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In this issue


Domenico Letizia. Journalist.


Eleonora Lorusso, Journalist.


Luca Mozzi, Sconfinare.


Giorgio Radicati, Ambassador.


Renato Scarfi, CeSmar Analist.

Romano Toppan, Accedimic.


Luca Volpato, Italian Office Council of Europe.


Cover: Xi Jinping

THE BIO OF Xi Jinping

Chinese politician, born in Beijing in 1953, he has been an active member of the Chinese Communist Party since he was very young. After graduating in chemical engineering, he was secretary of Geng Biao. He later held executive positions in several provinces, before becoming governor of Fujian in 1999 (after a year as deputy). Xi Jinping has been a member of the Central Committee since 2002, but the decisive year for his career was 2007, when he was elected to the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau and placed at the head of the party secretariat. Vice-president of the People's Republic of China since 2008 and of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the Communist Party since 2010, in November 2012 the politician was appointed new secretary of the Communist Party of China and president of the CMC, succeeding Hu Jintao, who since March 2013 also took over as president of the People's Republic of China. In October 2017, the 19th Party Congress reconfirmed Xi Jinping as president of the CMC and general secretary for a second five years, inserting his thought "on socialism with Chinese characteristics" in the party statute, and in March of the following year the national People’s Assembly approved the constitutional reform that abolishes the limit of two terms for the office of president and vice-president, thus allowing the politician to remain at the helm of the country for life; in the same month, Xi Jinping was unanimously re-elected for a second term.

From Treccani


National security is a complex and articulated concept, which must be seen on a global scale and from both an internal and external perspective. To effectively deal with new threats, which have now become large, fluid and complex, it is increasingly necessary to receive the right information promptly. This is, in fact, an unavoidable need for anyone dealing with security and defense, from the surveillance of a possible adversary to the monitoring of geopolitical dynamics and area crises, from the understanding of social tensions to the developments of economies and international trade. Intelligence takes care of this, which has the task of collecting, analyzing and disseminating information and its own assessments in order to provide decision-makers with the cognitive tools to anticipate any evolutions of the situation, contributing to the safeguarding of national security and the prevention of destabilizing activities of any kind.
It is therefore a mission to which both the military instrument and the police forces must contribute in a collaborative manner, even if aimed at the “public” and different operators.
With regard, in particular, to the international situation, military intelligence has always tried to ensure a complete, clear and timely information framework, especially on areas of tension and crisis, in order to better coordinate and strengthen the intervention capacities to protect prestige, security and national interests.
In this context, given the geographical position of Italy (over 7,000 km of coastline) and its strong economic dependence on the sea, an area on which national merchant traffic mainly develops and where there are enormous energy resources, essential for the economic survival of the country, the naval intelligence service has always occupied a prominent place in the national hierarchy.
But this is not a characteristic of the Navy alone, given that navies around the world have always developed surprising and unique capabilities even in the delicate field of intelligence. Skills that have always proved very useful for preventing or resolving conflicts and that have grown exponentially during the years of the so-called Cold War.
Legends fueled by the mystery surrounding this type of activity revolve around the world of intelligence. Writers and film producers are well aware of the hold the topic has on the public. When some real fact emerges, such as the expulsions of diplomats from various Embassies, the arrest of characters who sell classified information to the adversary or the acquisition of new means for surveillance and information gathering, everyone's fantasies light up and they wander excitedly in the endless sea of ​​imagination.
However, intelligence work is often far from exciting. Apart from those (the spies) who are physically in charge of collecting or verifying information by stealing it from the (potential) adversary, the intelligence work is based on the evaluation of a considerable amount of information, correlating the most secret (and difficult to obtain) with those obtainable from the so-called "open sources", that is, available to everyone such as the web, newspapers, specialized magazines, books, photos, etc... Practically more a bookworm job like the "Condor" (from the beautiful book by James Grady) that as athletic and charming as James Bond. Nevertheless, the work of analyzing and evaluating information, essentially a challenge between brains (or intelligences), can reserve considerable satisfactions.

What is intelligence
The term intelligence originates from the Latin intelligentia and means "knowledge, knowledge of someone, of something". It is, therefore, an activity that has as its purpose the acquisition of knowledge in a certain sector, which may pertain to the military sphere (such as the consistency and preparation of the Armed Forces of another country), anti-crime or anti-terrorism (such as the structure and activities of criminal / terrorist organizations), industry (such as the overall technological level reached and the activity in the weapons systems sector). Intelligence, therefore, is an activity related to the sphere of knowledge, the result of which is useful information that is sought, collected, filtered, evaluated, integrated, compared, interpreted and valued in order to be, as far as possible, complete, accurate and timely, in order to allow the decision maker (political, military, investigative or entrepreneur) to know, form an idea and establish the consequent actions.
In fact, each of us unknowingly does intelligence work every day in the course of our daily activities. When you decide to buy a product instead of another, in fact, you have carried out a simple intelligence work by collecting and evaluating all the information from the available sources (internet, posters, advertisements, etc...) to be able to choose the product that best meets your needs.
It is obvious that the civilian and military personnel involved in intelligence perform their functions at a greater level of depth and deal with much more sensitive information than what is dealt with when deciding whether to buy a car rather than another. The higher the decision-making level, the greater the delicacy of the work being carried out.
Taking into consideration the strategic aspects of intelligence work, we can therefore affirm that the knowledge that derives from it allows the formation of a foreign policy and the modulation of relations with other countries, both from a security and defense and industrial and economic point of view. If foreign policy is the "shield" of the country, as Walter Lippman defined it, intelligence is therefore the tool that allows the shield to be in the right place at the right time. And it is also the tool by which it is eventually possible to guide the "sword". It is therefore an indispensable work to ensure the well-being and safety of citizens, to improve their way of life and to provide the cognitive tools for the protection of the country, its ideals and interests.
Information gathering mainly consists of two operational areas: surveillance and research. Surveillance, as understood in intelligence, is the passive observation of what happens in another's field. The observation process can be overt, occult, or a combination of the two. Research is, instead, an active process that allows us to unravel the opponent's ability and his weaknesses. To achieve one's goals, research is often conducted covertly.
In this context, it should be emphasized that the "intelligence cycle" does not present a solution of continuity, as the work restarts immediately after providing the decision maker with the information required because, in turn, these generate new information needs and new requests for further information. The cycle can be summarized starting from the request phase, in which decision makers determine a question based on their strategic needs. A phase of planning follows, during which the ways of acquiring information are identified, and collection, more or less secret and more or less risky depending on whether we are talking about political, military, anti-crime or industrial information. Once the information is in possession, we continue with the analysis and production phase of the real intelligence, which will at this point be distributed both to the original applicants and to all the structures that are supposed to benefit from it.

Sources of intelligence
In the world of intelligence, the term "source" refers to any source of information. In the recent past, all espionage, first between the allies and the Nazi bloc and later between the two blocs of the Cold War, was based on the figure of the informant, the defectionist or the infiltrator and the term "source" referred to these characters, as this was basically the only way to get information about the opponent. Nowadays, with the enormous technological progress of electronics, in addition to the historical figure of the informant, it is possible to resort to various other sources such as, for example, the company database, satellite photography, environmental interception, clandestine recording of electromagnetic emissions and communications. In addition to the classic HUMINT (Human INTelligence), we now have a great variety of sources, which can be grouped under the generic name of TECHINT (TECHnical INTelligence), intelligence collected through technological means, or OSINT (Open Source INTelligence).
Technological development, the birth of the global village, the new geopolitical contingencies and the growing dematerialization of the economy today pose an unprecedented challenge to all operators in the sector, but also offer new opportunities for gathering information. The change in geopolitical equilibrium, political and military confrontation and economic / industrial competition at an international level has, in fact, forced us to take new paths for gathering information. In the new opposition between the Western bloc and the world of Islamic religious fanaticism or international terrorism, for example, it is no longer possible to think of easily infiltrating an Islamic or terrorist group, often based on very close family or tribal ties, or of convincing defection people motivated by deeply rooted religious convictions. The case of industrial espionage is different, where HUMINT remains one of the cornerstones of the collection of information, both through direct contact with the employee of the competing company and through the work of characters who, despite being strangers to the company, have easy access to data, such as cleaning staff or IT consultants.
TECHINT is mainly used to collect military information regarding the type and size of the foreign Armed Forces (armament, equipment, displacement, etc...). Knowledge, for example, of the characteristics and capabilities of the opponent's weapons allows the development of adequate countermeasures capable of reducing (or hopefully canceling) their effectiveness. This type of intelligence gathering began during World War I, with the first aerial photographs of the enemy camp. The progress of technology has then opened up other avenues, allowing the transfer (and possible interception and decryption) of communication on electronic or digital means, and today undoubtedly becoming the first source of military information supply. Nowadays, in fact, any electromagnetic emission or human communication is virtually interceptible and acquirable by anyone, if anything, there remains the problem of how to handle the huge amount of data collected and how to identify the truly important information.
In the case of information from open sources (OSINT), the problems are related to the overabundance of data, sometimes at the limit of saturation, which often makes it difficult, if not impossible, to recover valuable information. In fact, among the billions of information available, only a few are really useful and their identification is not at all easy. The Internet is a shining example of a resource of this kind, although it is not the only one nor necessarily the best. The lack of information from these sources is now a very rare phenomenon, yet one could cite examples of unsuccessful surprises whose "a posteriori" study revealed that all necessary and relevant information had been or could have been gathered. To help in the selection of information from open sources, various tools have been developed to help the intelligence operator in his task, from DataWareHouse tools to Data Mining and Text Mining. It is clear that open sources do not allow the acquisition of secret information, which is the true purpose of intelligence work, but often allow to determine scenarios or have indirect confirmation of information collected with other systems.
The information collected as a whole is then put into the system, evaluated, interpreted and valued. One of the methods by which this work is carried out is the so-called "SWOT analysis", which takes into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of a certain organization, comparing them with the opportunities it offers and the threats related to it. The analysis of the balance of power with the opponent, the evaluation of the political equilibrium and economic potential of the country, the study of the alliances in progress can lead to exceptionally important results in predicting the attitude of the potential opponent.

However, it should be borne in mind that no method of acquiring and evaluating information and no source, not even the most reliable, can, in any case, completely eliminate the seed of uncertainty or predict unexpected behavior.
Naval intelligence during the Cold War
The term "Cold War" was first used in public by Winston Churchill in March 1946, during a speech at Westminster College in Fulton (Missouri). This definition then went on to identify the period from the formal unconditional surrender of Japan (September 2, 1945) to the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which took place on December 8, 1991. The Belaveža Agreement, which sanctioned the end of the Soviet system, was preceded by the fall of the Berlin Wall (October 3, 1990). Thus ended a period of severe opposition that saw the development of numerous crisis areas around the world and in the Euro-Mediterranean area. From the Berlin Wall to the Korean and Cuban crises, to the Soviet invasion of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, in response to the citizens' demands for greater freedom.
Whether for the fact that nuclear submarines, with their numerous embarked atomic warheads and occult navigation capacity, represented the real deterrent of that troubled period, or for an innate propensity for technological development both in the arms sector and in that of electronic surveillance systems, the Navies, with their underwater, naval and air vehicles, represented a primary intelligence resource, not only for the country they belong to but also for their respective allies.
As all sailors know well, for example, during a voyage it sometimes happens to meet another ship that travels a contrary route or, in any case, that brings it to approach (without danger) within easy reach. Most of the time this is an opportunity, for the crews or at least those on guard on the bridge, to exchange greetings. This is all the more true if the meeting is between two military units of allied and friendly countries. A relaxing tradition that was also observed between ships belonging to opposite sides during the period of the conflict between the Atlantic and Soviet blocs, being careful not to carry out maneuvers that could be interpreted as aggressive, in full compliance with the rules of engagement issued by the General Staff.
A keen eye for detail, however, would have noticed that, at the same time as the staff who greeted with a friendly air from the bridge fins, somewhere else on the ship was busy photographing the other unit, trying to gather information about the armament, detection sensors, telecommunication antennas, etc... with the aim of providing material to information services analysts. During the Cold War period, the meeting was never accidental.
In that particular period, therefore, precisely due to the peculiarities of the operating environment, the submarines, ships and aircraft of (or used by) the Navy were in the best position to provide evaluation elements to the information services on the Marines of the other side. This does not mean denying the contribution that the personnel of the other Armed Forces gave to safeguarding the security of the Western bloc. It simply means that the maritime dimension was, due to its profound geopolitical and global economic implications, the privileged theater of that confrontation, which kept the world in suspense due to the danger of a nuclear holocaust.
Just think of the invaluable competition of the submarines which, being able to navigate in an occult way, had the opportunity to observe the opposing forces from extremely favorable positions, gathering information of inestimable value. Among these I remember the secret operations of the US submarine Halibut (operation "Ivy Bell") which, under the waters of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, managed to penetrate the Soviet defenses several times and to record communications between the High Commands of the other side. Actions that have gone down in the history of underwater espionage.

Modern intelligence
As Michael Herman writes, intelligence has as its object the adversary, both internal and external. This translates into a series of activities carried out towards States, organizational structures and / or individuals, considered hostile, rival, competitive or otherwise of interest for the achievement of specific objectives, which can be political, military, investigative or even economic.
The "game" of spies, which tends to steal the greatest number of valuable information from the opponent, has therefore never really ceased, despite the fall of the "Iron Curtain". The fact is that, as Team Admiral Sergio Biraghi said in an interview granted to a newspaper, "...the rules are always the same, they try, we must prevent it. But the reverse is also true, we too try... ". Not only that, as the case of the interceptions of European leaders arranged by Barack Obama shows, a certain level of "curiosity" is also directed towards those who are part of the same camp. Expanding on the writings of S. Sontag and C. Drew, the intelligence services of all countries behave exactly like players playing poker in a smoke-filled room. Everyone cheats, but no one can blame others, otherwise the game is over.
This means that, in a world in which international relations are increasingly governed by mutual distrust and competition and only very rarely characterized by parallel work, intelligence work and the search to know the true intentions of the geopolitical opponent or competitor economic or industrial occupy a prominent place among the information contributions given to the decision maker.
Furthermore, intelligence work is becoming increasingly complex and specialized. This has prompted the constant refinement of information research, the acquisition of new skills and the updating of reading keys and interpretative paradigms. The skills required to access this world are today less and less "muscular" and adventurous, with all due respect to the nice James Bond, but range from the most well-known and common disciplines (psychology, history, engineering in its various specializations, chemistry, geopolitics, etc...) to the less predictable ones (economics, finance, international relations, history of religions, sociology, anthropology, communications science, rare languages, etc...), without neglecting a good technological background.
In all this, the Embassies, the political palaces, the intelligence centers, the General Staffs and the companies dealing with armaments or high technology will continue to be the inevitable theater of lively spy intrigues. While some intelligence operators rely on their Embassies, under various diplomatic coverings, to carry out their work of gathering information inside the buildings where strategic decisions are made and where secret information and classified correspondence are kept and processed on a daily basis, on the other hand, the diplomatic seat itself has always been the object of the desire of the intelligence of the host country. The case of the Officer serving in the Italian Defense Staff, surprised while passing classified documents to a Russian officer serving at his Embassy in Rome, in exchange for money, is a typical example, such as the case of Kim Philby, the British intelligence agent who revealed the identity of many of his colleagues to the KGB, including the same John le Carré who would later achieve success with his spy novels.
In this context, the recruitment process for HUMINT provides for an initial identification of the target, which must be related to the identified information objective, then follows a phase of approach and evaluation of its motivations and its future loyalty and availability, followed by then from the evaluation of the material received. In order to be identified as a target, it is not essential to hold a top position, nor to normally deal with classified material, but it is often sufficient that your position allows you to enter the rooms where such material is deposited or used by others. As for the second phase, which begins with the approach, it can take place in various ways, all apparently "innocent" or "casual" such as receptions, concerts, sporting events, etc...

This phase is followed by that of evaluating the motivations, on which many studies have been carried out, both of a social and psychological nature, to identify and classify the salient characteristics that make the human nature more or less prone to "betrayal". It is certainly essential to draw a very detailed picture of the possible informant, in order to be able to identify potential and gaps. From this perspective, the physical and aesthetic characteristics, health status, personal and family history, character and temperament, ideological assumptions, social behavior and habits, work and social environment are analyzed. For each of these characteristics, a detailed list of the information to be acquired is then presented until a complete picture of the figure is obtained. Once the target has been identified, the recruiter throws the hook and waits for the desired fish to bite, initially accepting hospitality, "friendship" and favors from the "fisherman". Such offers of favors often encourage some vices or standard of living, which lead to compromise and, therefore, blackmail.
As far as TECHINT is concerned, the progress of electronics has now allowed the preparation of equipment that is increasingly suitable for the collection and selection of the information required. More and more compact bugs, submarines, airplanes, ships and satellites that host optoelectronic systems with ever increasing capabilities and ever greater possibilities of capturing and recording electromagnetic emissions allow you to theoretically keep under control any possible adversary wherever he is.
Even if with the fall of the Berlin Wall many extreme pacifists wrongly thought that the gathering of information would be a bit "out of fashion", one of the oldest professions in the world has not suffered any slowdown since many others have been added to the old adversaries, both states and non-state entities, favored by the easing of pressure from the two nuclear superpowers and by the return of old religious, political, social, economic and ethnic rashes that have never really subsided. This allowed an expansion of the “…spaces for hostile maneuvers and instrumental insertions of various signs and patterns…”, making the intelligence service even more relevant.
A clear sign that the intelligence-gathering game has never really retired is the dramatic conflict between Russia and Ukraine, where intelligence is essential to support the military actions of both sides and where the failure of analysis is crucial to their success.
The collection of information, therefore, continues and includes an expansion of tasks. To the "classic" ones related to the units and armaments of potential adversaries are added tasks, for example, of reconnaissance and surveillance on the sea related to drug trafficking or illegal immigration, often carried out by modern slaveholders who exploit groups of desperate people (or of criminals who escaped the justice of the country of origin) for profit.
In this context, the Navy, both with submarines and air vehicles, continues to operate in the waters of the Mediterranean, providing its qualified contribution to the collection of information for evaluation by national intelligence operators.
In this context, it might be useful to review the maritime patrol component, formally assigned to the Air Force (which is responsible for the logistics chain) but operationally dependent on the Navy. A component now reduced to a minimum in terms of overall capacity, with aircraft that do not appear to meet the required operational needs. If Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) were acquired up to the assigned mission, with minimal additions / modifications at a substantially derisory cost, they could also fulfill the intelligence mission carried out today by the Gulfstream G-550, being also able to identify, analyze and disturb any electronic impulse. In essence, it would involve installing additional components on board those MPAs to increase the already existing ability to intercept any emission over a very large area, analyze it in real time with artificial intelligence and distribute the results to interested users.
The Maritime Patrol Aircraft, as part of the fulfillment of their natural missions under the Operational Control of the Navy, would thus become the flying hubs of a global surveillance network, positioned between the sea surface and geostationary satellites, capable of carrying out the entire spectrum of reconnaissance and surveillance missions and exchanging information directly with satellites, with air defense fighters and ships (and fighters on board), since the crews have been used for decades to work in that particular three-dimensional operating environment (above, on and below the surface of the sea). An enhanced intelligence capacity that would complement the current capabilities of information gathering, surface reconnaissance and surveillance, anti-ship combat, underwater control, anti-submarine combat, anti-piracy surveillance, anti-drug, illegal immigration, search and rescue at sea (SAR), coordination and control of the Forces. All fundamental missions for national security that could be accomplished with the use of an effectively multi-role vehicle and an adequate aircraft for maritime patrol, as required by the Navy for years. An investment, therefore, not an expense, to acquire an adequate number of fully equipped multi-role MPAs, perhaps with the possibility of off-set (set-up and maintenance in Italy, with related work and economic repercussions).
We talked about links with satellites for intelligence gathering. Technological development, in fact, today favors the collection of information also from space, through ad-hoc satellites which, by means of electronic or optoelectronic systems, allow to obtain photographs with a resolution unthinkable twenty years ago, or to control and disturb in emissions on the opponent's electromagnetic spectrum, from cell phones to radars, are "selective". In addition, they have the ability to carry out targeted operations to combat terrorism, such as searching for the voice of a single wanted person through millions of telephone conversations and when they find it, locate their position and follow their movements.
In this perspective, the Navy project called "SIMONA" (Italian System Put into Orbit from NAve) assumes enormous strategic value which, as part of the National Military Research Plan (PNRM), aims to verify the feasibility of using Nave Garibaldi (which has reached the end of its operational life) as a launching platform for vector missiles to send satellites and equipment into orbit. The initiative therefore represents an important step towards the exploration of innovative solutions to give our country an autonomous capacity to access space, also in the sector of intelligence satellites¸ and an element of great interest also for the positive repercussions in terms of progress of the country's industrial capabilities.
Faced with a growing international demand for space services, the initiative, in addition to providing a new and competitive national tool for the development of intelligence, would also make it possible to fill a strategic and economic space currently vacant, and to offer a very valid and less expensive national alternative to expensive fixed installations (Kenya). From an economic point of view, in particular, it would be such a profitable activity that already in 1995 Sea Launch, a multinational consortium composed of the Norwegian naval engineering group Kvaerner, the Russian company RSC-Energia, the US Boeing Commercial Space and Ukrainian NPO-Yuzhnoye, offered paid services for putting commercial loads into orbit (mainly geostationary communications satellites) of interest to international clients. For launch operations from the Pacific Ocean, the Odyssey was used, a mobile semi-submersible platform for oil exploration, which has been converted into a floating space center. The means available to the consortium also included a support ship, the Commander, which was used as an operational center for launches, to transport equipment on the platform and for the assembly of rockets. The company, which competed with the Ariane carriers, was remarkably successful and Sea Launch worked profitably until 2014 when, due to the Russian intervention in Ukraine, the activity was suspended indefinitely, the assets were divided among the various partners, and a long international legal dispute began, not yet fully defined.
Ultimately, this is an extremely interesting and valid initiative, which would enrich national intelligence capabilities and would allow important and significant strategic, technological and economic repercussions for Italy, as well as greatly increase our international prestige.

George Washington (1732-1799) used to say that "...the need to obtain good information is evident and deserves no further discussion..." and the Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722) liked to emphasize how "...no war can be fought successfully without timely and secure information…". Claims that no politician, military or company boss would ever dream of contesting.
From the beginning, the collection of vital information has been useful in preventing or mitigating enemy attacks or in defeating an economic competitor. From the Sumerians, in 4,000 BC, to the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, everyone built and employed an information service, with the aim of letting them know in advance the intentions of neighboring countries or neighboring city-states. Even in the Bible, reference is made several times to intelligence work where, for example, the Lord suggests that Moses send spies to gather information on the land of Canaan, promised to the Jewish people. In more recent times, Francis Walsingham, head of espionage for Queen Elizabeth I, set up an international spy network to facilitate British commercial penetration and the conquest of colonies. Or even the famous Turk Cicero who, during the Second World War, passed to the Germans the secret documents that the British Ambassador to Turkey, Sir Hugh Knatchbull-Hughessen, left imprudently on his desk. Finally, Richard Sorge, who became press officer of the Nazi Embassy in Tokyo and advisor to Ambassador Eugen Ott, a position that allowed him to warn Stalin of the Japanese decision not to attack Russia from the east, allowing him to move his troops from the eastern front to face the advancing Germans in the west.
However, that pioneering work could make use of extremely rudimentary tools, when compared to those available today, and often only needed brave men who worked undercover to steal the secrets of the adversaries.
Today, however, the intelligence operator has a much broader vision of his activity than in the past, no longer only military / operational but also political / evaluative, capable of providing the decision maker with useful information for a better understanding of increasingly complex and difficult to decipher international realities. With the end of the bipolar world and the birth of unprecedented and non-state phenomena such as confessional terrorism, with the growing difficulty of defending oneself in a world that is constantly changing and radically different from the one we found when we were born, in which conflicts are not necessarily generated between States, in which the enemy is difficult to identify with certainty, the intelligence activity tends to become global and multidimensional, in order to discover all the secrets that the potential adversary hides.
In the past it was not uncommon for decision makers who wanted to directly access the material collected from the sources to get a direct idea of ​​the situation but, with the enormous amount of data and information available today, such an approach is no longer sustainable, also because the information, without adequate evaluation and processing, has an extremely limited meaning. The growing amount of "raw" data available makes the intelligence operator increasingly indispensable at the decision-making level. The figure of the operator, who provides a finalized product that can be used in the decision-making process, thus becomes irreplaceable for the decision maker.
With the reforms of the Information Services of the last twenty years, attempts have been made to give greater impetus and coordination to the work of the various national intelligence structures, in order to increase the effective capacity of decision makers to understand the internal and international situation, in relation to the complex problems related to national security.

In this context, it appears absolutely essential to proceed rationally with the acquisition of the means and technology necessary to allow our intelligence services to effectively carry out their role. This is an objective of absolute strategic importance, without which the function of adequately and promptly informing the decision-maker cannot be validly fulfilled.
The last thing we can afford today is to pursue self-referential chimeras and disregard those strategic multi-role capabilities that would allow intelligence to operate.
Capabilities that need to be protected and modernized so that intelligence can maintain its indispensable role of protecting and informing, in support of national security in an era of continuous and varied danger, of unprecedented severity.
Intelligence work is an irreplaceable tool for threat assessment. In this context, we are perfectly aware of the challenges we face, whether related to the increasingly fierce competition for the control of maritime trade routes or the supply of marine energy resources, from every aspect of the invisible war that sees us opposed to non-state terrorist entities, to the activities of piracy or drug and arms trafficking.
The role of intelligence is of utmost importance in an era of continuous danger and heated economic rivalry, in which the "...chronicization of conflicts and disputes, also due to projections of influence by third States, the difficulties of multilateral mediation, the antagonism between global players and the race for primacy on the technological side, the regionalization of production chains and the repositioning of actors and operators in global value chains, the growing aggressiveness of economic competition and the consolidation of interference strategies articulated and multifaceted…” require prompt, conscious and coherent responses.
This is why this work has been and always will be indispensable in supporting the decision-maker in his difficult task.




Protagonists and extras in the Russian-Ukrainian war which risks turning into a clash between civilizations
by Giorgio Radicati

The main protagonists of the war are Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden. The Moscow autocrat seems to have focused on a slow gradual military escalation capable of gaining him time and ground. Biden, on the inside, instead undergoes progressive wear. All this does not relaunch the role of European leaders. In this context, the war does not stop.
The Russian-Ukrainian war continues to revolve more and more around the slow but inexorable Russian offensive in Donbas and the continued supply to the Ukrainian army of armaments by the West, with the United States in the lead, to counter it. It is now an East-West tug of war, which seems to exclude for the moment the negotiating truce that various parties, especially Westerners, continue to invoke and for which Turkish diplomacy continues to spend itself (also… pro domo sua). Analysts predict that the conflict will continue for a long time and observe that, in such cases, history teaches that it can only end with the victory of one of the two sides.
In the meantime, there is the perception that the gap opened with the invasion of 24 February last between Moscow, on the one hand, and Washington and the main European capitals, on the other, tends inexorably to widen also in the wake of externalizations characterized by a strong (at times, even ferocious) charge of radicalism, which had not manifested itself since the times of the “Iron Curtain”.
In fact, not a day goes by that one of the two sides does not stop expressing their contempt for the opponent and the will to annihilate him. Those same international bodies and institutions that the international community had created to ensure the maintenance of order and justice at the regional or planetary level are denounced and even mocked. We come to speak of a clash between civilizations, including religious ones, if we evaluate the sermons of the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill, in which he unreservedly condemns some fundamental ethical principles on which Western society rests (hedonism, gender equality, abortion, sexual freedom etc.). The specter of nuclear war is threatened, in order not to give way to the adversary.
Ultimately, it is precisely this nefarious atmosphere that is most worrying, beyond the military clash, albeit furious, which continues to be recorded in the field, since, with a look towards the future, one wonders if it will be possible, once the current tragic crisis (because, sooner or later, it will have to be overcome), mend the numerous tears that the geo-political canvas presents and, if so, how long it will take and before what new balances we will find ourselves living together.
The fact remains that the main protagonists of the war are Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, plus the former of the latter, being the one who first planned it and then cynically realized it and who is now trying, for personal and national interests and among many difficulties, to carry it out in the best possible way. We now know that various circumstances have forced him to revise his initial drawings. First of all, the strenuous resistance of the Ukrainian army and, immediately afterwards, the prompt Anglo-American reaction in the wake of a NATO within which the other member countries were lined up, albeit in no particular order, an Atlantic Alliance positioned as a bulwark of a Europe aware of the risks (present, but above all future) that the Russian offensive could represent for the destiny of the continent.
Putin, however, is showing that he does not intend to give up, having invested not only his own power in this “military adventure”, but probably his own political survival (and more). At this stage, a negotiation is of no use to him, having to obtain by force, and not by diplomatic dialectics, a result that reaffirms Russian power and then flag it on the Red Square and tickle the never-dormant known nationalism of his people, which - apparently - the West appears to have underestimated and that the economic sanctions have already partially resurrected. Putin also seems to believe that the intensification of the conflict (contrary to what is happening at home) will eventually weaken the (wavering) unity of the West, worn down by the boomerang effect of the sanctions themselves and undermined within it by the growing pro-Russian wave (?) of free-spirited commentators and pseudo-intellectuals of Communist extraction. This is why he seems to have focused on a slow gradual military escalation capable of gaining him time and ground, waiting for the variegated opposing front to fall apart, allowing him to collect the entire stake.
President Biden is the other protagonist. Putin's only valid antagonist, he first took to the field with a Hamletic attitude, but then, to the extent that the Russian army showed little effectiveness on the ground, he worked with ever greater determination to become a heated and irreducible opponent of Moscow also in the face of Russian threats to resort to tactical nuclear weapons or the use of chemical weapons. He then deployed various military contingents on the border with Ukraine, increased the air force, planned the installation of a military base (presumably in Poland) and continued to send increasingly sophisticated weapons to the Ukrainian army.
His progressive flight forward, however, raises some questions. In fact, Biden sees the internal percentage of consensus gradually decrease, now reaching levels below 40%, while the mid-term elections are pressing. Moreover, his effort to take the leadership in defense of European democracies has also weakened due to the dichotomy existing between the will of Poland and the Baltic countries to intensify their efforts in favor of full support for Ukraine and of those not entirely convinced that they are following the path of confrontation rather than favoring that of negotiations. This disagreement has ramifications within the American Congress itself within which the hawks (mostly Republicans) push to arm Ukraine as best as possible to allow it to attack Russia on its own territory, while the Democrats hold back a lot, fearing an escalation of the conflict that could lead to a direct confrontation with Moscow.
Proponents of the first approach argue that only a Ukrainian victory will allow the West to defuse the disruptive charge of Russian expansionism, fearing that a strategy of simple containment could create a prolonged stalemate capable of weakening European unity with consequent relaxation of the support for Ukraine both in terms of arms supplies and economic sanctions. That said, the Republicans are taking advantage of Biden's uncomfortable situation, caught between a rock and a hard place, to weaken his position ahead of the congressional elections in November, an important prologue to the presidential elections of 2024.
Time is therefore not playing in his favor, also taking into account that Europe's dependence on Russian energy sources will not cease anytime soon.
Zelensky is now in effect the third protagonist of the current crisis, having earned the chevrons on the field. Over the course of the more than three months of conflict, the Ukrainian leader has transformed from an obscure and insignificant politician, casually reached the top of national institutions, verbally ridiculed by Putin immediately after the invasion and hunted down by his assassins to be physically eliminated and forced to self confining himself in an underground bunker to escape the bombings, in esteemed, admired and authoritative head of state capable of publicly addressing his counterparts of the first magnitude, foreign parliamentarians and the international press, forwarding requests and dictating conditions to enemies and allies, receiving the applause from a large part of the international community and become the symbol of the strenuous defense of the democratic values ​​of the West. In summary, he managed to rally much of the Western world around him, managing to convince his authoritative interlocutors to immediately send humanitarian aid and armaments, in unprecedented quantities since the end of the Second World War.
To the offers to leave the country safely presented by the American and British governments immediately after the Russian invasion, he courageously expressed a clear refusal, expressing his desire to fight at the head of his people on the national territory. In other words, he rejected the idea of ​​setting up a government in exile to direct war operations from across the border, preferring to become a symbol of resistance at home rather than a fugitive across the border.
However, it is to be hoped that the power at his disposal should not delude him that he is pursuing objectives that are practically impossible to obtain today, such as the request for the withdrawal of the Russian army from the occupied territories. In this sense, the West must be able to convince him.
Even Erdogan and Orban, albeit with different motivations and purposes, can aspire to the role of protagonists.
The first, proposing himself as a mediator, seemed to want to take on the guise of the new sultan (as opposed to Putin, the new tsar), recalling an ancient regional geopolitical framework characterized by balances (obviously limited to a conventional military framework) based on strategic importance of the Strait of the Dardanelles as a gateway to the Mediterranean. With this initiative, Erdogan claims the Turkish presence in the Black Sea, underlines the specific weight of Ankara within NATO and the importance of its role in the southern flank of the Alliance, surreptitiously obtains a license to strike the clandestine resistance at home and beyond the border (even with the veto on the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO) and, last but not least, it distracts the attention of the West from the clearly despotic measures that characterize his government action. It is not a small thing!
Extremely stimulated by the fifth re-election, fourth in a row, to the highest office of the state, Orban also rightly aspires to the rank of protagonist, having hindered - practically the only one among the 27 members of the European Union - the sanctioning activity against Russia, obtained exceptional exemptions in the importation of Russian oil and prohibited the presence of Patriarch Kirill in the ban list drawn up by Brussels and Washington (despite representing only 1% of the population in Hungary for the Russian Orthodox Church). All this after Hungary received for years considerable economic support from Europe, despite Orban having, in that same period, conditioned the national judicial system, suppressed the freedom of the press, appointed men of his own trust in all the main centers of the public administration and civil society as well as favored the activity of one's political party in various ways! Unfortunately, his old friendship with Putin could continue to influence European policy towards Moscow.
Stoltenberg, Boris Johnson, Macron, Draghi and Scholz, among others, try, with alternating current, to gain and carve out a marked leadership, but always with little impact due to the reflected light from which they are illuminated. Moreover, the sporadic attempts by some of them to enter into a direct dialogue with Putin were promptly rejected. In essence, they appear to be at the mercy of events that overwhelm them, weakened moreover by internal political repercussions or by contingent problems that are too difficult to resolve independently (food crisis and peace negotiations). Their activity suffers too much from what is decided elsewhere and appears, consequently, rather unrealistic, if not completely sterile. In this sense, the role of (albeit illustrious) extras seems to be fully suited to them up to now.





Towards an economy of happiness and sustainability

Proposals for Veneto

 Romano Toppan


 The form of development that we define as the economy of happiness (well-being economy) tends (or is inspired) to a “twist” towards the other, that is, towards a “requalification” of its assets and of its distribution model of wealth seen by within society, in its internal equilibrium, in its interactions and reciprocity, in the dampening of its disparities and the dangers of inequality, which, in our region, Veneto, are attenuated by widespread well-being even in the very small rural centers, often involved in very effective district “networks”, and by the quite extraordinary and specific fact of our region of one company for every ten inhabitants: and this not only defines a capillary enterprise of production, but also of the distribution of the wealth produced, even if in recent times, since the end of the nineties and with the regional governments of that period, we have observed increasing phenomena of moral pollution and loss of pieces of the original social capital.

Symptoms of unease and criticality have also begun to spread in our region, creating pockets of parasitism, maneuvers of amoral greed, suspicions of speculation to the detriment of the territory, of the weakest social classes, of the peasant and working world.

Before these trends take over, homologating Veneto and its moderate and sober mold to the growing collapse that amoral familism is now generating in many and growing parts of the country, we still have time to introduce a new paradigm, attacking without delay the resistance from those who want to transform our region into a land of easy conquest to harvest what they have not sown.

The meekness and medietas of the Venetians cannot translate into a bewildered and confused inertia, in the face of the challenges of post-modernity and its liquid society: if it is true, as Bauman says, that our society has now lost everywhere its forms and its structures, to "vaporize" in a cloud of increasingly mixed and confused identities, it is also true, however, that from this lack of form one can take advantage (hopefully temporary) of dissolving the rigid and crystallized positions of power, money and, above all, rent, to accelerate a genuine transition from a fake democratic liberalism to a capitalism without friction, flexible and above all characterized by a greater and more extensive level of contestability, which in Italy does not yet exist adequately for an open society, because there is too much ballast that "resists" and too many corporate interests that want to keep it in the metastasis.

Therefore, it is urgent to begin to find a "new" form of society and economy, close to that model of well-being economy that we are dealing with in this essay on Atlantis.


The objectives

 With these guidelines on the economy of happiness, I propose to achieve three major goals:

 The first objective is information: recent social and economic thinking on happiness and well-being is still little known.

In fact, the theme of happiness has so far been almost exclusively monopolized by theological, philosophical and ethical thought. The fathers of modern economics, such as Adam Smith, Bentham or Stuart Mill (who already disputed the first two precisely on the theme of happiness, which he emphasized more explicitly), based their considerations on the nature of the market economy in the moral philosophy and, before the wealth of the nation, it was necessary to form the moral sentiments necessary to exercise it and generate it in a manner consistent with the principles of freedom and responsibility.

As for the radically "liberal" and right-wing interpretation of Adam Smith's concept of the "invisible hand", which has become the main argument and the karma in favor of laissez-faire politics, it should be noted that, in reality, Adam Smith borrows the image of the invisible hand, with much irony, from the third act of Shakespeare's Macbeth: Macbeth talks about the night and his bloody and invisible hand that must take away the pallor of remorse before the murder. Smith viciously mocked those capitalists who believed they had the power to rule the markets.

Faced with the rise of new authoritarian and illiberal capitalisms (such as those interpreted by Trump, Bolsonaro and Erdogan, to limit ourselves to just three current examples), an economic determinism has entered into crisis: the idea, that is, that development automatically leads to political freedom.

That illusion was also disproved in more distant times. In March 1975, the prophet of economic neoliberalism, Milton Friedman, went to Chile to convert the dictator Pinochet to the market, so that he could open his country to world trade and foreign investment. Overwhelmed with criticism from American liberals, Friedman argued that the market was the prerequisite for democracy and human rights. In reality, Pinochet's dictatorship lasted for another 15 years and it was not the economy that brought Chile back to democracy, but its political failure which became unbearable and unsustainable.

This critical tradition has then continued to the present day in all the great economists such as Keynes, Stiglitz, Sen, Solow, without forgetting Max Weber who, although not an economist, nevertheless tried (in vain even for his early death at the age of 56) to return to the economy its original foundations rooted in ethics.

The fact that only "few" (and the best) economists have explicitly preserved the relationship between economics and moral philosophy, partly explains the reasons why economics and its scholars and teachers have so often and so widely "removed" this ancient link, making economic exercises take over that "autistic" character that is today increasingly criticized by economists: that is, that "technical" and specialist character that has almost always supported the power and stereotypes of a widely falsified and manipulated market economy, pretending to be rational economic choices political or managerial completely similar to feudal rents and the most unscrupulous arbitrariness, forgetting the centrality of moral sentiments that form the basis of social capital from which the modern market economy draws its true lifeblood and brutally separating the order and the succession of their economic ideas from the "social psychology" that generates them.

The expression, attributed to the economist Federico Caffè, according to which "economics is born as psychology and works like physics", synthetically expresses the essence of this lethal separation.

With a generation of great psychologists and social science scholars, such as the Americans Kahneman, Seligman and Diener, or the Dutch Veenhoven, or the English Layard, this original binomial has been recovered and reconstructed, on new scientific bases, a paradigm on the happiness that has largely demolished the somewhat dilapidated building of traditional economic thought, noting its most conspicuous cracks, even on a logical level, the most overt and evident contradictions and paradoxes, the most shameful superfetations, such as (purely example) Gibrat's law, or the fetishistic cult of the law of supply and demand, considered the number one rule of the market, without adding, as Stiglitz did recently, that it is largely invalidated by the "information" asymmetry between those who manages the supply (and the media and political power that it manages to accumulate) and those who exercise the demand, i.e. consumers, and many other deadly traps of which this our text will make known the most insidious "combinations", precisely following the criticism of the great masters of the economy of happiness.

 The second objective of the proposal is an applicative and experimental objective: the reflection on the economy of happiness clearly aims to launch a debate, to throw a stone in the pond, in a moment of uncertainty, of liquid post-modernity, of great global transition, due to which even prosperous societies, such as Veneto, risk slipping along a ridge of decline and regression, despite having experienced, relatively quickly and with forms of great originality, a spectacular growth in terms of wealth and per capita income.

Our region has had and still retains specific characteristics that are difficult to compare to other contexts, within our own nation and even in a European and global key. There are few territories that can offer a similar example in terms of the ways in which this company has been able to invent its own path to development, starting from a basis of widespread rural pauperism, from an impressive emigration, especially in the last 150 years, but knowing how to enhance, at the same time, one's deepest potential, which, as Fernand Braudel said always characterize the "hidden" part of a society and an economy, in a much more marked way than it seems by observing only the ripples and the bizarre of surface waves.

The historical events of the Veneto, especially from the fall of the Republic up to the 1950s, were marked by painful plagues, to the point that the region did not seem to possess the necessary forces within it for an awakening and forcing an important part of its population to look elsewhere for the means to survive. But beneath the gray and unpleasant surface of recent historical events, there remained a very strong social capital, made up of a long historical tradition of autonomy and freedom.

Furthermore, the well-known religiosity of the Venetians has offered a significant glue of trust and mutual solidarity at the community level, which can still be found today in the highest degree of associations and voluntary work in the whole nation, in which Veneto occupies the first place in Italy.

If we want to preserve this originality and specificity (which are the real important "identity" of the Venetians), politics can and must take an attitude of attention towards the paradigm of happiness and well-being, as a way to recover in its entirety our social capital, reposition it on top of our potential and our systems of values, recover the secrets of solidarity that have cemented our districts, our networks, our coalitions, our local communities and propose an alternative economy that, even if it could no longer reach the economic and monetary "profit" or income performances such as those acquired in the thirty-year period 1971-2001, it nevertheless represents a soft sustainable landing towards an idea of ​​wealth that goes beyond "money" and rather amplifies the indicators of the quality of life and individual and community happiness. Will the Venetian political class and its most significant leaders be able to make this virtuous transition? Yes, provided, however, that he becomes capable of opening himself to the contribution of the best skills and mutes the bleating sheep of a short-sighted and unscrupulous political base.

 The third objective, finally, is the formative one: politics can never ignore the formation of consensus and in the context of the economy of happiness and well-being such as the one I propose in this short essay, this consensus is obtained with a work of promotion and awareness, with a style of governance that begins to give concrete and tangible "examples" of a turning point in having the incentives and reward systems available to institutional leadership widely, both in the budget and expenditure exercise, which in the political education networks of parties and associations, local authorities and parishes, third sector organizations, industry, commerce, crafts, tourism, in a word wherever politics has the opportunity or creates the practical circumstances of expressing one's direction, one's strategic visions, especially in crucial moments, such as when planning and legislating its programs or soliciting projects or rewarding good practices. Excluding unedifying cases such as the MOSE or the expensive and disputed bobsleigh run of the 2026 Winter Olympics.

It is there, in those crucial moments, in those confrontations and in those decisive and strong consultations, that politics can make use of all its task of guiding and choosing. Furthermore, a feeling of correspondence to such an attitude is never slow to manifest itself in the social, economic and moral forces of a people, for those elective affinities that arise when a political leadership exercises its truest, most intimate vocation: what common well-being always expects from it and what good government has always considered, in the utopias of theologians and philosophers, as in the paintings on the walls of the Palaces of the Region of our cities with a long municipal tradition, the true purpose of art politics.

The Doge's Palace is almost an explicit symbol of this model of governance: it is the only palace of power "empty below and full above", built by the carpenters of the Arsenale with the logic that it is "from the empty below" that the ship is supported and by the fact that whoever commanded above, in the Sala del Magior Consiglio and in the other places of power, was supported by a dense series of columns, which in their capitals have carved all the main trades and economic activities of the Serenissima, as to say that no power can stand and be profitable without the convinced support of the real economy.

Our region has already internalized this yearning in part, through the formulation of a "social" balance sheet, which prepares, alongside the traditional and partly obsolete indicators of the state of well-being of the territory, also an evaluation of the "intangible" assets and indicators most closely linked to the quality of life. The elective affinities that our people find in this new vision are still alive and are only waiting to deploy all their energy.


 The opportunities of the blue economy for Cilento and the creation of the Experimental Marine Area

by Domenico Letizia

Enhancing the coasts of Cilento, small artisanal fishing and protecting marine biodiversity is a very interesting program of political proposals launched by numerous mayors of the coastal cities of Cilento. At the Marina di Acciaroli, the Mediterranean Day - which takes place on 8 July - was dedicated to the public presentation of the final works prepared by the guys from the Trame Mediterranee boot camp, organized by the Future Food Institute, which once again affirmed a new Cilento project in safeguarding the sea and the environment. Led by the Mayor of Pollica, Stefano Pisani, the Mayors of the Cilento Coast, the flags, the scientific community, the young innovators and above all the fishermen have developed a common program of action and planning to support the proposal to establish an Experimental Marine Area. The appointment that took place in Marina di Acciaroli, in the municipality of Pollica, in the Salerno area, represents the final stage of a path born from a political vision presented by the mayor Stefano Pisani in 2019 to the then Minister of the Environment Sergio Costa and recently renewed on the occasion of the EU Agrifood Week, when in collaboration with the Future Food Institute and the Representation of the European Commission in Italy, a representation of local stakeholders of the fish supply chain met in Castellabate (SA). During the meeting, the need emerged to protect fishing companies, also through a diversification of income and work on the activation of research and protection measures in the coastal area and the "sea resource", without underestimating the important technological innovations that can contribute to the employment growth of the territory and to new activities related to the sea and fishing.

A symbolic moment that saw together with Stefano Pisani, the mayors Marco Rizzo, Mayor of Castellabate; Flavio Meola, Mayor of Montecorice; Giuseppe Cilento, Mayor of San Mauro Cilento; Silvia Pisapia, Mayor of Casalvelino; Pietro D’Angiolillo, Mayor of Ascea; Ettore Liguori, Mayor of Pisciotta; Mario Scarpitta; Mayor of Camerota, Rosario Pirrone, Mayor of Centola; Ferdinando Palazzo; Mayor of San Giovanni a Piro; Giovanni Fortunato, Mayor of Santa Marina; Franco Giudice, Mayor of Ispani and Antonio Gentile, Mayor of Sapri.

The proposal to establish an Experimental Marine Area stems from the awareness of having to design, experiment and implement new sea governance tools, starting from the undisputed protagonism and the crucial role of Fishermen who must be recognized the value of being bearers of true intangible heritage for the protection of marine ecosystems and for the survival of the Mediterranean lifestyle. The proposal to establish an Experimental Marine Area for fishing, research and study covers the stretch of sea within 12 nautical miles between the coasts of Castellabate up to Sapri. The objectives of the Experimental Marine Area include marine practices capable of respecting ecological rhythms and seasonality, contributing to overcoming the logic of fishing quotas, promoting a method of reducing fishing effort that allows to reward fishing companies present in the reference area, working to extend ecological knowledge and the role of Cilento fishermen in the custody and active safeguarding of marine resources, encouraging their active participation in cleaning the seas and collecting data useful for scientific research.

Furthermore, the Experimental Marine Area will become a hub where it is possible to experiment, together with fishermen, innovative solutions to ensure complete traceability of the catch, in full line with the European "Farm to Fork" Strategy, to be used already at the time of the fishing, guaranteeing added value on the market, providing the final consumer with more information on the origin, quality and type of fishing and enabling them to make informed choices. The vision coming from Cilento is open to experimentation and innovative overcoming of the common Marine Protected Areas. Over the decades, Marine Protected Areas have been established to protect vulnerable species and ecosystems, preserve biodiversity, restore ecosystem integrity, improve the reproductivity of fish populations and marine invertebrates.

The Convention on Biological Diversity had established to protect 10% of the oceans by 2020. The scientific evidence supporting the use of Marine Protected Areas for the protection of biodiversity derives mainly from knowledge of fully protected marine areas, but most of those established does not fall into this type. Marine Protected Areas represent an important deterrent to phenomena such as illegal fishing, as well as a particularly effective tool for restoring marine biodiversity and ecosystem services, but currently only 2.7% of the ocean is adequately protected. This low level of protection of our seas is also due to conflicts with fishing and other extractive uses as well as, in some cases, resistance to their establishment by local administrations. The relationship with fishing and fishing communities brings out the idea of ​​the innovative Experimental Marine Area.

"We are working on the idea of ​​an Experimental Marine Area that stands out from the Protected Marine Area because instead of chasing closures, demolishing the fishermen's economy, we want to experiment with new ways of managing the sea, enhancing the work of small fishermen and allowing such category of becoming a protagonist in the protection of the sea, in the enhancement and traceability of the fish product and in the formulation of new proposals to generate innovation within the fish supply chain, understand the climate changes underway and register the alien species that are present in the marine areas of the Cilento. The fisherman in the Experimental Marine Area becomes the protagonist of the territory, not an enemy of the sea and biodiversity, but a great ally for our coasts and our sea", declared the Mayor of Pollica, Stefano Pisani, during the signing of the Manifesto for the sea and for the establishment of the Experimental Marine Area.

What emerges from listening to the mayors of Cilento is the importance and urgency of intervening soon to preserve the Cilento coasts, not only through scientific research but also at the level of institutions to increase the percentage of areas subject to protection and safeguarding, with attention to the most vulnerable or degraded habitats, with the ultimate aim of stopping the erosion of biodiversity in our seas and triggering new employment opportunities for young people in the area.

SCONFINARE at Festival Internazionale della Geopolitica Europea 2022

Italy must rediscover its seas

By Luca Mozzi


This year the Jesolo International Geopolitics Festival saw, among the plethora of topics covered, a position of great cogency destined for the Mediterranean, bearing witness to how this area has become essential, not only for our country, but also for the European Union and NATO.

Destined by the end of the Second World War almost exclusively to a land dimension, in recent years Italy has rediscovered that its borders are not only those on land. Folded into its narrow economist perspective, in the years of the Cold War Italy pursued well-being and economic development, having the possibility - and the duty - to deprive itself of its strategic compass, as the latter remains firmly in American hands. The luxury of being able to neglect its strategic agenda, however, could not last forever and, with the first symptoms of American imperial fatigue and the looming of new challenges in our neighboring countries, Italy must now extend its views, under penalty of loss. full country. As Admiral Credendino, Chief of Staff of the Navy points out, by rotating an atlas depicting our country by 180 degrees, the geographical position of Italy appears unprecedented. From this perspective, the Italian peninsula appears as a large pier, as well as a Mediterranean watershed. Furthermore, the Mediterranean has recently been rediscovered as a Mid-Ocean, that is, a natural link between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. This gives our country a privileged position in the Mediterranean chessboard: nowadays 90% of global goods transit by sea and, despite the Mediterranean amounting to only 1% of the total surface area of ​​the world, for the 'fu 'mare nostrum passes over a fifth of global trade and more than a quarter of container traffic. In fact, it is undeniable that Italy plays a strategic role in the Mediterranean, just think of the extension of its coasts (over eight thousand kilometers), its numerous islands and the chokepoint of the Strait of Sicily, just 78 nautical miles wide between Sicily and the Tunisia, which is an essential passage for any ship that wants to reach the ports of Northern Europe or North America from the Indian Ocean.

The importance of increasing the Italian presence in the Mediterranean is not just a matter of national prestige, but a strategic need dictated by the historical moment we are experiencing. Since Obama's pivot to Asia in 2014, the US has decreased its interest in the Mediterranean, focusing on the Indo-Pacific region - a necessary measure to contain the Chinese giant - and the results of the superpower's decision are evident: a pernicious power vacuum, which is increasingly favoring the penetration of highly expansionist and assertive nations, such as Russia and Turkey. Consequently, with the current war in Ukraine, Europe finds itself continuing to depend on Russian gas because the other supply corridors, such as those with the Levantine basin of the Mediterranean or the MENA nations (Middle East-North Africa) or the use of LNG, prove to be unsafe or scarcely convenient.

However, Italy continues to experience the perennial inferiority complex with respect to the transalpine nations, which leads it to look only to the North, forgetting the South, which remains the recipient of palliative investments, devoid of effective strategic value. The sea is thus perceived as a dangerous, unknown place, and the Italian collective imagination, thinking of the Mediterranean, seems to relive the traumas of the Saracen incursions, nowadays represented by the perceived threats of immigration or by the fear of endemic instability. of those places. Hence the common feeling that the South constitutes a burden to the national development of the country, destined to take off following an (unthinkable) divorce with the South. Maximum expression of Italian strategic blindness. To this is added the ideological problem: there is not a sufficient national geographical awareness in our country to highlight its pre-eminently maritime character. In addition to material investments, there is therefore also a need to raise awareness among the community, making them see the sea as an opportunity, helping them to overcome the natural propensity of man to be afraid of the "dark sea that moves even at night and does not never stop ”, as the Genoese singer-songwriter Paolo Conte wrote.

As mentioned above, the aforementioned power vacuum in the Mediterranean is increasingly being filled by foreign competitors and Italy, an eternal spectator, has only been entering the game in recent years, with an obvious temporal disadvantage. Seeing a decisive control of the Mediterranean by Italy would certainly not constitute a panacea for our country, but it would represent a decisive turning point for the benefit of Italy and its allies. Internally, a South at the center of the economic and strategic chessboard would attract numerous and very valuable investments, which would help fill the endemic gap of the Risorgimento memory with the North of the peninsula; on the external level, on the other hand, a well-defined and controlled Italian border in the south would be a great achievement for the European Union, which cannot afford to have such a porous border with unstable and potentially explosive geographical areas. The recent Italian agreement with France, crystallized with the Quirinal Agreements, gives hope for the development of a partnership between the two countries, which only united can challenge the increasingly prepared Russian or Turkish contenders. The rapprochement with France is just one of the many tools that Italy and Europe have to pursue their goals. Interesting is the idea of ​​the Roman historian Ernesto Galli della Loggia, expressed at a panel of the Jesolo festival: to make Italy a container sorting hub, so as to allow the transport of goods to Northern Europe, "going from Gioia Tauro to Rotterdam in less than 24 hours ”. In more achievable terms in the near future, there was also discussion of a connection system through gas pipelines with MENA nations that could fully supply continental Europe. This together with the development of a fleet of LNG carriers capable of transporting liquid natural gas (LNG) to new regasifiers on the Italian territory (and from there to the rest of Europe), a need expressed by Giancarlo Poddighe, deputy director of the Centro di Studi di Geopolitics and Maritime Strategy (CeSMar). In the three days dedicated to the Geopolitics Festival, an Italy was thus imagined that was no longer a suburb, but the beating heart of Europe, a vital artery and natural connection, for raw materials and energy, between Europe and the rest of the world.

However, these innovations must go hand in hand with Italy's ever more decisive commitment to control the contiguous seas: an increase in the budget is necessary for the development of defensive and military capabilities, as well as a well-defined Exclusive Economic Zone, or an area sea ​​on which the coastal state can enjoy sovereign rights in terms of management of natural resources, scientific research, exclusive use of the seabed and protection and conservation of the maritime environment. This tool is necessary so that Italy can establish its borders also on the sea and prevent the maritime border from becoming a soft underbelly for the peninsula and for Europe itself.

The concept of the Wider Mediterranean, alongside that of the Middle Ocean, is instead used to indicate those geographical areas that surround the Mediterranean and on which, however, the safety of our seas depends. Areas such as the Gulf of Guinea or the Horn of Africa fall within this space and therefore require anti-piracy and anti-terrorism control activities, necessary to prevent possible negative repercussions on our coasts and as essential as monitoring activities within the Mediterranean basin. Historically it has been seen that when Italy was unable to impose itself on the Mediterranean, other peoples imposed themselves on it. Italy must find its place in the world and in relation to Europe and can only begin to do so by embracing the waves.

Business Culture and Geopolitics

From Atlantis the Pietro Cesare Alberti Award


The first edition of the Pietro Cesare Alberti Award dedicated to a personality from the world of business, art and culture who has distinguished himself for having brought Italian style to the top internationally, was awarded to Lidia Bastianich, Italian-American cook and writer. The delivery ceremony took place on Thursday 11 July 2022 during a dinner at the Al Colombo restaurant of the patron Domenico Stanziani, in the presence of the Premiata and the representatives of the sponsoring institutions and the partners and sponsors. During the evening there was also the presentation of the book Alberti's Day by Manuele Medoro and Claudio Nobbio, novel about the life of Pietro Cesare Alberti (Venice, 2 June 1608 - New Amsterdam, 9 November 1655), who was an Italian traveler who emigrated to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam in the seventeenth century and for this reason considered the first Italian American.

The story of Pietro Cesare Alberti is variously reported by American genealogical sources. Among the hundred of those present, some prominent personalities also participated in the evening: Ferruccio Gard, well-known television journalist and fourth-largest abstract painter; Claudio Ronco, internationally renowned neurologist and lecturer at the University of Padua; Walter Brunello, agri-food manager and former president of Buonitalia, an agency of the ministries of agricultural policies; Alessandro Martini, director of Marca Treviso, Giorgio Brugnara, master glassmaker and author of the prize-dish given to Lidia Bastianich and Andrea Mazzanti, publisher. On 12 July 2022 at 9 am Lidia Bastianich was first received by the councilor for culture of the Veneto Region, Cristiano Corazzari, and then by the President Luca Zaia at Palazzo Balbi. The morning of the award winner, accompanied by Carlo Mazzanti, director of the international business magazine Atlantis, promoter of the award together with the Municipality of Venice, the Veneto Region, Confindustria Venezia, Ristorante Al Colombo, ADI (Hotel Managers Association), Salvadori spa and SKAL, continued with the meeting in Ca’ Farsetti with the president of the City Council of Venice, Linda Damiano, and the councilor Matteo Senno.

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola on February 21, 1947 when Istria was still Italian, before the annexation of the city to Yugoslavia. In 1956, as part of the Istrian exodus, the Matticchio family moved in a daring way to Trieste. In the Julian city, the family settled in a refugee camp and Lidia's parents found employment with a wealthy family, where her mother Erminia worked as a cook and her father Vittorio as a driver. A few years later, in 1958, the family moved to the United States. She married Felice Bastianich in 1966 (from whom she divorced in 1997) and had two children: Joseph and Tanya.

Specializing in Italian and Italian American cuisine, she has written books and conducted cooking television programs since 1998. She owns several restaurants in partnership with her children. She was guest of the US and Italian versions of MasterChef. From 2014 to 2015 she was judge, with Bruno Barbieri and Alessandro Borghese, of Junior MasterChef Italia. In October 2020, her book ”My American dream” was also published in Italy by Solferino. In November 2020 she participated in the 100per100 Italian Talks to talk about Made in Italy agri-food exports in the post-pandemic. She cooked for two Popes, she is the owner of the Bastianich Farm in Friuli Venezia Giulia, a wine producer, which this year also hosted “Nonna Senti che Fame” with Anna Moroni.



The impossible crocodiles, the authoritarian temptation in the metaverse of Italian politics

This is the impossible Italy that has its roots in ur-fascism as Umberto Eco defined it. The temptation projected on the elections of 2023 is that of an arrogant and authoritarian way of being, light years away from the critical spirit, something that persists over time, and takes on new forms and civilian dress. I entered the metaverse as an avatar, in three-dimensional space to explore Italian politics as it prepares for perhaps the most dramatic post-war vote. I have seen things from another world. Indeed the other-world. As in Matrix, the only real chance of salvation in next year's elections is a system error, a variable that was not foreseen and not foreseeable by the creators of this political madness.
The incipit: Berlusconi president of the Republic is the impossible news that depopulated in the newspapers especially his, on television especially his and on social networks, not of him but conditioned by the media frenzy built around him. It is the metaphor of the new impossible Italy characterized by the authoritarian restoration pumped by the dominant sense of a single thought that bounces off the tricolor virtual platform of the metaverse. From the cradle of freedom of expression we have become intolerant of dissenting opinions, doubt has been banned, waves of anger are unleashed against those who do not align and think differently. Thus, after the virus and the bombs in Ukraine, an impossible nation is taking shape psychologically addicted to an infinite state of emergency, economically exhausted, culturally flattened without contradiction, frustrated by the popular vote claimed but never granted by President Mattarella (with Covid you cannot vote), a prisoner of an impossible parliament that does not represent anyone. A shame.

The author and the prefator.
Giuliano Ramazzina
From Rovigo, 70 years old, professional journalist since 1982. He writes as a contributor to Il Resto del Carlino, a newspaper for which he served as deputy editor-in-chief. He also collaborates with the Venezie Post portal. He has to his credit various publications on political culture and customs. ‘Dalla fine della DC alla svolta bipolare’ was published by Mazzanti editori in 2008, while in 2013 ‘Muoia Sansone ma non i dorotei - L’Italia degli irrottamabili’ was published by Marcianum Press. Together with the psychiatrist Alessandro Meluzzi he published in 2017 ‘I Dorostellati - psicopolitica all’Italiana dalla DC e Grillo’, again for Marcianum Press. In 2018 for Edizioni ZeroTre he published ‘Nordexit - La fine di un mito economico al tempo della Lega padrona’, a collection of articles that appeared in the Venezie Post. Two of his publications came out in 2021: the anthology ‘Ecco il sol che ritorna, ecco sorride - La prossima normalità dopo la pandemia’ written and edited with Valentina Noce, vice president of the Teatro Stabile del Veneto, published by Marcianum Press and ‘I racconti del riso’ written and edited together with Mauro Mazza, former director of Rai Uno and Tg2, published by Edizioni ZeroTre. He is part of the scientific committee of the Sullo-DC Foundation and is a member of the promoting committee of the Belvedere Foundation in Trento.

Massimo de’ Manzoni
From Verona, 64 years old, married, two children. Graduated in foreign languages ​​and literature, professional journalist since 1988, he began his career at the Verona Arena, where he became chief reporter. In 1997 he moved to Giornale, where he was first central editor and then deputy executive director. From 2011 to 2016 he was deputy vice-director of Libero. Then, in September 2016, he founded the newspaper La Verità with Maurizio Belpietro, of which he is co-editor.