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There are no foreign military excursions in the national interest

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Commentary. Italian diplomacy is based on pendulum-like swings, and our missions abroad buy us credit with one presumptive ally or another. But there’s little basis to believe this works, given what happened with Libya.

written by Alberto Negri

Topic Italy

July 4, 2020

True ‘national interest’ doesn’t go on missions abroad. The debate on military missions abroad that took place on Friday before the Foreign and Defense Commissions should serve as a serious reflection on our country’s strategic vision. In concrete terms, there is talk of increasing military costs, which in 2019 already reached €1.5 billion—a sum that we would perhaps do better to invest in healthcare or schools in the era of COVID-19.

All the more so because now we are even arming Egypt, as Chiara Cruciati wrote yesterday in il manifesto, and we are supporting one of the most brutal regimes in the region without getting even an inkling of justice for Giulio Regeni in return. It is a shameful failure, and we should not pile even more on top of it.

If we were to look at the recent past, after what happened with Libya in 2011, Italy should have withdrawn from any mission abroad in protest. Except for UNIFIL, the UN operation to monitor the ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel, which back in 2006 was one of the (not so many) successes of our diplomacy (under Foreign Minister D’Alema).

In 2011, the French, British and American initiative to strike against Gaddhafi represented Italy’s biggest defeat since World War II. Not........

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