Stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia. A comment

(To Philip Del Monte)

RWM Italia SpA appeals against the government's decision to suspend the export of arms to Saudi Arabia. The decision made a few days ago by the Unit for the Authorization of Military Materials (UAMA) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not taken well by the management of the Ghedi company. RWM CEO Fabio Sgarzi spoke of provision "to the company" need a serious precedent with the interruption of contracts in force for years that must alarm the entire sector of the defense industry.

Words that must necessarily be shared also because, if the analysis were to be of a purely economic and occupational type, to ban exports to a company which - like most of the military industrial sector - is precisely on the foreign market that bases its survival. and moreover in a period of economic crisis due to the pandemic (but essentially structural) it can appear as a profoundly damaging provision.

From a political point of view, the issue is even more serious because it brings to light once again the bizarre mix between domestic politics, or rather power games, and foreign policy that have always undermined Italian national interests. The act of the UAMA, which arrived precisely in conjunction with the presence of Matteo Renzi at the “Davos of the desert” in Arabia, may have been a simple coincidence. Yet the words of the Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Manlio Di Stefano (M5S) who evoked the conflict of interest of Italian politicians, with clear references to the position held by Renzi on the board of Future Investment Initiatives of Saudi prince Mohammed Bin Salman, they had the flavor of the ambush conducted by the cricket-contians against the "dissidents" of Italia Viva.

Currently the Conte government is in charge only for the handling of current affairs, that is for the ordinary administration, but the UAMA provision with which the export is suspended - or rather, the regulatory perimeter of what was forbidden to export after the act issued by the yellow-green government in 2019 - of arms to Saudi Arabia is a political act and therefore a strategic decision that a resigning executive should not have taken.

The "Network for Peace and Disarmament" speaks of a "historic decision" by the Italian government, conditioned by the "pressure of civil society" but these are "pro forma" statements, which do not read Conte and Di Maio's choice with the lens of the politics and gang warfare going on in Roman palaces, because if UAMA had acted for ethical reasons and therefore to "punish" Saudi Arabia for conduct in Yemen, then the words of the pacifists could be understood; but the Yemeni conflict is the cover for the Roman "conflict".

For ethical reasons and for the protection of the national interest it would have been more useful (although it remains a useless choice it is clear) to suspend the sale of weapons systems and armaments to Egypt, which is a direct competitor of Italy in the Mediterranean, just think to the alignments in the Libyan dispute or to the conduct of the Egyptian authorities in the intricate affair of Giulio Regeni. The comparison between Egypt and Saudi Arabia unmasks the real reasons behind the suspension of arms exports to Riyadh.

As already written by Difesa Online (v.articolo) there is a substantial difference between the choice of the new US president Biden, who suspended the sale of the F-35s to Saudi Arabia for "administrative routine" and for a "neo-Obamian" strategic reversal in the Gulf (v.articolo), and the position taken by Rome that responds to the needs not of the national interest nor of bureaucratic inertia but only to the purposes of the heads of the resigning government.

In order to damage Matteo Renzi by undermining his credibility in the face of his international contacts, the government has ended up damaging, once again and following a well-known script, the interests of the Italian state.