Letter to Online Defense: "Italy in NATO and in the European Union"


Debates on foreign policy and the closely related military policy are rare in the national press. Criticisms are rare, perhaps overshadowed by the pressing problems of an economic nature. However, sharing these criticisms, in order both to claim responsibility for a personal stance and to motivate the conclusions of my intervention, I consider a premise appropriate: the writer is a rare and now extinct example of practitioner of virtue of disobedience preached by De Gaulle. In fact, during my military life I repeatedly criticized the work of the political-military leaders, up to the point of openly contesting the content of an agenda of an SME chief concerning the Gulf War ("Scipio's helmet and the Desert Storm ” - “Il Mattino” of 20 20/5/1991). That criticism concluded with a severe sentence: "That said, my pride in being part of the Italian army begins to suffer after 31 years of uniform, very hard blows, and if I had to say that I rattle at the thought of being able to become a general in this army already full of colonels and generals, I would be lying ”.

The signature was a colonel on the eve of his evaluation. Three years later, General Nicolò Manca harshly criticized (”With the cocked hat under the helmet”, published on 21 January 1994 by “Il Giornale) the feel-good policy of our missions abroad.

A quarter of a century ago, in June 97, I had my say for the last time through the pages of some newspapers, when I turned to the press so that the reason why a former commander of the "Sassari" brigade would not end up in silence he resigned from the army in protest against a political class which, following the well-known controversy over the mission in Somalia, was urging the dissolution of the "Folgore". It is also worth remembering, for a reminder regarding France (references to France are once again of burning relevance!), also the conclusion of that intervention: “...and to summarize in one word my judgment on those who by vocation condemn a priori the "Folgore" and the Armed Forces, I can only refer to France and to what General Cambronne said at Waterloo on 16 June 1815 : Shits!”

After that occasion I was silent, and I didn't break my silence even in March 2013, when I returned the honors of commendatore and knight always in protest "against the conduct lacking in courage and pride followed by the Italian government in the affair involving marines Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre".

However, today I feel once again the need to define completely unacceptable the submissive and submissive attitude of our political class towards "friends" or allies, whether they are individual states or international organizations. It is not easy to digest the flattening of our rulers on a NATO whose priority mission has become the defense of the economic interests of the United States, a goal that has little to do with the original one that set out to defend the West from tanks soviets. Taking sides without reservations alongside Biden triggers some perplexity, also taking into account the fact that the object of the dispute is the Ukraine of Zelenski, a picturesque actor known for his goliardic performances, who subsequently re-proposed himself in the guise of a Janissary fighter against Putin as well as against the own pro-Russian compatriots cheering for Moscow. Equally perplexing is the intention of the current government to allocate military aid to Zelenski's Ukraine in 2023 as well; in practice, we will have to draw on our disastrous economy to send armaments, in a functional key to the industrial interests of the United States, to a nation that is not part of either NATO or the EU.

Within the EU it also appears objectively indigestible that this body, colluded and entangled in international financial interests, imposes political and economic diktats on an Italy which, it should not be forgotten, was among the top 4 before the advent of the euro and the EU /7 economic powers of the planet. To complete the work, the usual arrogance of another friendly country, France, entered the scene, which, through Minister Laurence Boone, declared that it wanted to keep the Italian government under observation for "watch over the rights and freedoms... of the Italians!". The presumptuous French intrusiveness in meddling in the political choices of others also seems not to appreciate or at least take due account of the Italian discretion in not challenging the French for their aversion to the bidet.

Finally, the adjective "vomitous", also of French origin, attributed to the policy of an Italy that has declared itself no longer willing to be the terminus of the European NGOs dedicated to the trafficking of clandestine migrants. A question arises spontaneously: who knows if one day Macron (newly under investigation for corruption) will declare himself willing to offer refuge to the terrorist (newly appointed) Putin, just as France did for the terrorists of the Red Brigades?

Widening the EU horizon, it is grotesque that even Germany and Norway claim that Italy is always the terminus of the trafficking of immigrants managed by NGOs embarked on ships flying the French, German and Norwegian flag.

Finally, it is impossible to accept that our institutional leaders ambiguously wink and side openly with these "friendly" countries, citing among other reasons that the five million non-EU citizens present in Italy can be considered, all in all, a sort of compensation of the five million Italians who emigrated abroad. In other words: a round game to be honored as... ended in a draw! .

In a military environment limited to our army, it is difficult to accept the label dual-use (o handyman o stopgaps whatever you want) stuck to the armed force, now permanently projected into civil protection tasks: health emergency, road surveillance ("safe roads") and even the waste emergency, to the point of touching the problem of potholes in Rome-Capital and other occasional cheap labor. Commitments, including that of assistant policeman and assistant prison guard, which in the long run prove frustrating for a soldier.

If it is sacrosanct that in the event of natural disasters, such as the one that struck Ischia, the armed forces intervene to lend a hand to the firefighters and civil protection, it is also necessary that these duties fall within the competence of the competent bodies as soon as possible. As regards the dual-use however, it seems that this formula can also be exported beyond national borders, at least judging by the commitment underway in Qatar, the country that hosts the World Cup, where soldiers of our armed forces are employed in the … unarmed version! To do what?

It is hard to imagine what tasks were entrusted to our (unarmed) soldiers by the political leadership (supreme commander of the armed forces, head of government and defense minister). It is to be hoped that in this circumstance the advice, as an expert in the football world, of the former Foreign Minister and current aspiring EU commissioner for the Persian Gulf was not requested. What is certain is that the duty of the military is in any case that of carrying out, on both sides of national borders, the orders given by the political summit; but it is equally true that without his weapon a soldier becomes a worthy civil protection operator. But he is no longer a soldier.

That said, having had the privilege of being the first Sardinian to command the brigade SassariI feel entitled to ask the question: "With what spirit can the soldiers of Sassari employed in Qatar sing their anthem, that 'Dimonios' born during the period of command of the writer, thanks to the inspiration (and my "encouragement") of a captain of the brigade: Luciano Sechi?” I translate the first two verses of that hymn: “Bow your head and if you are seated, stand up... the Sassari brigade is passing”.

Sic stantibus rebus, today I do not regret my gesture of 25 years ago, but I also confess that I do not feel proud of this accommodating and submissive Italy, nor do I miss this unionized army and dual-use. Bitter observation for those who, a seventeen-year-old student of a Military School Nunziatella commanded by Franco Magnani, back in 1960 he sewed on the stars of the Italian Army.

But it was another army... from another Italy.

gen. d. (laughter) Nicolò Manca