next hegemonic confrontation.

Photo: US Navy