A year and a half ago it certainly did not take an enlightened mind to prophesy that "... the decline of our Armed Forces will continue unstoppable ..." (Online Defense of 14/01/2019). However, the news of these days forces us to bring up De Gaulle again and exhume his "Virtue of disobedience". The object of the dispute this time is not the unionization of the Armed Forces, daughter of the former Minister Trenta, but the new mobilization of the Army for the "emergency" waste in Reggio Calabria, which follows the "eco-bales of Naples ”,“ G8 of Genoa ”and other similar.
A premise seems useful. In Italy, with the benefit of inventory, there are about 3.500.000 state employees (with well-defined skills and duties), 1.200.000 citizenship income earners (many of whom, as is known, "round up" with activities in the black) and a number close to 100.000 units of non-performing immigrants maintained and assisted by the state (the number of ... unknown who wander clandestinely in our country). Finally, there are about 96.500 men and women framed in our Army with tasks that are also well defined for them and among these, to use a generic term, the defense of national interests.
It should be emphasized the anomaly, which has now become the norm, of using the Armed Forces as a whole not for the infamous "safeguarding of the sacred borders" but as an active part, in collaboration with the police forces, in the management of the clandestine flow that violates our coasts and our terrestrial borders, thus frequently representing the involuntary final link in the chain fed by merchants of men and various NGOs.
At this point the new "garbage operation" of Reggio Calabria comes into play for which Minister Guerini declared that “On the part of the Defense there is no problem. The device is that of Strade Sicure managed by the Ministry of the Interior, we would make the resources available ". It goes without saying that the resources are not those intended "to Boldrini", that is the more or less clandestine immigrants, but the soldiers of the Army. It is not known whether, given the lack of landfills and incinerators and in order to make the service fully satisfactory, the storage of waste in disused barracks or polygons underused for reasons now known is also envisaged.
The question that arises once again is: why entrust the Army with this new “Clean Streets” mission, which is the responsibility of a mass of professionals who could and should deal with it?
Another question: why exhume De Gaulle and his virtue of disobedience? Here there is an answer: because it is not at all true that complying with an order (whether political or military) depends on who gives it but (and it is inevitable!) On who executes it or should execute it. And among the executors are to be considered both the top figures and all the military of any level: from the number one to the ninety-six thousand five hundredth man of the Armed Force. In fact, if only one of these links in the chain is broken, whether it is a soldier or a general, the chain is interrupted and the order is not carried out..
In other words, seen from below: I have chosen to be a soldier also to deal with real emergencies but not to be an ecological operator or a convenient stopgap to others' inconclusiveness-inadequacy-inability.
Seen from above: when a superior gives an order, in reality it is sufficient for the recipient to declare that they consider it immoral or incompatible with their duties, and therefore inadmissible, because (incredible auditu!) This is enough to make the superior desist, which in most cases will not consider it convenient to implant "a grain" that would end up damaging even his action of command or his political image.
Certainly not a few commanders will have happened to live and find gratifying experiences of this kind, just as the writer has also had to respond with a banal sir to a division commander who demanded that the battalion flag not parade with the unit, or, in another heavier circumstance, to direct a little Garibaldian I don't-obey to an Army Chief of Staff who had ordered the dissolution of the Brigade of which I was at the time commander. The sentence was enough “If you want to disband my brigade, you must first replace me as commander. I refuse to do it " for the dissolution order to be revoked. And the "Sassari" is still there today! It is evident that there is neither heroism nor insubordination in disobeying an order that is not deemed right or wrong (evaluation that belongs to whoever gives it) but inadmissible according to the conscience of those who should perform it. Insubordination is not at stake but the pride of the soldier.
Moral: while confessing to feeling admiration for the masters of disobedience (but I admit that I have always preferred De Gaulle to Gandhi and Don Milani) I would not want these considerations to encourage insubordination, but only to induce choices that can benefit both one's dignity and to the prestige of the institution to which one belongs. And it would be serious to take on the "garbage operations" behind the prospect of a fee (as the pre-election examples of these days teach), in the style we bring from 40 to 70 the monthly overtime hours provided for "Strade Sicure ... e Pulite". The fact remains that the economic treatment is an aspect that the military leaders should support, regardless of the 29 trade unions that today enrich the world of the Armed Forces, putting pressure on a political world that primarily spends crazy and absurd amounts simply to ... rent luxurious cruise ships for the quarantine of illegal immigrants who continue to arrive from the black continent.
The soldier of any rank who in any case declared himself willing to lend, on a completely voluntary basis, his meritorious collaboration as an ecological operator or for other respectable labor or porterage activities should perform his work wearing not a combat camouflage but an honest one. work suit. Without stars ... and, incidentally, never under the watchful eye of a diligent carabiniere, as shown on the web by the embarrassing loading-unloading sequences of the trucks used to transport the famous single-seater benches. A soldier of the Italian Army cannot be a "controlled", and if a carabiniere is sent to the scene ... let him help, otherwise he can go back to the station!
Photo: Ministry of Defense