3/2022

The third issue of 2022 continues with the analysis of the scenarios opened up by Russia's aggression against Ukraine last February.

On the cover, a surreal image of the portrait of Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, an ally of Russia among other things.

Space, again at CesMar, the Navy's study centre.

For the attention of the reader, one of the articles in the book Lettere sul Mondo, edited by the Circle of Diplomatic Studies, by Ambassador Paolo Casardi.

The contributions of Eleonora Lorusso, the valid presenter of the International Festival of European Geopolitics and Domenico Letizia are always appreciated.

The collaboration with Sconfinare continues.

Editorial

 

 

THE WESTERN VALUES

 

“I don't deal with politics”. "But it is politics that takes care of you" were the two recurring phrases around '68 and the answer was typical of those who solicited commitment to those who - especially in the most difficult years then called "lead" - found the trick to do not be accused of indifference in the further answer "I am an idealist and this policy is not for me". Almost a political oxymoron. So, let's see why the war in Ukraine affects all of us and not just Zelensky and a few million of his fellow citizens who prefer to fight for freedom and their rights rather than surrender to a cowardly pacifist perspective. Present-day Europe was born with the purpose of peace. Europe, of course, was born in 1945 on the ashes of two catastrophic world wars. Certainly not, therefore, the old Europe of Empires and nationalisms. It is evident that on the ground there are - at least summarily - two world views: one based on liberal and democratic principles that has peace and coexistence dictated by the rule of law as its goal and the other, based on autocratic and authoritarian principles. , inspired by a philosophy of history as the spirit of the people whose aim is supremacy and domination, the strength of the state as the stability and balance of civil society. The problem - not the only one - of the second vision is that it considers the first weak because it is based on the instability of popular moods (a people understood as the sum of citizens and not as a manifestation of the spirit), on an economic freedom that provides for market trends. ups and downs and a diffusion of rights and freedom of individual customs, impossible to frame a unitary and corporate vision of the state that only the ethical state can guarantee. This interpretation - as erroneous as it is backward - led Putin to slip into a war that Europe considered by now a remote option among the possible choices of a world leader. A war that is probably as lethal as the confrontation between autocracy and freedom is lethal. Liberal democracy - which is a continuous state of social, political, economic, financial but above all cultural equilibrium (where scientific research plays an equal role to that of philosophical humanism as demonstrated by the delays in Russia and China also in terms of anti-vaccine -covid). In short, Putin's bet is precisely on the ideological fragility of the West, to which, moreover, culturally it belongs. He belongs to it precisely because of his conception of the Russian tsarist model (which moved fully on the diplomatic chessboard between powers). Putin believes that Europe is still and always the potential detonator of a global war and that having reminded us of this puts it in a position and in a situation of concern and respect and even more of fear (a nuclear threat constantly wielded). However, precisely the political culture built (with difficulty) by Europe (and now metabolized) - democratic and liberal - will be the powerful poison that will paralyze the tyrant who in the end will have to ascertain his own error of assessment. Error already committed in the past by other despots who "were not right and in fact history has not proved them right". After all, a century has passed since the infamous 20s of the twentieth century. Not having understood the mistakes back then would be stupid and even disrespectful to the 10 million deaths.

 

DIPLOMACY AND GEOPOLITICS

Policies, strategies, logistics and safety of maritime transport.
Interests and action of Italy

Paolo Casardi

Freedom of navigation as a primary national interest.
I would first like to look at the reasons why freedom of navigation and related logistics have become a national strategic interest.
The economy and security of a country depend primarily on the nature of the country itself. Italy is a peninsula, deep in Europe in the north, but exposed to the sea in the west, east and south. While recognizing the importance of its continental borders to the north, its maritime vocation is evident. However, the mere geographical dimension is a necessary condition, but not sufficient to demonstrate the existence of an authentic maritime, that is, the true maritime vocation of a nation. It is the men and women who, with their ambitions, their choices and their technology, make possible and nourish the maritime nature of a place.
I can briefly mention some historical moments that have in succession given impetus to this concept in our country, starting from the foundation of the colonies of Magna Graecia, then passing through Roman times, which exercised a strong maritime projection of military capabilities, starting from the capture of Carthage. . The epic of the four maritime republics then, after the dark ages, gave Italy a second moment of greatness, enhancing the strategic role of the sea for the economy of the respective republics.
However, all these examples are not up to the great leap in quality made by the maritime sector of our country after unification, with the start of the industrialization process. It is precisely on this occasion that the strategic importance of the sea for our economic system increases tenfold.
In fact, the Italy of 1861 was born with considerable ambitions and eager to give itself a strong national production industry. The lack of raw materials pushes it everywhere in the world it is allowed to supply itself. The flows of raw materials conveyed to our country will be partly consumed and partly processed to be re-exported and marketed abroad as mostly finished products. An "economic system" is born, which continues even more profitably today, in which the sea acquires a fundamental importance for the economy and therefore for the security of our country. Of course, the economy and security of the Mediterranean and neighboring areas concern us more closely, but our economic system pushes us to consider even the most distant places as a priority, where it is possible to acquire the resources we absolutely need.
In this context, we will have to reflect on the urgency of Italy's national interests, as a country for processing raw materials, which push us to keep the security situation under control, especially in the maritime areas close to us.
The Mediterranean means first of all navigation and trade flows between Suez and Gibraltar. This was largely confirmed especially after the precise indications of serious general difficulties which occurred following the navigation accident that occurred to the large Panamanian container ship "Ever Given" (400 meters long, 224,000 tonnes), which ran aground on 23 March 2021 while crossed the Suez Canal and blocked it for many days near the "great bitter lake" (where, after 8 September 1943 our two largest and most modern surviving battleships of the time were confined for years with flags and crews: " Italy "and" Vittorio Veneto ") leaving the canal definitively only on August 20.
Hence our traditional predisposition to stability, precisely to ensure the continuity of trade flows. Any interruption of these flows, any serious problem that arises for the Suez Canal, or Panama or the straits from Malacca to Bab el Mandeb, not only causes serious damage to the Italian maritime sector, but puts the industrial district of Milan in crisis. and with him all the other districts. The centrality of the sea for our economic system does not lie in the calculation of what the maritime sector is worth for our GDP, but in the fact that, without freedom and safety of navigation, our import export system simply stops.
Synergistically with this industrialization process, Italy equips itself with a diplomatic apparatus, especially after decolonization, which can facilitate and strengthen the results of the great adventure into which it has thrown itself. The diplomatic action will be aimed at facilitating the process of acquiring the necessary resources, but also at allowing and promoting with the subsequent contribution in the years of ICE, SACE, etc., the marketing of finished products. The diplomatic-consular network, in addition to ensuring the functioning of the Italian system abroad, also puts in practice the foreign policy decided by the government. Basically, an enlightened foreign policy and excellent diplomatic work are the best guarantee for the economy and security of the country and the diplomatic network can be considered the first bulwark of external security in Italy.
But what are the resources available to the network for the aforementioned tasks? Scarce, we will mention them later, if there is time left.
[The Italian diplomatic network includes 127 embassies worldwide, 9 representations in international organizations, 86 consular offices and 90 cultural institutes. Said in this way, they would seem important numbers. In reality, an important process of rationalization and reorganization has been carried out in the last ten years. Some embassies have been closed and others opened in countries with new political and economic perspectives. About a third of the consular network has been closed, but some commercial consulates have been opened in the most promising countries.]
The data relating to the diplomatic network of our main EU partners, despite the fact that these are countries in which the containment of public spending has reached drastic levels, are nevertheless more consistent than ours, both in terms of quantity and in terms of aspect of the consistency of the staff present in each site. This difference lies not only in the needs deriving from a colonial past more important than ours, but above all in the conceptual approach that pushes those countries to consider the diplomatic network as a political and economic investment, long before being a cost, as well as the first, irreplaceable external security instrument, as we said, of the respective countries.
In addition, Italy carries out at world level, through its diplomacy and beyond, an exercise of soft power, that is of communication and support for national and international values ​​and norms in favor of human rights and every propulsive aspect of democratic life and the pursuit of peace. This exercise stems from an authentic vocation for peace also dictated by our Constitution, but also from our country's interest in being able to access raw materials and then market our finished products with all countries of the world. We can certainly be included among those countries that are most interested, from every point of view, in peace on the globe.
Parallel to the industrialization process, another phenomenon is born that is certainly not positive at the origin, but which will then have beneficial consequences for Italy, I am referring to the epic of emigration. This phenomenon has also been closely monitored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with a great progressive increase over the years of the consular network. Today, Italians abroad are still a resource that we must maintain at all costs.
To better understand this specific point, and how it fully became part of the Italian maritime sector, it would be appropriate to mention some data, which we will do later if we have time [: compatriots residing abroad, with Italian passports, according to sources officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are more than 5 million, to which is added about another million on a temporary basis. Foreign citizens with an Italian surname abroad are as many as Italians in Italy, that is, about 60 million. To these, however, must be added those of Italian origin for part of the mother. In short, we arrive at figures with seven zeros, that is, more than one hundred million individuals abroad of origin, or partial Italian origin. It is known that a good part of them maintain a preferential relationship with Italy, for example with regard to food and fashion, also affecting the tastes of their new countrymen in the countries where they have settled. In addition, many of them have given birth to companies that import machinery and capital goods from Italy. This also shows how Italians abroad contribute to emphasizing the maritime component of our economic system, thanks to the huge maritime traffic of machinery, capital goods and goods they buy in Italy.]
Forms of support and security for our national interest
To ensure the safety of our economic status in the world and therefore of maritime transport, as well as the safety of our compatriots abroad, our diplomatic network certainly plays, as we have seen, a primary role. However, the efforts of the Farnesina cannot be judged sufficient, if not accompanied by a serious effort by the Ministry of Defense in favor of maintaining peace, where necessary, and of the fight against piracy, to keep the routes traveled by our maritime traffic viable. In the same framework, the deterrence against military threats of any kind, the fight against cyber threats, submarine and digital cables and terrorist threats are also seriously considered.
The Armed Forces and in particular the Navy therefore contribute to keeping intact the aforementioned mechanism of flows to and from abroad. The latter, in collaboration with the diplomatic network, is responsible for monitoring the conditions of maritime traffic to and from Italy. Naval Diplomacy is one of the main tools available to the Navy to preserve the freedom of navigation and respect for international law.
At this point I would like to recall a widely accepted definition of naval diplomacy. According to this definition, naval diplomacy is a term that refers to a wide range of activities, in peacetime, whose purpose is to influence the behavior of another nation.
The heroic and romantic navy lasted, as is known, until the end of the nineteenth century, when the Royal Government still asked the Captain of Frigate Vittorio Arminjon in 1867 to sign the first commercial treaties with China and Japan on board the Magenta pyro-corvette. , or when the "Italian naval group for observation of the Pacific War" opened between 1879 and 1883 between Chile on one side and Peru and Bolivia on the other, (frigates Giuseppe Garibaldi and Cristoforo Colombo and Archimede wheeled corvette, coming from the Italian permanent naval station of Buenos Aires) provided to secure our many compatriots and to carry out peace mediations between the contenders, together with the Royal Navy.
The evolution of naval diplomacy.
Despite the subsequent ease of communication, which allowed Heads of State and Government, Ministers and various authorities to have direct contacts, or through the diplomatic service, even with the most distant interlocutors, naval diplomacy has not lost its traditional importance, thanks above all to the new typologies that progress has gradually endowed it with.
In particular, in the years immediately following the Second World War, there was an impressive evolution of naval diplomacy. Some of the old actors have left the stage, while some new actors have entered the stage, including some authoritative international organizations, such as the United Nations, NATO and the European Union. Some of these organizations, over time and on their own initiative, have proposed to member states to discuss naval diplomacy issues.
For example, in 2014, the High Representative for EU Foreign and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, introduced among the Partners the document on the "Strategy for European Maritime Security", which was then adopted by the European Council in 2014. The Strategy aimed to safeguard the EU's maritime security and protect its strategic interests, including peace and security in general, the rule of law and freedom of navigation, control of external borders and infrastructure. The European Council also adopted an action plan, revised in 2018, aimed at strengthening European effectiveness in response to the aforementioned challenges.
Also other Organizations and Agencies such as NATO, Fr. ex. have proposed to the respective Member States to discuss initiatives that fall within the framework of Maritime Safety, but I would like to stay a moment within the framework of the European Union for a good reason: in recent years, due to the different positions of its members, the EU has not it has been able to exercise real leadership in various crisis theaters of the so-called "enlarged Mediterranean".
In recent years, however, the EU has played a high profile role in a specific sector. This sector is precisely that of Maritime Security, thanks to the IRINI operation (against the smuggling of arms in the Libyan coastal area), the previous operation SOPHIA (against the smuggling of migrants), the Atalanta operation (against piracy) in the sea Red and the Indian Ocean, the three Frontex operations (management of migrant flows). The Council also recently authorized (anti terrorismo) and in the Gulf of Guinea (anti-piracy).
It is therefore, as everyone can see, a substantial group of eight operations taking place simultaneously over a very large area of the wider Mediterranean. All eight report to the Council of the EU through the High Representative and the Political and Security Committee (COPS). These are all multilateral naval diplomacy operations. It should be noted that in Frontex operations, the operators of the different "partner" countries wear a single uniform. The Italian case
It is important, with regard to Maritime Security in the Mediterranean, to underline how Italy has negotiated, for each of these missions, a different, specific, always significant role, which includes, depending on the case, the responsibility for the operation, or the force command. Italy has also effectively contributed to the intellectual debate that was held in the years preceding the presentation of the "Strategy" by High Representative Mogherini. I myself remember an interesting international seminar, held aboard the Cavour aircraft carrier in July 2014, preceded by a large “non paper” prepared by the Navy Staff for circulation between the “partners”.
The eight EU maritime security operations could therefore be considered as a "school" case of what the Italian government can do, positively exploiting its "membership", in this case of the European Union, which acts as a "multiplier ”Of the Italian effort aimed at safeguarding and strengthening its national interests. If Italy had had to provide alone for the eight aforementioned missions, all of which are important for our country, the costs for the country would have been much greater and therefore the consequent downsizing of ambitions and objectives would have produced less relevant results.
The moral that can be drawn is that the example we have described also demonstrates for the other "partners" how important multilateral naval diplomacy has become today and what great impact it can have on different crisis situations or even just international tension.
It could be added to this analysis on the maritime security of the EU in the enlarged Mediterranean that, in the perspective of a future European defense, with the aim also of strengthening the European pillar of the Atlantic Alliance, these naval diplomacy exercises can be considered an important prodromal attempt at a coordinated approach in response to an external challenge of any kind, conventional, asymmetrical or cyber.
In any case, the proliferation of the aforementioned operations demonstrates how the sea is considered a central element of the national interest of various "partners", especially the most important, such as Italy, Germany, France and Spain.
The Naval Symposium of Venice.
There is another activity that can be included among those of multilateral diplomacy: it is the VENICE NAVAL SYMPOSIUM, or rather, the "VENICE TRANS-REGIONAL SEA POWER SYMPOSIUM."
The purpose of the Symposium is to set up a biennial "Forum" of debate on maritime safety for all the Chiefs of Staff of the Marine who wish to intervene. On the occasion of the last Symposium in 2019, there were over sixty delegations. The object of the debate is to discuss the emerging geopolitical challenges in the naval and maritime sectors and the existing opportunities to strengthen international cooperation. In my opinion, the Naval Symposium and the "Mediterranean Dialogues" (MED) initiative, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ISPI (Institute for International Political Studies), which are held annually in Rome every December, are two major Italian Preventive Diplomacy operations conceived and implemented by Italy.
This means that the Venice Symposium, inspired by the "Newport International Sea Power Symposium", held every two years by the US Navy in Newport, can certainly be considered a significant new naval diplomacy tool. The Symposium is attended, together with the national delegations, by the representatives of the International Organizations and Agencies of the naval and maritime cluster as well as the industrial groups of the same sectors.

The intensification of naval diplomacy.
On the sidelines of the Symposium, organized within the same historic arsenal of the glorious Republic of Venice, some of the smaller meetings are normally organized on board our Amerigo Vespucci School Vessel, called by many Italians and not only, the Ambassador of Italy. , for its extraordinary qualities of representation of the country. In fact, during the stops in its long voyages around the world, the Italian Government and the Navy organize on board, together with our diplomats, all sorts of "soft power naval diplomacy", from economic and cultural promotion, to demonstrations for the respect of maritime traffic, marine environment, scientific experiments, some of which while the ship is underway.
In more recent years there has been an increase in the use of naval diplomacy as an instrument of international politics. Today, in the Italian Navy, each new ship, shortly after reaching the fleet, leaves for various types of missions, such as ensuring the presence and surveillance of areas of strategic interest, or for training and cooperation exercises with other Marines. The commercial promotion function of the ship itself or of the software on board is very important, which are enjoying significant success around the world, in particular at the most accredited navies, starting with the United States of America.
Security situation in the "enlarged Mediterranean"
Beyond the war in Ukraine and the situation in the enlarged Mediterranean area that Prof. Lizza told you about, I would like, to begin with, to refer to a particular challenge, because it takes place on the sea, where tensions occur between states. , mainly due to the phenomenon of the territorialization of the sea, of which today, as is known, modern technology allows the exploitation of the seabed, rich in many resources. Hence the rush of coastal states to ensure, through the delimitation of their own "exclusive economic zone" (EEZ), the international legitimacy for the exploitation of submerged oil, gas and other fields, which was and is at the base of many tensions, still ongoing, in the eastern and central Mediterranean. Then there are, it is also true at sea, threats from "non-state actors", well known to us Italians, such as criminal organizations that oversee the trafficking of human beings, piracy and the smuggling of weapons, drugs and so on. .
In this regard, it should be noted that the "proximity war" in Libya, initially finalized with the agreement on the "ceasefire" of October 2020, has changed the strategic situation in the Mediterranean with the new military presence on the territory Libyan of Turkey and Russia. A particularly sensitive situation for Italians who see the establishment, immediately beyond the "southern liquid border" of their country, important military, naval and air bases of a global power like Russia and a military power like Turkey, which, in order to as a member of NATO, he gave clear signs of having a program to broaden his strategic ambitions in the Mediterranean.
If you think that Libya is a country of the highest strategic value due to the ability to influence that can be exercised from its territory in the Mediterranean as well as, from its southern borders, on the African continent and in particular on the Sahel, here is the new aforementioned presences, moreover opposed, they constitute a disturbing unknown for us, as well as for the European Union and many other countries and international and global organizations in the area.
Hence the urgency that Russia and Turkey comply with the "Cease Fire" clauses, which they themselves signed at the time, withdrawing all military forces, under their respective direct influences, from Libya.
In one of my "diplomatic letters" I also suggested that the E.U deal with greater responsibility for the control of Libyan borders and assistance on Libyan soil to emigrants and their eventual transit to the north. After a decade of wars throughout the "enlarged Mediterranean" region, it is vital today to give priority to the search for stability over any attempt to make the satisfaction of partisan interests prevail, whose international legitimacy and justification have often proved lacking. of true foundation.
Instead, it will be important to maintain some constants, perhaps with renewed energy, such as the fight against the Islamic State and terrorism in all its forms, which remains alive and aggressive especially in Africa. As a Circle of Diplomatic Studies we have repeatedly recommended the opportunity of a general area conference, as a method, even for a long-term one, for resolving conflicts, but the format could also be different and informal. What has been missing so far, above allhe after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, is a genuine reconsideration of the advantages of diplomacy and negotiation, in the face of the use of war for the resolution of international and national disputes, with the resulting disasters.
Returning to the security of the enlarged Mediterranean, in this area, any tension runs the risk of also having repercussions on our country. This vast area, which includes the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Guinea and part of the Indian Ocean, is no longer the same as it was during the Cold War. Globalization has brought more and larger ships to these seas, has enlarged (although not enough, as we have seen) the Suez Canal and has strengthened (in Italy less than elsewhere) the port infrastructures. But the difference is also significant for the military navies.
The presence of the American Navy has been significantly reduced, already since 1990, in favor of other theaters, especially the Far East and we are witnessing the silent but very significant growth of some Mediterranean Navies, previously not very consistent, such as the Algerian, the Egyptian and the Turkish. They are also equipped with some military "assets", which we do not yet have, such as submarines equipped with "deep strike" systems, ie the ability to hit targets thousands of kilometers from the sea. Furthermore, the three aforementioned Marines possess at least one, if not two, large amphibious ships capable of exercising command and control in complex operations, where landings of men and vehicles with extensive use of helicopters are expected.
Turkey is also equipping itself with two brand new aircraft (the first has already been launched) of the tonnage of our Cavour, which may in the future be transformed into aircraft carriers. The ships in question will still be armed with a large number of naval drones. The Israeli Navy remains contained, but equipped with the latest generation technologies. Finally, thanks also to the renewed base of Tartous in Syria, Russian warships have increased their presence in the Mediterranean and the Chinese are also beginning to show themselves, who have opened a large and articulated permanent base in Djibouti and frequent Piraeus, visiting then occasionally Italy. The first visit to Taranto by a Chinese naval group was in 2012. They said they were visiting the Mediterranean countries of the most ancient civilization, namely Egypt, Greece and Italy. In reality it was the first military "look" at the nautical routes of the "silk road" in this sea. They recently gave their availability to reinforce the naval component of UNIFIL in Lebanon, where our Navy will return to operate shortly.
None of these Mediterranean or extra-Mediterranean Navies can be defined as belonging to hostile countries, however the ancient Latin axiom that said: "whoever wants peace must prepare for war", translated today, means that only those who have adequate deterrence can convince the rival or simply the interlocutor, in the area that interests us, not to resort to war as a tool for resolving international crises. In this sense, the very recent acquisition by the Cavour aircraft carrier of the ability to embark and operationally use the F35 B, i.e. vertical take-off, allows us to enter among the four navies in the world (USA, UK, Japan and Italy) capable of operating at sea with fifth generation aircraft. Thanks also to the destroyers of the “HORIZON” project and the frigates of the FREMM project, the Italian aircraft carrier group becomes the most technologically advanced among the navies of the Mediterranean countries.
Evolution of forms of protection following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The evolution of the forms of protection following the Russian invasion of Ukraine are regulated by two important documents: the first, which is called "strategic compass", came out last June, just before the meeting of the European Council which approved and constitutes a road map of the evolution on the path towards European defense that covers the period from 1 July 2022 to 2030.
The second is the conclusions of the NATO summit in Madrid on 29 June last.
Both documents represent the measures taken in the military field by the West, within the framework of existing alliances, as a consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, beyond the sending to this country of weapons taken from their respective arsenals.
With the "strategic compass" we propose, as you know, a shared evaluation between the Partners of our strategic context and define new actions and new means including a set of precise deadlines to give the EU a role as a more important political actor in the security and defense sector. A strong emphasis is placed on the investment and innovation sector to develop the necessary technologies and capabilities, strengthening the financial instruments that the EU has acquired in recent years (Defense Fund and Peace Fund).
The standardization of armaments and agreements between large European industrial groups are strongly recommended. In the maritime sector, in order to improve the “conmaritime awareness situation "and the capacity for" projection "of force (sea power projection), will replace offshore and coastal patrol boats by developing high-end naval platforms, connected to a digital network, including naval platforms not manned. The mechanism of "coordinated maritime presences" and exercises with countries outside traditional alliances will be further developed to testify to the "global presence" of the EU in defense of its interests.
The final declaration of the NATO summit is instead a very “muscular” document, which brings, as you recall, the contingent of ready employment to three hundred thousand men and generally reinforces every military and political aspect of the Alliance. It is certainly the most significant statement of the last few decades. The Organization's fundamental tasks have been preserved, but the strongest emphasis has obviously been placed on collective defense. Crisis management and cooperative security (the other two fundamental tasks) were also supported by Italy in the negotiation phase, but obviously received less attention than in the past. The importance of NATO-EU cooperation, thanks to the Europeans, has been underlined several times.
In the maritime sector, in addition to reinforcing all ongoing NATO naval operations, the importance of "knowledge of the maritime situation" is reiterated in every area of ​​NATO interest and Russia is asked to cease any limitation to the freedom of navigation in the Black Sea. and in the Sea of ​​Azov.
As regards our Armed Forces and the Navy in particular, what is necessary to follow the indications of the "strategic compass" of the EU and those resulting from the NATO summit in Madrid is in full swing. For some time now, the Navy has set up an action program conceived according to the “trident” formula, based on the renewal of the fleet according to three large operational groups. The first, the aircraft carrier Group, will be in charge of the implementation of the aeronaval instrument, while the second, the amphibious group, will be in charge of the development of the landing group, consisting of command and control vessels and the transport of aircraft, men and vehicles. These first two groups constitute a total innovation in the Italian armed forces compared to our previous conceptions of the cold war. The third group includes underwater weapons and assault vehicles, which continue the great Italian tradition of the sector. It is also actively working to add for surface ships and submarines those potentialities in armament that a strong, permanent presence of the sixth US fleet in the Mediterranean had not hitherto made necessary, including unmanned vehicles. The Navy therefore confirms itself as a fundamental pillar of the defense of the country and its maritime trade, but also an important instrument of influence, also within the framework of the international organizations to which it belongs, in favor of Italian efforts aimed at restoring stability in the "enlarged Mediterranean" . Its well-known naval diplomacy skills are part of a happy tradition since the times of Italian unification, accompanied today by an excellent development program, which the Navy has given itself within the framework of the reference laws and the latest documents of the alliances referred to we are part, suited to the country's aspirations for "peace in security" and also to the specific objectives of Italian foreign policy and deterrence, in support of our legitimate national interests. These characteristics make it a leading actor together with our other Armed Forces of the future of our international relations.



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