Berlusconi declares "state d' ergenza " and the troops hit the streets throughout Italy - Italy commits subs to US / NATO " fight against terror "
Italy is a country riddled with corruption. Politicians, nationally and locally - global mafias headquartered in the South.
The criminal gangster Berlusconi, is back in power again, fighting off the lingering charges which also involve the husband of the longest serving labour Cabinet Minister after Gordon Brown.
Berlusconi has established an anti crime wave and pushed and rushed legislation through parliament last month aimed at stemming illegal immigration - typically he also declared a state of emergency that gave police and local authorities added powers to tackle immigration-related problems.
The square still shine, the sub sparkles in the afternoon on the fountains of Rom but at 0700 hours Agust 3rd 3000 troops were deployed alongside Police units throughout Italy's major cities - Palermo, Florence, Naples and Turin.
1,000 troops are stationed in Rome even patrolling outside The British Embassy - including 35 glamorous ladies and Italy's fabled crack paratrooper squad the Folgore.
The troops are not inthe sunshine but at railway and Metro stations, metro stops, near immigration detention centres.
The troops can only stop, search and question suspects the police have the powers of arrest. Soldiers were also stationed in other cities, such as Milan, where they patrolled outside the Duomo and also in Palermo, Florence, Naples and Turin.
Interior minister Roberto Maroni and his defence colleague Ignazio La Russo have both insisted the measure will help cut down crime, which has risen sharply in recent months.
The plans are for an initial 6 month deployment , with a further 6 months - and a budget of some 40 Mn Euros has been allocated.
This of course is not a new initiave a crime wave in Naples in 1997 was handled inthe same way but in a local fashion - Sicily also saw them after a Mafia bomb campaign in 1993-4.
Of course they bring back memories of the "years of lead" (anni di piombo ) in the mid 1970s, when the Red Brigades carried out a series of spectacular kidnappings including the murder of Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro.
It also brings memories of the NATO / CIA Gladio operations styarting with the starting with the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing by neofascists in Milan on 12 December 1969, killed 16 and injured 90.
This was balamed on the left wing - a loose journalistic classification for anarchists, communist and deniers of state authority - it was eventually owned up to by The neofascist Vincenzo Vinciguerra was finally arrested in the 1980s for the bombing, and confessed that this was a false flag attack attack had been intended to force the Italian state to declare a "state d' ergenza " Prime Minister Mariano Rumor did not rise to the bait and Vinciguerra explained how the Italaian SISMI military intelligence agency had protected him, allowing him to escape to Spain.. Neo-fascist terrorists from Ordine Nuovo were accused of the crime, along with a US naval officer David Carret, connected to the CIA and involved in political espionage.
Fo those who want to follow up the history of Gladio and the war of tension andthe role of the CIA the study Secret Warfare : Operation Gladio and NATO's Stay-Behind Armies also the Italian Parliamentary investigation (in Italian) Il terrorismo, le stragi ed il contesto storico-politico1995 .
This report with the authority of the Italian Government details terrorist activities in Italy during what they then called the Cold War - Right-wing terrorist acts are exposed as the result of the activities of the Italian secret army Gladio. By operating outside the law and by not being subject to parliamentary control, Gladio undermined the functioning of the democratic system. In order to avoid such situations in future, the parliamentary commission requests reforms, including a reform of the state secrecy laws, the storage of administrative documents, and the intelligence services. (See Guradian report on this report)
Mariano Rumor would not introduce a "state d' ergenza " and as a result was bombed but he wasn't injured.
Berlusconi has introduced (without a whimper) a state of emergency and no doubt people like Dipartimento Studi Strategici Antiterrorismo, (DSSA) will be happy.
Italy works with NATO and the US on anti terrorism warfare in the Med.
Meanwhile the Italian Navy have ordered at a cost of 900 Mn Euros 2 new submarines from Fincantieri for building at their Muggiano shipyard in collaboration with the Germans - ( Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG (HDW) called the “Todaro”, long type U212A which will be 56 meters long. Delivery is expected in 2015 and 2016.(See video reviewing facilities of this submarine here) The Todaro was delivered March 29, 2006.It is not known if these will include tube-launched cruise missiles - which is planned eventually for this class and may explain the extra length.
The Type 212 submarine, is said to be silent as it does not require to surface to re-charge batteries daily. The Todaro uses a hydrogen fuel cell that will allow it to run at low speeds for up to THREE WEEKS without recharging.
Three Dolphin class submarines built for the Israeli Navy are of a similar design, but using conventional diesel-electric propulsion.
The prototype of this fuel cell air-independent propulsion system.(AIP) equipped submarine diesel / electrically powered Taranto based , ITS Salvator Todaro (S526) was the first visit of an Italian submarine to the U.S. since World War II. Todaro's port visit with their crew of 27 was in support of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group joint task force exercise (JTFEX) and demonstrates the U.S. and Italian Navy's continued commitment to building a strong working relationship.
JTFEX is designed to test and evaluate a battle group's reactions to multiple wartime scenarios and is the final certification for a battle group preparing to deploy. (See also Mayport visit)
The Italian Navy since 2001 ensures a permanent NATO availability of an Italian unit in Mediterranean for the 'Active Endeavour's plans, to carry out naval operations of presence and control, support to the crisis' situations management and assistance in case of disasters. This was established after 9/11 and the Todaro acts under the operational control of Comsubsouth and is " deployed with surveillance and fight to the international terrorism purposes" in the Nediterranean.
Todaro represents the Italian contribution to NATO in the fight to international terrorism by sea. This type of submarine has useful caracteristics for such work as the Type 212 is capable of operating in as little as 20 metres of water, allowing it to come much closer to shore than most contemporary submarines. This gives it an advantage in covert operations, as SCUBA-equipped commandos operating from the boat can surface close to the beach and execute their mission more quickly and with less effort.
A notable design feature is the prismatic hull cross-section and smoothly faired transitions from the hull to the sail, improving the boat's stealth characteristics. The ship and internal fixtures are constructed of nonmagnetic materials, reducing significantly chances of it being detected by magnetometers or setting off magnetic naval mines.
Meanwhile it was announced at the end of May that the Todaro submarine will carry out an intense training program with American Navy to test the silence of the sub in which they are showing intense interest and has operating characteristics (silence)unmatched by any other NATO sub (other than the German Navy U212's).
Il Todaro, sommergibile della classe U 212, effettuerà un intenso programma addestrativo con la Marina statunitense per affinare le procedure operative nel settore subacqueo, svolgere una serie di prove per verificare le prestazioni dei sistemi e delle apparecchiature in diversi condizioni ambientali, infine interagire con gruppi navali complessi nei diversi scenari operativi.
At the end of the exercise they will end up in New York celebrating Columbus Day in October... probably also to swap memories of a NATO exercise in the 1970s when the (really small) legendary Italian diesel SSK Toti targeting a USN CV and surfacing less than a thousand yards smack dab in the middle of the CVBG (Carrier vessel Support goup) . All the American Admiral in charge could say is that they were "playing along". Then the incident was hushed up.
Which happened again recently when a lone South African submarine S101 -- or the SAS Manthatisi (german buuilt type 209-1400 commissioned in November 2005) left some Nato commanders with red faces as it "sank" all the ships of the Nato Maritime Group engaged in exercises with the South African Navy off the Cape coast.
It is also said that Norwegian Ula class SSKs have on several occations taken out entire Task Groups on exercises. During the NATO exercise Joint Winter in 2004, (pics here) one sub sank the entire invasion fleet and were ordered to leave the exercise for 72 hours.