Tag Archives: navy

How much the stubbornness of Monti’s government to fund the F-35 factories damaged Italy and Eurozone?

5 Lug

In 2001, F-35 JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) Program started by a ‘successful’ Lockheed X-35 project for a initial expected cost of 40 million dollars and a production of  3,000 jets for USAF / U.S. Navy / USMC and another 2,000 for some partners (source http://www.aereimilitari.org).

Italy was involved as a “second level partner”, setting up a line of construction and assembly, which would release much of the F-35 destined for Europe and other countries, such as Turkey and Israel, including only twenty F35 for Italian Navy.

cameri2A rich business for our industries and – on 28th May 2007, at the Defense Ministry in Rome – the Secretary of Defense, Lorenzo Forcieri, met the President of the Province of Novara, Sergio Vedovato, to determine the ‘settlement of the assembly line of the F35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft at the little military airport of Cameri (Piemonte Region).
A small-town dream cherished for decades, assuming anyone wish spent money and time in Piemonte to turn a short trackat time closed by fog for several months a yearin the largest airport in Europe thanks to the construction of the largest NATO base for military aircrafts.

And that Prodi government was in hands of a lot of members of parliament and secretaries of State by Piemonte as Cesare Damiano, Livia Turco, Fausto Bertinotti and Paolo Ferrero – all coming by the Confederazione Generale del Lavoro (the former communist Trade Union) – and there was really no wonder that the project went to the Novara, where some millions euros of public money was ‘invested’ to create from nothing an industrial district while – elsewhere – many industrial districts were being dismantled on relevant costs: the same Romano Prodi dismatled the public industry in South Italy, as president of I.R.I., ten years before, and he came in Primaries claiming this success.

A lot of money and work that has to benefit just the Novara province and some nearby, where were in crisis the car and textile industries, the former communist trade unions and an expensive welfare system. Not surprisingly, Luisa Maria Crespi, the mayor of Cameri, said “thanks to the initiative of the Province, from today we will be able to respond to our citizens’,  as confirmed by the mayor Bellinzago, Mariella Bovio,’there are important employment guarantees for an area like ours who lives a severe crisis’.

The first doubts on plane and investments became apparent in 2009, when the average per aircraft costs were sketched  to 62 and then over the 100 million dollars.
As reported by Stato-Oggi, “Defence Secretary Ignazio La Russa, at the Farnborough Air Show, referring to the program , added: “We are very cautious, we are checking.”


Utmost caution, if at the beginning of 2011, the Washington Post announced the need to recapitalize by 20% ($ 10 billion) and experimental design, half of which became necessary to lighten the plane, because flying at full load affects the key performance of the aircraft.
Or when (Jan 08, 2011 – remember this) Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced a series of efficiencies decisions designed to save the Department of Defense more than $150 billion over the next five years primarily by reducing overhead costs, improving business practices and culling excess or troubled programs, like the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter placed on the equivalent of a two-year probation because of significant testing problems.

So the contracts for F35 were gradually withdrawn by partners and Italy – where they were tobe built – missed a big deal: 85 F-35A for the Dutch Koninklijke Luchtmacht,some dozens for Danish Flyvevåbnet and Norwegian Kongelige Norske Luftforsvaret, then the good-bye to 116 F-35A for the Türk Hava Kuvvetleri and 150 F35B for the British Royal Air Force which preferred modify ‘her’ aircraft carriers and buy catapult-launched F-35C .
Meanwhile, the Berlusconi government did not give the consent for sixty F35 – provided over the first tranche of 22 F-35B for the Italian Naval Aviation, already ordered – and cut off an order of  2 billions euros for 25 Eurofighter (Aeritalia / Finmeccanica).

Soon after, for other trends, the spread of Italian bonds dramatically rose, the blame was charged to the government and soon after Mario Monti placed on Italian national budget dozens and dozens billions euros of expenses for 2012 and next years to to commission 131 jets to Novara F-35 industries (Dec 06, 2011 – remember this), while Italian debt exploded, a large part of welfare was cut or delayed and taxes went nearby 50%.

F35 sprechi

Not minus of half million of senior workers were dismissed after 30 or more years of regular work without any annuity or social help, disability rights went to enjoyment only after the insurance had recognized them and not when they were initiated, a lot of ​​graduates at work in the call centers for $ 800 a month, a Nation in recession losing 10-15% of GDP, millions of young  families unemployed, companies in the knee, failed or fled abroad. Suicides, people self burnings for protest, millions in line for food and help by charity centers.
These were the numbers for 2012 in Italy.

Just two months after (Feb 02, 2012) the Defense Secretary – Admiral Di Paola – wisely announced the cut of the F-35, reduced from 131 to 90 jets, and April 6  the government led by Mario Monti decreed the reform of Defence confirmed that the cutting of the F35 Joint Strike Fighter, with a reduction in expenses of 5 billions euro for 2014.
Of course, this economy was not destined to unlock pensions or protect the disabled and restart the occupation, was not destined to poor families, were not reduced taxes and businesses continued to close, military expenses were reduced for 33 mld.
Recession went nastier, but Italy began proudly a program to become the second-third largest industrial power for stealth attack fighter – as it relates to the NATO  – and one of the first five countries in the world for the ability to “first air strike “… while Italian  Constitution ‘rejects war as an instrument of aggression’.

So, Mario Monti continued in 2012 to spend the few public money available for the production of first strike stealth fighters, in USA the test on the jets gone really bad.
Lately, in February 2013, the Pentagon’s chief testing office based at the U.S. military’s Eglin Air Force Base in Florida reported that radars that don’t work, blurry vision from the aircraft’s sophisticated helmet, inability to fly through clouds during the tests done from September to November 2012 .
The National Post cleared that “the testing was extremely basic and “did not cover . . . in essence, everything that makes the F-35A a modern, advanced fighter,” reads the report, obtained by the Washington-based watchdog group Project on Government Oversight. Aircraft operating limitations prohibit flying the aircraft at night or in instrument meteorological conditions. The aircraft is also currently prohibited from flying close formation, aerobatics and stalls. The report also notes that the F-35A, which is the version the Harper government had intended to buy, “does not yet have the capability to train in . . . any actual combat capability, because it is still early in system development.”


Does anyone believe that the Italian government and Italian developers were not fully informed – in real time – during 2012 of a long series of negative tests?

If in October 1, 2013 Defense One announced a “recent report from the Pentagon’s internal watchdog reveals that the next gen fighter jet is plagued with hundreds of issues. The Defense Department’s Inspector General conducted a series of quality assurance assessments that found the Joint Program Office and Defense Contract Management Agency performed “inadequate oversight,” failing to adhere to widely adopted quality management protocols while losing control of contractors that have already sunk an estimated $400 billion taxpayer dollars into what is the most expensive weapons system ever developed by the U.S. government”, why Mario Monti’s government took no account of this in drawing up the law of the National Account law and Spending Review for the 2013 and 2014, easing taxes and allocating resources for senior workers and employment for young people or for help to families?

As known, the last days news announced a jet that caught fire during takeoff and lost pieces from the base of Eglin, Fla. and the Pentagon has grounded all F-35, definitively confirming the many doubts and cautions on the program, and we can imagine the panic in Novara and in Piemonte.

And – speaking of Italy, for the F-35 – there is also another thing to know.

In Spring 2012, Italy planned to buy up to 90 F-35, about 60 of the A model -take off from the ground – and 30 of the B model – vertical takeoff – for the aircraft carrier Cavour because, since the WWII ArmisticeTreaty, is not allowed to haveaircraft carriers with catapult systems. In fact, the C model – catapult takeoff – will made just in USA.

The question is ‘WHY’ was the Mario Monti’s government  spending mountains as blocking valuable resources for 30 vertical take-off F-35B, while this variant, until last year, was not there, prototypes were not working, as Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates placed in probation for two years the troubled project of a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter because of significant testing problems, Great Britain changes ‘her’ takeoff systems on carriers.
The first successful take off test was conducted only on May 10, 2013 to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

So, the Mario Monti’s government has spent billions of Euro, catched with  unsustainable taxes, while cutting the present and the future of so many people for a weak jet (F35A) that currently does not exist and another (F35B) that practically there never was. A case that is more reminiscent of the financial accounts of the Soviet Union than any lobbystic or helpful welfare approach to a financial crisis.

Image2 I do not believe such a misdeed or a ‘cospiration’, as it means in Italy.  Just personal stubbornness and another one collateral damage by a “democratic former communist” trade union and his heavy lobby in leftist parties, not forgetting that colonization-like Italian unification acted by a financially burned Piemonte and Vatican, between 1860-1918.

I just hope that – after a so big flop – just anyone will start to not consider Mario Monti a reliable reference for Italian state of art, leading a long memory of Italian F35 story and of the many mistakes made in the management of a not only financial crisis of the former sixt GDP of the world actually impoverished to ten-twelwest position by stalling and recessive government action in 2012.

Mistakes like to fund for billions an inexistent jet in Piemonte – stronghold of former communist trade unions – while those billions were essential to not block the turn over and cut the welfare state for an entire nation during a hard crisis and leave to industry/commerce those really precious resources needed to avoid the recession that still plagues Italy, brought down the GDP and – consequently – afflicts the Eurozone and the European inner relationships.

And, please, … wish anyone note the failure of the Klein-Monti model when applied in a real system?

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Fake evidences against Syria?

7 Set

The anti -Assad propaganda uses big names, powerful televisions , accredited journalists. And when the credited newspapers are popular not even need the sensationalism so demonized by the readers and/or if  propaganda news are fed on sensationalism, it does not matter. The average man filters it and recognizes it as ‘reliable information’.

That ‘s what happened to the BBC , British television followed all over the world. (Source Coscienzeinrete)

In fact , the BBC – became by months in a sort of anti -Assad propaganda tool – published ashock-photo, presenting it as taken in the Syrian city of Hula and sent by some activists in Syria to witness the massacres implemented by Assad’s forces.

But it is a fake, as the author, a freelance photographer, reported on Facebook by over one year.
“It ‘s an Italian and his name is Marco Di Lauro . When he took the photo was March 27, 2003 in Al Musayyib , an Iraqi city 40 km south of Baghdad. ” (source ECPlanet )

marco di lauro carnage irak fake syria BBC

Marco Di Lauro Photographer – Reportage by Getty Images

‘Somebody is using illegaly one of my images for anti syrian propaganda on the BBC web site front page.
Today – Sunday May 27 at 0700 am London time – the attached image which I took in Al Mussayyib in Iraq on March 27, 2003 was front page on BBC web site illustrating the massacre that happen in Houla, a Syrian town, and the caption and the web site was stating that the images was showing the bodies of all the people that have been killed in the massacre and that the image was received by the BBC by an unknown activist. Somebody is using my images as a propaganda against the Syrian government to prove the massacre.’

This is the post on 27 May 2012 (link) where it is also stated that the report by Marco Di Lauro was ‘by Getty Images’, one of the largest photo agencies in the world.

How the BBC has been able to sink in the mud of war propaganda is really a mystery.

Houla carnage irak fake syria BBC

“Houla carnage” news showed by BBC

On the other side, we hope that – today better than tomorrow – Mr. Obama and Mr. Cameron will notice that Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the person of Emma Bonino, and the Holy See seem to have different and a lot more accurate informations on Syrian ‘state of art’ than those bandied by United States or United Kingdom.

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The Obama’s Syrian War. What do we need to know?

26 Ago

The United States and the United Kingdom are ‘ready to attack within ten days’, but Moscow warns on a ‘new Iraqi adventure’ and that “the consequences would be very serious”.” Assad, the Syrian president, promises: “They expect failure.” According to the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, the decision will be taken “within 48 hours” after the  yesterday’s lengthy consultation meeting between Barack Obama and David Cameron.
The White House denies, but the French president, Hollande, indirectly confirms ‘it will be decided within the next week’  and the BBC reported that the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, believes that a response to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime would be possible without the unanimous support of the Security Council of the United Nations.
Meanwhile, the UN inspectors are looking for traces of nerve gas used against the insurgents in the oasis of Ghouta in Syria, while tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds and Palestinian refugees are joining those who seek to leave the country by all means.

The locations of military forces in the area is high and the risk of escalation is substantial.

HMS Illustriuos – photo by maritimequest.com

The Royal Navy provides a massive naval presence including a nuclear-powered submarine, the aircraft carrier HMS Illustriuos, the helicopter carrier HMS Bulwark and at least 4 frigates, as well as air cover is guaranteed by the RAF base at Akrotiri in Cyprus.

In addition to the presence of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean and the rapid intervention force deployed in Sicily and some squadrons in the  Incirilik air base in Izmir -Turkey, to which we could add the F-16 fighters deployed in Jordan, the U.S. has placed near Syrian coasts at least four of Arleigh Burke class destroyers.

The dashboard of a system AEGIS – from Wikipedia

These destroyers are armed with 96 Tomahawk cruise missiles, effective for targets up to 2,500 km away, but, above all, with AEGIS systems, an electronic warfare, capable of integrating the various subsystems, reacting the ship in the presence of surface, aerial and underwater threats.

Italy has in Lebanon the Cavalry Brigade “Pozzuolo del Friuli”, deployed for Operation Leonte, commissioned by the Prodi government in 2006. France has a substantial terrestrial presence (including 16 Leclerc heavy tanks and ALAT, a light aviation support) and in 2006 had moved Siroco and Mistral amphibious ships and  the frigates Jean Bart and Jean de Vienne. Germany has about 200 men, mostly workers in logistics and intelligence, and two patrol ships.

Russia has sent in its historic naval base of Tartus, toward the Syrian border with Lebanon and in the face of Cyprus,  a dozen vessels at least, according to the Wall Street Journal, while Russian civilians in Syria are estimated at 30,000 people according to the Financial Times, but it is supposed they are more than 50.000.

Admiral Kuznetsov – from naval-technology.com

Among these ships, there is the team led by the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which carries the multirole advanced fighters Su-33 and  Ka-27, Ka-28, Ka-29, Ka-32 attack helicopters. It is equipped with the Granit anti-ship system, an ultra-modern electronic warfare technology and  Kortik Klinok anti-aircraft systems, plus UDAV that offers protection against submarines. In Tartus facilities it was dispatched also the presence of Ropucha class amphibious assault ships – the Aleksandr Otrakovskiy, the Georgiy Pobedonosets and the Kondopoga – with hundreds of Marines on board, and a task force that includes the anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Panteleyev, the frigate Yaroslav Mudry, other huge amphibious assault ships – the Peresvet, the Kaliningrad, the Alexander Shablinaltre and the Admiral Nevelskoi, plus several vessels equipped for electronic warfare as Slava class missile cruisers, as Tango and Kilo classes submarines, as Grisha or Dergach classes corvettes.
Not far there is also the entire Black Sea Fleet, stationed in the Black Sea and, in particular, as rapid response, the 25th Regiment equipped with at least twenty Ka-27 and Mi-14 helicopters, the 917th Airborne Regiment and the 43rd Squadron with  Su-24M and Su-24MR 4 aircrafts.

Russian Marines in Tartus – from Globalpost.com

The Russian Defense Minister, on Pravda, said recently that Russia does not intend to withdraw one man from the base of Tartus, which is its only option in the Mediterranean and this explains Moscow’s position regarding Syria and reveals the fear of being undermined by its outpost, in case of a fall of Assad.
Considering also that Russia has invested heavily in recent years on its fleet and tools for electronic warfare, motivation seems not just obvious, but broadly plausible, in view of the delicate international balance.

The Izvetzia today published a lengthy interview with Syrian President Assad (link), which has denied the use of chemical weapons and accused Saudi Arabia and the Wahhabis to encourage and finance the insurgents. In addition, “all the contracts concluded with Russia are have been fulfilled. And neither the crisis, nor pressure from the U.S., Europe and the Gulf states have prevented their implementation. Russia supplies Syria what what it requires for its defense, and for the defense of its people.

Several states who oppose the Syrian people have inflicted serious damage upon our economy, primarily due to the economic blockade, because of which we now suffer. Russia acted quite differently.
The current economic sanctions are preventing Syrian citizens from receiving food, medicine and fuel. These are basic products needed for living. And, accordingly, what the Syrian government is doing now by signing agreements with Russia and other friendly countries allows us to establish guarantees for these products.

When national security is weakened, this results in a weakening of the economic position. And it goes without saying that the fact that Russia supplies Syria’s military contracts will lead to an improvement of the economic situation in Syria.

Russia’s support for our right to assert our own independence right from the start has helped our economy. Several states who oppose the Syrian people have inflicted serious damage upon our economy, primarily due to the economic blockade, because of which we now suffer. Russia acted quite differently.

And specifically addressing the economy – any line of credit from a friendly country such as Russia, is beneficial for both sides. For Russia that may mean expanding markets and new opportunities for Russian companies, while for Syria it is an opportunity to raise funds to develop its own economy.

If this is the opininion of ‘the other side’, the announcement of the White House to ‘stay studying the Kosovo model’ leaves really perplexed, because we are talking – today – of the ‘black hole’ of all black trades located in the middle of the Balkans, as well the ethnic massacres were perpetrated even by the ‘goods’.

Among other things, Syria has an army of around 300,000 soldiers, over 350 different MIG fighters, even recently updated, and 70 Sukoi for ground attack, hundreds of attack helicopters, a dozen Osa class missile patrol boats, at least 2,000 anti-aircraft vehicles and over 4,000 anti-aircraft shoulder-missiles, fifty rockets and tactical ballistic missiles  (Frog, Scud and OTR-21 Tochka classes), thousands of pieces of artillery and multiple rocket launchers, nearly five thousand T54/55, T62 and T72 class tanks of Russian production.

The risk of a new Iraqi disaster is obvious. And this time, it could happens on the outskirts of Jerusalem and in the face of Cyprus.

In Syria the problem triggering the conflict is given by the onset of the Sunni classes against the  Alawite minority who has always supported the Assad family. But … we know ‘how’ certain moralizing movements goes as prove in Egypt with the white coup of Morsi and Brothers Muslims and  the subseguent militar reaction.

Syria is bordered by Iraq, not yet at peace, by Lebanon, which shows a large presence of UNIFIL ‘interim’ armies, by Israel, which does not look kindly on “the crusaders in the Holy Land ‘, by Turkey, where Erdogan is pushing for a confessional state, by Jordan, where the impact of refugees and the Palestinian tensions are already alarming and where in the last months European Union has sent a team of the European Civil Protection Mechanism.

The war in Iraq against the dictator Saddam Hussein turned out to be a disaster for the Iraqi people, a good deal for the U.S. and British oil companies, a rich take over for a some of the many billionaires sheikhs that Saudi Arabia gives birth, an oxygen tank for Wall Street and the Western occupation during a decade.

Syria had in 2010 a GDP of about $ 60 billion, has an oil production of 522,700 b / d, compared with a consumption of 265,000 b / d, a good industrial presence. Economic development has been hindered by the  ‘non-aligned’ placement of Syria on the Iraqi question, which affects trade with Western countries. The increase of commodity prices in global markets have led to a sharp increase in the rate of inflation and unemployment.

After the disaster of Iraq, the endless war in Afghanistan, the chaos of Libya, the military dictatorship in Egypt, the paralysis of Lebanon and Jordan, the risk is of another mess realized by Britain and the United States, because they fail to understand (and correctly manage) those territories and cultures – as it is now evident – since the days of Lawrence of Arabia and the failed Anglo-Afghan Wars, after the heavy conseguences of disjointing Otoman Turkey, Italian Two Sicilies and Spanish Catalonia in the Mediterranean Sea.

A Mediterranean area on which darken dark clouds are coming, not only for the North African instability or for the Israeli-Palestinian issue, but also for the interference of Saudi Arabia and its ability to make pressure on Wall Street and London.
And, maybe, for the old habit of the United States Presidents to wage war somewhere else when things do not go well in homeland for the faction they belong.

Meanwhile, China People’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi reminds Barack Obama can not afford to wage war on the basis of false accusations, as it happened with G. W. Bush, stating that “all nations should handle the issue of chemical weapons with caution, to avoid interfering in the general effort to solve the Syrian issue through a political solution.”

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