Italian Army is among the best ones in the world. It is enshrined in a study conducted by the Credit Suisse Research Institute which has created a chart based on rigorous criteria. First places, obviously, go to major powers: US, Russia, and China. Surprisingly, fourth place goes to Japan. Italy features in the top ten. It holds second place in Europe, following France, but is far above Great Britain and Germany, the latter being at the bottom of the chart. Applied criteria, which are the result of an in-depth study, have been narrowed down to six: active military personnel, earth vehicles (tanks), aircrafts, attack helicopters, aircraft carriers, and submarines. According to these standards, US hold first place and is followed by Russia and China in the ranking. Fourth place, surprisingly, goes to Japan.
A big disappointment for Germany which, despite its high economic capacity, holds a very low position in the chart. Why? A poor fleet of aircraft carriers and submarines. Yet, the country could boast on them during the Second World War. Whereas Italy gets the satisfaction of being among the 10 strongest military powers in the world, with an investment in the defense sector that rewards, or at least does so in theory. As to Dante’s Beautiful Country, it is a slap in the face of all those who are always ready to denigrate.
So far, research was based on standard parameters. But there is also a field report, in which Italian soldiers outdo their transalpine brothers. Italian Army has been appreciated by all the peacekeeping and peace-enforcing missions. They are good soldiers, trainers and motivators for the recruits they train. This is the reason why Italian soldiers are present in Iraq and Kurdistan where they train anti-ISIS forces.
This research by the Credit Suisse confirms once again how little consideration Italy has of itself. We are a people of self-flagellators. We are always ready to denigrate ourselves, but we are also experts in everything. Once, we were all experts only in football and everyone was a coach. Today we are all experts in whatever area the news comment on. We have switched from football to terrorism in a flash. For the last thirty years, every time terrorism alarm goes off in Italy, we talk about insufficient resources for the police forces. Yet, we have witnessed their modernization and numerical growth over the last decades. Certainly, the staff has been reduced, but we are still talking about over two hundred thousand employees in the state police and IRS.
Besides, there is Penitentiary Police and thousands of armed local police officers qualified as Judicial Police. We have the largest number of police forces in Europe. We have numerous operating rooms equipped with latest technologies worth millions, but we do not have a single emergency number. 112, the emergency number of the European Union, has been rejected only in Italy in order to safeguard the sectarian privileges of the various structures. And this has a cost, an extremely high one, also in terms of efficiency.
These days, after Paris attacks, many State Police trade unionists have denounced their deficiencies. Stories we have been listening to for years: expired jackets, lack of bullets. But certainly a policeman cannot receive, due to his nature and tasks, the kind of training reserved to a special department. Someone has complained about the fact that the jackets they had been provided with would not be able to protect from Kalashnikov shots: but it is true also that a jacket able to protect one against such a caliber weighs up to 10 pounds and wearing it means having one’s movements constrained. Then, there is also the weapons question. I remember that during the years of lead, police trade unions denounced the use of the machine pistol M12 because it was a potent war weapon. They asked for pump-action rifles against Brigade terrorists and fascists. Today they are demanding stronger weapons, but M12 is a potent weapon.
Our investigative counter-terrorism forces are among the best ones in the world and the results prove it. Control over the territory is deficient because there is lack of proper co-ordination (see above: single operating center). It is astonishing that people continue to think that we need more police in order to stop these terrorists. Militarizing the city does not discourage those who carry out terrorist attacks. Their supplies can be improved, of course, but so many millions have been invested in technology, which is currently an essential weapon against terrorism. Professionalism is medium-high, thanks to received training.
It is not a bowl of cherries, but enough self-commiseration! Moreover, since 11 September, terrorism alarm has been favoring security lobbies; billions have been spent on metal detectors and other more or less sophisticated systems which are basically useless in the face of those who, like Mohammed Atta, killed a hostess with a pencil! Or as in Dijon, where a fanatic decided to kill ten French people at a bus stop by running them over with a car. And let us not forget aggressions with the help of simple kitchen knives in Israel (a taste of which we had also in Milan).
Terrorism can be defeated with the aid of the intelligence service, through analysis. Acting militarily where it is possible, as in the countries that are jihad’s shrines. No ifs or buts. And if more money are needed for security, why cut the resources of the armed forces we send to the terrorists’ shrines, sometimes even without precise enrolment rules, to stop and eliminate the cause of terror in the lands where it consolidates?