Letter to Online Defense: "Why does our Navy always seem to be afraid of doing something wrong?"


I have been reading you with curiosity for some time. You deal with matters of which I believe few can really understand anything unless you follow the news with impartiality and a minimum of intelligence, a matter at the moment very scarce, it seems.

Lately it seems to me that the Navy has become very popular, which is intriguing, given that you hardly ever hear about it. The Army is always present, the Air Force just passes with the colored smoke and it's done: but what happened to the Navy? Sometimes they showed her to us while she was collecting migrants, but after all, apart from that, little is known.

Recently, reading magazines dealing with current affairs and going around the internet a bit, I jumped at a couple of articles that intrigued me. Between September and November the Navy was called to intervene several times, but instead of receiving appreciation, it created a situation that seemed confusing to me, to put it simply. Meanwhile, few to tell the truth, it seems that they have rediscovered piracy, which is not exactly that of films, and they have also rediscovered that we also have it on our doorstep.

Pirates, if you can talk about them as long as you want, are thieves, and of the worst kind, and in history they have always been considered and treated as thieves. You can be do-gooders, or simply ignorant, but one of the points is just this, in short, how to deal with criminals who attack ships with weapons in hand. According to what I read, everyone has gone wild on the problem, but it seems that a solution has not been found; and yes, there are many military ships at sea and from many countries. I don't feel like going down on legal issues, we need prepared people, but of course the doubts remain.

If all goes well, if everyone agrees, why are the attacks continuing? How come our Navy always seems to be afraid of doing something wrong?

Of course, if I were a commander, I wouldn't sleep so quietly, since if something happens, he is the first to lose it as already happened. And here there are many doubts: but do the military know exactly what to do on every occasion? Why does it seem like there are no clear ideas every time? Is it possible that it is always and only the military who do not understand well? Whenever the news is reported, the first impression is that everything is being done at sea to push the pirates towards other foreign soldiers, because you would not know what to do if the pirates shoot or if the ship catches them. But if the commander has clear ideas, since he is on the spot, then could it not be that the confusion is actually brewing at home?

After so many years, the case of the marines is still open, so it seems clear that there is something wrong, maybe the law is not clear, or if it is clear who has to give the orders can't give them well, let them understand. But then I read the articles that talk about Libya and Italian fishermen and my arms fall out.

Without going so far from home, 4 Libyans with a patrol boat have outlawed an entire country, took fishing boats and fishermen and brought them to Libya. They even wrote that the Navy took responsibility for not intervening, without however understanding who really gave the order not to intervene, and despite the ship's helicopter being ready. In the end, those who lost were the fishermen, who surely felt abandoned by everyone.

I wonder, but now what are the faces of politicians and military returning to Sicily? Is it possible that with everything that was happening and that has already happened in the past, no one has informed at least the politician on duty? The defense minister, for example, or perhaps even the foreign minister, since he had been there in Libya that morning.

Then I read that it was the head of defense who informed the minister the next morning, even. And then it occurs to me that several months ago the news broke that the chief of staff of the navy was replaced by the command of Safe Sea by the chief of defense who is a pilot, which is a bit like saying that an Alpine now commands the fighters. And there the doubts return, but are we sure that the whole organization is really united and above all reliable? Because then maybe it has nothing to do with it, but the whole history of American planes, the F 35s, comes to mind, and it is not clear who they should go to.

It would be interesting to see if by chance a judge wanted to see clearly who he would call, if the captain of the ship or others more galloned than him. Of course, if the fault lies solely with the military and no politicians have entered it, it means that the ministers are not in control of the crises. Moreover, I read that in 2015 the navy intervened in a similar case with the raiders, so now what happens, that only the commander is the culprit of everything?

Excuse me for the confusion, maybe I could have told better, but as a citizen I still have the strong idea that the soldiers have the lit match left in their hands because of their responsibility.

And I also wonder what Sicilian fishermen or African pirates think about it, who now know that you can get through those parts because the military doesn't intervene with the harshness that others use instead.

A reader


Dear reader, thank you for your thoughts and questions. Many are the same ones we ask ourselves.

One note: our foreign minister (former vice president of the council, minister of economic development and minister of labor and social policies) had been in Libya the previous day, not the same day.

I fear the underlying issue is our own country: a scattered flock - led by Chihuahuas - in which the gravity never lies in a problem but in the "lese majesty" which blames those who dare to raise it or simply ask a question. Let alone if, like her, she puts ten!

Speaking of piracy, it is certainly disheartening to note that, despite the sometimes excellent preparation of our military, they are Byzantine rules and eunuch rhetoric to characterize our "deterrence". But after all, if the Italian flag no longer arouses fear and respect in smiling predators in uniform or in suits, can it hope to do so in criminals armed with Kalashnikovs while they shoot at us?

Andrea Cucco

Images: Navy / Chamber of Deputies