Culture, interests, multidimensional threats, and Italian defence policy

We are pleased to talk about a paper that has been just published on the Italian Review of Political Science. The article, which is part of an interesting Special Issue on Italian foreign policy, focuses on the Italian military post-Cold War dynamism, aiming at assessing the role played  by interests and culture in addressing multidimensional threats to national security.

The paper (Stick to the plan? Culture, interests, multidimensional threats, and Italian defence policy“) is co-authored by (our) Fabrizio Coticchia and Michela Ceccorulli.

Here the link to the paper (gated)

Here below you can find the abstract:

The international context seems to be increasingly exposed to multidimensional and transnational challenges, ranging from irregular migration and piracy to the violation of basic human rights. Rather than excluding a potential role for the military, many European states rely on it to face a complex security scenario. What are the reasons behind this activism? Taking Italy as a case study, this article works out two main arguments (ideational factors and interests relating to the so-called military–industrial complex) and tries to intercept their weight in the national debate leading to the decision to intervene militarily (or not) in Sri Lanka (2004–05), Haiti (2010), and in the Central Mediterranean (2015–). Ultimately, this effort contributes to understanding the role of the military instrument in Italy, a state particularly exposed to the new challenges ahead, and offers tools for research to be potentially applied in other countries that make similar use of armed forces to deal with non-conventional security threats.

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Il caso F35. Una prospettiva diversa.

I temi della Difesa sono spesso relegati agli angoli dalla discussione pubblica in Italia. Gli approfondimenti sono tendenzialmente scarsi e il livello complessivo di attenzione di media e opinione pubblica è generalmente limitato. Eventi drammatici, spesso in contesti di crisi, contribuiscono ad incrementare un interesse collettivo che permane però volatile, destinato ad affievolirsi in fretta.

Un tema che ha suscitato invece una considerevole (e costante) attenzione è stato quello della controversa acquisizione del caccia JSF F-35. Le ragioni di tale “ribalta” sono state molteplici: i costi del mezzo in uno scenario di crisi, il dibattito politico, le campagne dei movimenti pacifisti.

Sul tema, segnaliamo con piacere un recente articolo del nostro Fabrizio Coticchia, dal titolo: “A Controversial Warplane Narratives, Counternarratives, and the Italian Debate on the F-35“.

Il paper è uscito in early view nella rivista “Alternatives“. Qui il link al pezzo (gated)

L’articolo (ne avevamo parlato di una sua versione precedente qui) esamina, da una prospettiva interdisciplinare, il contenuto delle narrazioni e della contro-narrazioni adottate da partiti e movimenti pacifisti. I suoi risultati (basati su interviste, analisi del discorso e analisi del contenuto) evidenziano l’evoluzione dei plot al centro del dibattito e la capacità delle contro-narrazioni (grazie alla capacità della campagna e ad un contesto partitico mutato) di introdurre i propri frame nella discussione.

L’articolo è parte di un progetto di ricerca più ampio, che si concretizzerà in una monografia, scritta da Fabrizio Coticchia e Andrea Catanzaro, dal titolo: “Al di là dell’Arcobaleno: narrazioni strategiche, politica di difesa e movimenti pacifisti in Italia’”, Vita e Pensiero (di prossima pubblicazione).

In calce l’abstract del paper

The literature on strategic narratives has started to pay growing attention to the concept of “narrative dominance,” stressing the role played by counternarratives in hindering a wider acceptance of a specific message. However, limited consideration has been devoted to counternarratives, which have seldom been assessed in a systematic way. The aim of this article is to fill these gaps by examining the underrated case of Italy. The article investigates the main content of narratives and counternarratives developed by parties and peace movements regarding the decision to acquire the F-35. The article, which is based on primary and secondary sources, adopts a multidisciplinary approach, combining security studies and social movement studies.

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No time for Uncertainty. The European Defense and Security in the Time of Terror: Threats, Challenges and Opportunities

We are organizing a panel at the next SGRI conference (Trento, June 29-July 1).

As reported in there website: The annual SGRI Conference is an opportunity for scholars throughout Italy to come together and discuss topics that are relevant to international relations. The 2017 Conference will be held for the sixth time in Trento from June 29th to July 1st and will be organized by IPLab (International Politics Laboratory), a joint venture involving the Bruno Kessler Foundation and the University of Trento.

Here you’ll find a list of the all panels.

Here below the details of “our” panel (“No time for Uncertainty. The European Defense and Security in the Time of Terror: Threats, Challenges and Opportunities“):

Chair: Giampiero Cama (University of Genova)
Discussants: Francesco N. Moro (University of Bologna) & Fabrizio Coticchia (University of Genova)

Date: TBD
Room: Sala Grande

According to the European Union Global Strategy “terrorism, hybrid threats, economic volatility, climate change and energy insecurity” are significantly endangering Europe (EUGS, 2016). The EUGS emphasizes the need for an “appropriate level of ambition and strategic autonomy”, enhancing common efforts especially on cyber, counterterrorism, energy and strategic communications. In other words, Member States should “move towards defence cooperation as the norm”, providing a greater contribution to collective security, working closely with its allies and partners, such as NATO. The panel aims at collecting empirical papers that, through different methodological perspectives, try and understand how current transformations (political, such as Brexit and Trump election but also technological, such as the “rise” of drones) are impacting traditional European and national security practices.

The panel explores how Member States, as well as the EU, have faced so far the above- mentioned challenges, examining in details the following key-areas: (a) shared assessments of internal and external threats (e.g., Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, including the role of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and satellite communications); (b) the evolution of digital capabilities to secure data, networks and critical infrastructure; (c) the transformation of (national and European) counter-terrorism; civil-military relations in operations; (d) the development of European procurement (especially regarding full- spectrum land, air, space and maritime capabilities); (e) the military doctrines at the national and regional level.

Confirmed Papers: 

  1. Edoardo Baldaro (Scuola Normale Superiore – Pisa), The EU in the Sahel: Assessing Strengths and Limits of the European Integrated Approach to Conflict
    Nowadays the EU is facing renewed security threats coming from its instable Eastern and Southern borders. State fragility and civil conflicts in the peripheries are considered as factors that can endanger European internal security and cohesion, asking for concrete initiatives and responses by European institutions. The European Union Global Strategy (EUGS)introduces a new ‘integrated approach to conflict and crisis’, in order to propose innovative and shared solutions concerning conflict-management and crisis-relief.Adopting an ideational and social constructivist approach to the study of European foreign policy, this article aims to explore the “fragile state” and “resilience” concurring policy paradigms informing this new European strategic concept. Analysing the EU’s initiatives in the Sahel, one of the regions where the EU elaborated and tested its renewed approach, the paper underlines ideational and practical weaknesses of the European action, focusing the attention on three dimensions: 1) inter-agency efficiency and cooperation; 2) EU – member states coordination; 3) effects on local governance and environment. We finally argue that even if the EUGS is going in the right direction, the EU still suffers from cognitive problems and lacks internal cooperation.

    In the conclusion I argue that even if the EUGS is going in the right direction, the EU still suffers of cognitive and normative problems and pays a lack of internal cooperation, all factors that can still put into question the EU’s approach to fragility and conflict in the South.

  2. Eugenio Cusumano (Leiden University), Migrant Rescuing as Organised Hypocrisy: EU Maritime Missions Offshore Libya Beyond Humanitarianism and Border Control
    In October 2014, the Italian Navy maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) operation offshore Libya Mare Nostrum was replaced by the EU border agency Frontex operation Triton, followed in 2015 by the Common Security and Defence Policy mission EUNAVFOR Med ‘Sophia’. Both Triton and EUNAVFOR have increasingly advertised their  involvement in SAR operations. As the two missions focused on reducing illegal entries to Europe rather than SAR, their commitment to migrant rescuing was not matched by consistent action. This paper conceptualizes the mismatch between humanitarian rhetoric and activities primarily meant to reduce migrant flows as a form of organised hypocrisy. Based on a decoupling between talk and action, organised hypocrisy allowed EU maritime missions to reconcile contradictory pressures from their external environment, such as EU willingness to reduce maritime migrations and the normative imperative to act against the loss of life at sea
  3. Artem Patalakh (University of Milan Statale), Soft Power Revisited: How Attraction Works in International Relations
    The paper puts forward a constructivist interpretation of how Joseph Nye’s soft power works in International Relations (IR). In particular, it focuses on the functioning of attraction, soft power’s main pronounced mechanism. On the basis of a theoretical literature review, the author identifies three primary issues that require further specification in Nye’s account, namely a clear disentanglement between hard and soft power, a psychological mechanism behind attraction and the relationship between agentic and structural forces in the soft power relationship. To address these issues, the author locates soft power in the constructivist IR paradigm, viewing power in its broadest terms (as including all the four “faces” of power). Then, the author applies French and Raven’s typology of power bases to build a framework that classifies attraction into three types, each with a particular psychological mechanism: “rational” attraction (which means that actor A is positively evaluated by actor B of the basis of its actions that do not aim at other IR actors), “social” attraction (which implies that A is positively evaluated based on how it treats other IR actors) and “emotional” attraction (which happens if B is positively evaluated by A, because B is useful for A to fulfill its identity, its perceived position among other IR actors). Having said this, the author uses insight from social psychology to provide theoretical explanations for each type of attraction, illustrating them with relevant examples from contemporary international politics.

  4. Mirco Elena (USPID)

 

 

See you soon in Trento…

 

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Italian Foreign and Defense Policy at the Time of the ‘Bulldozer’

We are pleased to invite you at the panel we have organized at the next SGRI Conference.

The IX annual Conference of the Italian Standing Group on International Relations is a two-day session that brings together scholars, researchers and PhD students from Italian academia to discuss issues related to global politics, European studies, foreign policy, regional dynamics and international theory. The 2016 Conference will be held for the fifth time in Trento from June 23rd to June 25th and will be organized by the Bruno Kessler Foundation‘s Research Center on International Politics and Conflict Resolution (FBK-CERPIC).

Our panel focuses on “Italian Foreign and Defense Policy at the Time of the ‘Bulldozer’”. Since becoming prime minister in February 2014, Matteo Renzi has promoted a change of pace to the controversial debates over policy reforms in Italy. While the literature has devoted significant attention to the transformation occurred in the domestic context, few analyses have focused on the evolution of Italian foreign and defense policy in historical and comparative perspective. The panel aims at filling this gap, collecting different perspectives on diplomacy, security, foreign policy analysis, international and European politics. Finally, the supposed continuity or discontinuity of the Renzi’s foreign and defense policy will be assessed.

Here below the papers we will discuss:
1. Anna Caffarena and Giuseppe Gabusi (University of Turin), Making sense of a changing world: foreign policy ideas and Italy’s national role conceptions after 9/11

In a rapidly changing world, middle powers with no obvious place on the global scene have the difficult task to read the international environment in order to formulate and implement a coherent and possibly effective foreign policy. In order to do so, decision makers either reproduce old ideas or develop new ones. Considering the ideas put forward in their inaugural speeches by Prime Ministers and Foreign Affairs Ministers in office after 2001, the authors suggest that Italy’s institutional actors appear to be aware of the changes occurred in the international system after 1989, and in particular after 9/11. The National Role Conceptions sustaining Italy’s present foreign policy goals reflect such awareness, being quite different with respect to the picture offered by Holsti in his seminal work published in 1970. Ideas expressing foreign policy goals are also reasonably well grounded either in ideas on how the world works or in operational ideas, yet the country’s foreign policy appears feebly focused, even though focus is explicitly very much sought for. Some explanations for such a lack of focus which makes Italy’s foreign policy design rather ineffective are offered.

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2. Antonio Calcara (LUISS School of Government – Rome), Italy’s defence policy in the European context: the case of the European Defence Agency

The European Defence Agency (EDA), thanks to the adoption of a large number of strategic documents and reports, its expertise in the formulation of projects and data collection, has been able to spread an homogeneous discourse on the necessity of a common European defence approach. The EDA is pushing for a progressive “europeanization” of the defence field through pooling and sharing of resources, liberalisation of the defence market, europeanization of military standards and support to dual civilian-military research.
Italy has always had a pro-integration stance on defence matters and it presents the EU as the political and functional framework in which the Italian defence policy will develop – both at the strategic and at the procurement level – in order to rationalise the defence spending. However, going into detail, Italy’s engagement with EDA seems to be more nuanced, especially in the preservation of national sovereignty in some particular technological areas and, in general, has resulted in an ambiguos position between a pro-NATO’s view (and the related “Smart Defence” initiative) and a pro-european “Pooling and Sharing” process, under the EDA’s framework.
While academic literature has devoted significant attention to the transformations occurred in the domestic context, few analyses have focused on the evolution of Italian defence policy in the context of the European institutional framework.
This study is aimed to answer to the following questions: What is the relationship between Italy and the EDA? What is the role of Italy in the EDA? Do the collaborative activities promoted by the Agency have altered the Italian defense policy, especially concerning the new White Paper on International Security and Defence? Can we consider Italy as a “policy entrepreneur” in European defence matters or, beyond declaratory level, it continues to maintain a strong “national” approach?

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3. Fabrizio Coticchia (University of Genoa) and Jason W. Davidson (University of Mary Washington), Explaining Renzi’s Foreign Policy: The International Effects of Domestic Reforms
Since becoming Italy’s Prime Minister in February 2014 Matteo Renzi has attracted a lot of attention for his domestic political reforms. Journalists and scholars have focused far less interest on Renzi’s foreign policy, however. This lack of attention is striking given some of the Renzi government’s actions on the international stage. For example, Italy has refused to participate in air strikes against ISIL in Iraq and has favored accommodation with Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Based on primary (interviews, official documents) and secondary sources, this paper attempts to explain the Renzi government’s foreign policy.
First, because Renzi is focused on domestic reform, foreign policy is an afterthought. Renzi’s government has avoided costly policies (e.g., air strikes, peace-enforcement mission in Libya, etc.) because they would undercut his economic plans. Second, because Renzi’s domestic reforms anger many on the left, he has chosen a foreign policy that appeals to–or at least does not create further problems with–the left (e.g., vocally asking for anti-austerity measures in the EU during the semester of Italian presidency). Finally, Renzi, who lacks foreign policy experience, centralized decision-making regarding international relations.

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4. Mirco Elena (USPID), Implications of different energy strategies on national security and on international relations

Several factors have to be considered while developing a national energy strategy: amount and cost of resources in the medium and long term, need to import primary energy, number and reliability of suppliers, suitability for the productive sector, vulnerability to uncontrollable external events, resilience of the supply chain in case of conflict, … Many of these elements have important implications from the point of view of a nation’s international relations.
Traditionally, energy production has favoured big, centralized infrastructures. If these are advantageous in terms of, e.g., power plant efficiency, there are also negative consequences which can make a nation much more vulnerable in case of war.
Modern technological developments in the energy field have major implications also with regard to national security and this fact should receive more attention from government authorities.

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5. Matteo Faini (University of Venice Ca’ Foscari)
For democratic countries, intelligence agencies are a threat and a necessity. They often provide vital information for national security, but they can also engage in unauthorized activities, like attempting or threatening to remove their own government, i.e. subversion.
I develop and test a typological theory of the relationship between intelligence agencies and policy-makers in democratic countries. I answer two questions: how can intelligence agencies be controlled? When will intelligence agencies engage in subversion?
Intelligence agencies will differ depending on who their main enemies are. An agency will be political if it has a strong domestic subversive movement as one of its main enemies. These agencies will not be politically neutral and the divide between foreign and domestic intelligence will be blurred. Because of these characteristics, it will be harder for policymakers to control them. They will engage in subversion when they perceive their own government as insufficiently dedicated to the anti-subversive fight and when an upcoming close election or divisions among the agency’s principals give them an opportunity to install a stronger government. Ironically, an agency that is designed to fight against subversion will be more inclined to subvert itself. Instead, if an agency does not have a strong subversive movement as one of its main enemies, it can afford to be non-political: politically neutral and with a sharp divide between foreign and domestic intelligence. Non-political agencies will be strongly controlled by policymakers and will not engage in subversion.
I test this theory on two case studies: British intelligence from 1909 to 1924 and Italian military intelligence from 1943 onward. I find that intelligence agencies shift from being non-political to being political when a strong subversive movement is included among their main enemies. Political intelligence agencies have attempted to remove governments even in rich democracies normally considered immune from coups-like phenomena, like the UK in 1920 and 1924.
I then draw implications for policymakers, focusing on the present-day Italian intelligence community. I argue that the current trend towards a non-political intelligence community is at risk of being reversed, under pressure from politically aligned appointments and the rise of political parties that can be construed as subversive.

The discussant will be J.P. Darnis (IAI – University of Nice)

Here additional details on the panel.

Here you’ll find all the panels at the SGRI Conference.

See you soon in Trento.

 

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Italy’s military interventions and new security threats

The end of the Cold War represented a turning point for Italian defense. The bipolar constraints vanished and Italy was “allowed” to adopted a more dynamic military approach, sending troops in several operations abroad. The military missions  addressed also multidimensional threats: illegal migration, humanitarian crises, piracy, organized crime, etc..

But what has pushed Italy to intervene specifically through armed forces (instead of using other tools, such as Civil Protection or diplomacy)? Michela Ceccorulli and (our) Fabrizio Coticchia answer the above-mentioned  question through their latest paper, which examines the missions in Somalia, Darfur and Haiti, assessing three different hypotheses.

Here below the abstract:

Recently, Italy has employed the military instrument abroad to deal with new, multidimensional and transnational challenges, ranging from irregular migration and piracy to the violation of basic human rights. What has pushed the country to intervene specifically through armed forces? Through three main arguments (strategic culture, domestic interests and international norms) emerging from the interplay between internal and external dynamics, the paper analyses the national debate in the run-up to the decision to intervene militarily in Darfur (2007–2010), Somalia (2009) and Haiti (2010). In so doing the work hopes to contribute to understanding the role of the military tool in Italy, a country particularly exposed to new challenges ahead.

Here you’ll find additional info on the paper.

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Learning From Others? Emulation and Change in the Italian Armed Forces Since 2001

As illustrated in previous posts, military transformation represents our main current research issue. We’ve just published a book on this topic and we are still working on Italian (and European) military transformation.

Here you’ll find our latest paper, which has been published (in early view ) on “Armed Forces&Society“. The title is: “Learning From Others? Emulation and Change in the Italian Armed Forces Since 2001” (F. Coticchia and F.N. Moro, 2016).

Here below the abstract:

How does military change take place in states that are not able to develop autonomous solutions? How does transformation occur when limited resources are available? What are the “sources of military change” for armed forces that do not possess the (cognitive and material) resources that are essential for autonomous development? In articulating an answer to these questions, this article draws from the theoretical debate on interorganizational learning and looks at the mechanisms that drive “learning from others.” We argue that adaptation and organizational learning often had to look for, and then try and adapt, off-the-shelf solutions that required relatively more limited resources. Empirically, the article focuses on the Italian Armed Forces, which have rarely attracted scholarly attention, although it emerged from almost total lack of activity in the Cold War to extended deployments in the 2000s.

Stay tuned for additional results of our analysis (we are now working also with surveys..)

 

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Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 89

It’s the time of primaries in the US. It’s an exciting race, at the current stage, but Stephen Walt argues that the state of the foreign policy debate is rather sad.

In Europe, the prospects for an “ever closer union” are pretty dim these days. The debate on Brexit keeps going, and recent EU “concessions” (contained in a letter written byDonald Task, the EU Council President) do not seem to convince euroskeptics in Britain. Here, a guide to the debate and the next steps.

But tensions between the EU and Member States are not confined to Britain. Even the EU-Italy relations are going through a critical phase. These days, Italian PM Matteo Renzi is strongly criticizing the EU on key issues such as banking regulations and austerity (with the migrants crisis always in the background). This is FT’s Wolfgang Münchau’s take on Italy as a critical node in Europe.

Speaking of Italy, leaders of the anti-ISIS coalition met in Rome on Feb. 2nd to discuss the next moves against the movement. Debate also dealt with Libya, and Italy is a candidate for leading a military coalition there. To do exactly what is still matter of discussion.

Finally, more on the academic side, here is a summary of Thomas Mahnken’s paper on what can small states do in international politics. They might have more cards to play than the poor Melians in the famous episode narrated by Thucydides.

 

 

 

 

 

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Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 87

ISIS might make the headlines more for its sponsoring/conducting terrorist attacks in Europe (and Asia), but The Atlantic’s Adam Chandler reminds of the incredible civilian victimization taking place in Iraq.

While all the attention is focused on the Middle East, let’s not forget how crime represents – in terms of lethality to begin with – a very large threat in Central America. FP features an article on the state of health (good) of the region’s gangs.

Technological advances are difficult to foresee, and the cost of emerging technologies often hard to justify. The costs of the JSF/F-35 might be in part be justified by its early adoption of revolutionary technological solutions, especially related to “cognitive electronic warfare”.

In the meanwhile, Italian second F-35 has been making its debut flight, as reported by RID (in English), and the Cabinet is still evaluating how many more will come.

Finally, the fall of counterinsurgency, now at an advanced stage. Former COIN and Iraq hero David Petraeus might be demoted from 4-star General, DefenseNews reports.

 

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Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 76

With or Without you? This week we start our Top5 by quoting Bono Vox thanks to the article by Ulrich Kühn on the controversial relationship between NATO and Germany.

From Germany to Italy: The U.S. State Department has approved a longstanding request from Italy to arm its two MQ-9 Reaper drones with Hellfire missiles, laser-guided bombs and other munitions. It is with noticing that Italy would be only the second country to be approved to buy armed drones after Britain, which has been using them since 2007
Additional details here

We have read a lot of criticism towards the Obama’s foreign policy in recent weeks. Here you’ll find a different (and more optimistic) point of view.

And here you find a (rare) positive analysis of the EU (and its the accomplishments). According to Dan Drezner: the European Union is known for two signal accomplishments: ending any chance of another Franco-German war, and bringing Eastern Europe in from the cold […] The successful integration of Eastern Europe was a political and security necessity for the European Union after 1989. And anyone who tells you differently does not understand why the European Union is important.

Finally,  much more controversial issue: craft brewers, pale ale and IPAs.

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La riforma dell’Intelligence in Italia: alcune riflessioni.

Guest post di Alfonso Montagnese*

Quale percorso di trasformazione ha compiuto l’intelligence italiana a seguito della riforma introdotta dalla L. 124/2007? In che misura la riforma è stata implementata e quali sono le principali novità in campo organizzativo e funzionale rispetto al modello precedente? Ho provato a dare una risposta a queste ed altre domande in un breve saggio, dal titolo “La modernizzazione dell’intelligence italiana a seguito della riforma”, pubblicato sulla Rassegna dell’Arma dei Carabinieri. L’articolo trae spunto da un documento più articolato, presentato in occasione del Convegno organizzato dalla Società Italiana di Scienza Politica (SISP), tenutosi a Perugia dall’11 al 13 settembre 2014 e per il quale Venus (nella persona di Francesco N. Moro) ha svolto il compito di discussant.

Rispetto al modello organizzativo disegnato dalla legge 801/77, l’intelligence nazionale ha percorso un rapido e profondo processo di cambiamento, che, a distanza di circa sette anni dall’entrata in vigore della legge di riforma, appare in fase conclusiva.

La legge 124/07 rafforza, in modo molto equilibrato, i principali attori istituzionali coinvolti, sia sul piano decisionale sia su quello operativo, negli affari di intelligence e di sicurezza nazionale. La rinvigorita dotazione di poteri, capacità e strumenti ha interessato in primo luogo l’Esecutivo, che – con la forte centralizzazione della linea di comando – trova nella figura del Presidente del Consiglio il vertice assoluto dell’infrastruttura istituzionale deputata alla sicurezza nazionale.

Alla definizione del processo decisionale di vertice contribuiscono attivamente anche i Ministri maggiormente coinvolti nella tutela degli interessi strategici del Paese. Il massimo momento di sintesi e di integrazione è costituito dal CISR, organismo interministeriale che, con la sua ‘attivazione permanente’ a seguito dell’istituzione del CISR ‘tecnico’, si è configurato quale vero e proprio Consiglio per la sicurezza nazionale, elevando conseguentemente la qualità della pianificazione in materia di intelligence e la capacità prospettica delle autorità di Governo.

Il Presidente del Consiglio è stato affiancato da due nuovi organi: l’Autorità Delegata e il DIS. La loro funzione primaria è quella di porre rimedio al lamentato distacco tra i poteri di direzione politico-strategica, la responsabilità amministrativa e la conduzione quotidiana della materia relativa alla politica di informazione per la sicurezza. Entrambi gli attori svolgono una funzione di raccordo: il primo essenzialmente tra gli apparati di intelligence ed il Premier; il secondo opera come centro di coordinamento info-operativo tra le Agenzie, diventando l’anello di congiunzione tra il livello politico-strategico e quello operativo.

Al significativo potenziamento del potere Esecutivo è seguito un bilanciato irrobustimento dei meccanismi di controllo parlamentare. Il COPASIR è stato dotato di poteri particolarmente incisivi, che consentono un’efficace attività di vigilanza e controllo sull’operato dell’intelligence nazionale.

Anche sul piano operativo si registra un potenziamento delle strutture dedicate all’attività di intelligence. Le missioni istituzionali delle Agenzie sono oggi caratterizzate da un’area perimetrale molto vasta, sensibilmente ampliata rispetto a quella dei Servizi preesistenti. I nuovi, e più numerosi, interessi posti ‘sotto la tutela’ delle Agenzie hanno richiesto (e continueranno a farlo con più vigore in futuro) competenze adeguate e altamente specializzate, soprattutto in campi ‘lontani’, fino a meno di un decennio fa, dalle capacità tradizionalmente in possesso dell’intelligence.

L’intelligence nazionale ha compiuto, inoltre, un passo decisivo sul piano della trasparenza, dotandosi di un potente e sofisticato arsenale comunicativo, indirizzato a mitigare la diffidenza che i cittadini e l’opinione pubblica nutrono storicamente nei confronti degli organismi di informazione. In netta ed evidente rottura con il passato, i Servizi hanno iniziato a comunicare con l’esterno, con i limiti e le difficoltà intrinseche alla natura ed ai compiti stessi di tali particolari amministrazioni pubbliche.

Nel suo complesso, oggi, l’intelligence italiana si presenta molto ben strutturata e con una fisionomia aderente alle specificità del Paese, della fase storica contemporanea e dell’attuale quadro geo-strategico.

* Alfonso Montagnese è Maggiore dell’Arma dei Carabinieri e presta servizio presso il NATO Stability Policing Centre of Excellence di Vicenza. Collabora con l’Istituto Italiano di Studi Strategici “N. Machiavelli” ed è stato Direttore di Ricerca presso il Ce.Mi.S.S. dello Stato Maggiore della Difesa nel 2010 e nel 2012.

 

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