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Giano 35: Dossier NATO 2.


This issue – and especially the "NATO 2" file which is its main feature – should be read together with issue n. 34 and the NATO file contained in it, as this is in fact, in several aspects, its sequel. The first part of Salvatore Minolfi’s essay on geopolitics and the Alliance’s strategy was published in n. 34; the present issue‘s Round table on NATO’s influence on Italian politics(with such qualified participants as Falco Accame, Giuseppe De Lutiis, Luigi Ferrajoli, specifically dealing with the "strategy of tension") was preceded in n. 34 by Luigi Cortesi’s remarks on Italy and NATO; Pasquale Vilardo‘s paperfollows publication of the indictment filed against the italian government and an initial round of comments on the subject by Vilardo himself and other jurists.

More importantly, this issue follows from the preceding one in the inspiration and formulation of our journal’s policy and research.
The culture of Italy‘s and Europe‘s parliamentary Left was another casualty of the war against Yugoslavia, which highlighted its collusion, its propensily to compromise and its masochism; so much so that dissension and divisions generated by the war are here to stay and should influence future political developments. As we live and work in Italy, we are affected by the literally revolting exhibition performed by the Centre–left parties and by the government representing them, which we fear will have deleterious effects on young people looking for a positive approach to politics. This should be stated in the most straightforward and direct way.
That exhibition, however, also highlighted the inadequacy of the Left, the aggregate of those striving for radical change in social structure and for the substitution of the free play of civil conflict for the existing system of domination, which is all for conflict, and encourages it when it takes place abroad, while social peace at home as a prerequisite for going into battle against aliens is secured by the likes of D‘Alema and Berlusconi, Fini and D‘Antoni, as well as their respective media cohorts. An inadequacy which means the Left’s analysis is unable to go beyond the war and tackle the whole system, to view italian politics not as a cloistered development but in the context of the international situation, considering the system‘s continuum, its depth, its long–term features.
One could not wish for a more appropriate subject matter than NATO at the time of its 50th anniversary and the new Strategic Concept, when the Alliance’s apparent omnipotence and pretext–ridden aggressiveness feed dreams of global domination. In reconsidering such subjects "Giano" had to delve deep into the history of the internationalist and anti–imperialist Left, of the struggle for peace; it also had to learn something from others, from research areas long–neglected by Marxism and the Left, so as to sharpen the tools employed in our critique and discard some doctrinaire formalism and other relics of the past.
In the last two issues there was not much room left for other subjects; we have managed, however, fo publish something worth noting, such as the essay by Vittorio Sartogo on The Myth of sustainable development, a reassessment of topics we would like to tackle again in forthcoming issues. (Ed.)

Isidoro Davide Mortellaro     A pointless war and the "indispensable nation"
Salvatore Minolfi     After the "Cold War". Geopolitics and NATO strategy (II)
Achille Lodovisi     The expansion of NATO and the arms trade in Eastern Europe
Angelo Baracca     "National Missile Defence": boosted nuclear re–armament
NATO and the rest of the world
Giulietto Chiesa     Russia’s vae victis and Europe’s policy
Enrica Collotti Pischel     China–NATO–USA
Pier Giovanni Donini     Rogue States: a threat to the West?
Round Table     NATO influence on Italian domestic policy
Rome, 7th September 2000. (participants: Falco Accame, Giuseppe De Lutiis, Luigi Ferrajoli, Luigi Cortesi)
Pasquale Vilardo     Deadlock over the indictment of Italy’s NATO govern–ment and how to overcome it
Vittorio Sartogo     The myth of sustainable growth
Husein Khaled     Israel–Palestine: "peace process" and mass pacifism
Domenico Di Fiore     Glaucon, justice and geopolitics
Diego Lazzarich     Internet and a voice from the underground

Isidoro Mortellaro, A pointless war and the "indispensable nation"

The article examines Italy’s attitude to the recent NATO war and criticises both the presumption of the government and the lack of initiative of the Left. Italy stands completely in line with the West in its recognition of US leadership, a fact that has been eloquently reflected in the increase in American military spending as well as that of NATO. In one decade the Alliance has increased its spending from 43% to 54% of the entire planet. Within NATO, however, and between the USA and Europe, the war served to reveal a marked "development gap" at a technological–military level. It further aggravated the political inequality that separates the two sides of the Atlantic, while underlining the fact that the countries of the constituent nucleus of the Alliance all share a common strategy: to re–write the rules of the world from one central point, within the perspective of a globalised market economy protected by a "star wars shield" that the USA has never really given up on.

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Salvatore Minolfi, After the "Cold War". Geopolitics and NATO strategy

The author analyses the changes in structure and strategy that the Atlantic Alliance has undergone in the last decade. These changes are a consequence of the huge transformation of the strategic panorama after the Cold War and the re–unification of Germany. One particular point for consideration is the process of "double enlargement", the increase in operational missions and the extension of the area covered by the Treaty. The author believes that the roots of this process were set prior to the events of 1989 and that in the 1980’s the USA had already begun to forecast and re–formulate the question of international hegemony in the context of a post–bipolar and post–nuclear world. The fall of the USSR sharpened the USA’s geopolitical awareness of the two important areas located at the western and eastern extremities of Eurasia and pushed American policy towards unilateralism and interventionism.
This essay is based on a deep knowledge of the international literature on the subject and on the analysis of important strategic NATO documents. It is published in two parts ("Giano", issues 34 and 35) as the forerunner of a more detailed study on a "Global NATO".

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Achille Lodovisi, The expansion of NATO and the arms trade in Eastern Europe

In recent years forecasts of NATO expansion towards the east have provoked a series of economic hypotheses that have gradually proved to be unfounded and broadly deceptive. The weapons industry and the technological advances required by the new members of the Atlantic alliances have come up against a series of different, and to a certain degree foreseeable, problems. These difficulties are due primarily to the changes in military doctrine within NATO, and the uncertainties and problems in co–ordinating US economy and politics with those of the West as a whole. However, the underlying problems arise from a lack of awareness of the nature and history of central–eastern European countries, over which there has descended the typically capitalistic, industrial and commercial lust of the major Western producers. The author’s thesis is backed up by a detailed statistical analysis. He concludes that an eastern NATO will remain a sort of geopolitical garrison where the "host" countries and their opinions will play a very small role.

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Angelo Baracca, "National Missile Defence": boosted nuclear re–armament

The new US proposals for an anti–missile defence system – simply a downgraded version of the "star wars" program – is one more facet of its arrogant and senseless hegemonic "blanket" strategy and is destined to spark off a new nuclear arms race. This madness continues undisturbed because no one has the courage or the strength to oppose American plans. Putin’s suggestion that the European States should together develop an alternative anti–missile system capable of destroying missiles in their boost phase, i.e. on the attacker’s territory, remains quite fanciful. It does, however represent a challenge to Europe to gather its courage and adopt a clear stance that reflects the isolated grumblings of individual nations.

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Giulietto Chiesa, Russia’s vae victis and Europe’s policy

The meeting held in May 1999 at Vilnius, where nine countries from Eastern and Central Europe requested admission to NATO, was enthusiastically greeted in the Usa, where present–day geo–strategic imperatives are seen to materialize beyond reasonable expectations. There is, however, something obviously incongruous in the Alliance’s Eastward extension at a time when there is no Russian threat and not even a hint of nuclear parity. The Soviet Union’s military might has collapsed, and in Russia existing strategic weapons are not even regulanly maintained. The US government’s real aims are revealed by their Western European allies total subjection and statements by strategists and anaiysts, Z. Brzezinski among them, advocating US domination over a shattered Eurasia. Both the doctrine of Rogue States and the anti–missile defence initiative (which would nullify the 1972 Abm Treaty) are, finally, mere pretexts, as well as extremely dangerous moves, which have raised objections and uneasiness even among the most loyal of European partners.

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Enrica Collotti Pischel, China–NATO–USA

The author looks at the dual question of relations between NATO and China and between the USA and China, with a special focus on American strategic concepts. Beijing saw the NATO war against Yugoslavia as a dress rehearsal for an attack on China. Such a perception may seem exaggerated, but it has deep roots entrenched both in the period of imperialist expeditions and in the multi–ethnic character of the Chinese State – a character which is particularly relevant in the case of Mongolia and that of Tibet. The international campaign against the "repression" in Tibet and for its independence has alarmed leaders in Beijing. This contributed to their interpretation of a war against a sovereign state and the bombing of their Embassy in Belgrade as the continuation and escalation of the anti–Chinese policy that the USA has been carrying out since 1949. On this point the European States differ, at least in part, from the Americans. Their approach is less hostile and, if only it were to become more clearly defined, could have a braking influence on the USA.

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NATO influence on Italian domestic policy
A Round Table organised by "Giano" – Rome, 7th September 2000.

Participants: Falco Accame, military background, ex–Parliamentary Deputy and President of the Defence Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, war strategy expert; Giuseppe De Lutiis, politologist, expert on secret service activity in Italy; Luigi Ferrajoli, jurist and international law expert. Co–ordinator: Luigi Cortesi, historian and director of "Giano".
The co–ordinator’s introduction was followed by a broad discussion concerning Italy’s involvement in NATO from 1949 to the present day within the overall historical framework of the Alliance. Emphasis was placed on the imbalances between member nations; the undermining of the Italian democracy; the reasons behind the "strategy of tension" employed in the sixties and seventies and the brutal attacks that marked the period; NATO’s new characteristics and dimensions in the nineties; the possibility of achieving Italian neutrality as an objective of a new peace and internationalist movement; the responsibility of the Italian Communist Party in its acceptance of NATO.

Pier Giovanni Donini, Rogue States: a threat to the West?

The new category of ’Rogue States’, introduced in the last few years by US political scientists and Government officials, is viewed by the author as a specious effort at generating hostility in international public opinion against such countries as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya and the Sudan, whose pursuit of perceived national aims is at odds with US regional or global interests

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Pasquale Vilardo, Deadlock over the indictment of Italy’s NATO government and how to overcome it

The author deals with the indictment of the Italian government by pacifists on account of its participation in NATO’s war against Yugoslavia, and its annulment by the Ministerial Count. This annulment should be considered void, as il was not notified to those who preferred charges. This is in general a question of overcoming the Right’s bogus defence of due process, and the Centre–Left’s spirit of compromise, and on this specific issue of striving for the annulment’s reversal . This could lead to a regular trial of Mr. Massimo D’Alema and other political figures accountable for Italy’s partieipation in ’illegal war".

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Vittorio Sartogo, The myth of sustainable growth

The relentless assaults on the equilibrium of our planet are a warning of the risk of a final catastrophe. Meanwhile increased public awareness of the environment and ecology has brought no effective or lasting improvements in the means of production or consumption habits, which as they are built upon market concerns and the race for maximum profit, waste and spoil both natural and human resources.
The concept of sustainable growth has come to mean its actual opposite; it now stands for development based on innovation and competition based on technological efficiency, rather than the re–writing of relations between living creatures, human and not. The whole idea of seeking out solutions to the urgent problems faced by humanity through a reform of social organisation, seems to have been left by the wayside.
The author concludes with some observations on the recent protests against the WTO in Seattle, and stresses the new aspects of this reaction and its importance. The episode illustrates the urgent need for more adequate cultural and political reflection than there is at present in environmental groups and the political Left.

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Domenico Di Fiore, Glaucon, justice and geopolitics

In discussing some points recently raised by P.P. Portinaro, the author remarks that, in the history of political thought, the so–called "realistic" approach to social reality exists in at least two variants, which may be characterised as radieal and moderate and are embodied in Plato’s Republic by Thrasymachus and Glaucon respectively. The coming of the capitalist mode of production ratified the final victory of the second approach, based as it is on the same category profit as bourgeois society’s new science, eeonomics. Realism’s moderate variant is therefore according to Di Fiore part of modernity’s political project and functional to maintenance of a stabilised order. Apart from neo–utilitarianism, further aspects of this theoretico–practical nucleus are neo–contractualism and more or less correlated theories of rights.

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Diego Lazzarich, Internet and a voice from the underground

This piece hopes to spark off some debate among "Giano" contributors. It puts forward the idea that the Web is a new, unprecedented area of expression for alternative social forces. It offers new opportunities for involvement and political battle, as has been demonstrated, from Seattle onwards, by the protests organised to disrupt all the major gatherings of developed nations and their economic and financial bodies.

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Husein Khaled, Israel–Palestine: "peace process" and mass pacifism

The Israeli–Palestinian summit at Camp David, conditioned as it was by president Clinton’s requests and by the fact that neither Barak nor Arafat enjoyed a full political mandate, had scant chanches of success. An undeniable achievement is, on the other hand, Israel’s withdrawal from South Lebanon, which retums the Palestine issue to its real nature as a conflict between the Arab nation and the Zionist State. The "peace process" in the region is chronicled by the author starting with the Madrid conference in 1991, which highlighted Israel’s reluctance to reach a conclusive agreement and was followed by growing hostility to recognition of a Palestinian State. No solution has been reached on the main issues: borders, the status of Jerusalem, sovereignty over the land and its resources, the future of refugees. The only way out of the deadlock in summit negotiations is, in the author’s view, "the successful growth of two great peace movements" manifesting the will of popular majorities in both Israel and Palestine.

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