by Nicola De Felice

A ruthless conflict such as the Russian-Ukrainian one, with no sparing of civilian casualties, makes metropolitan areas precarious and destabilized. Where local security structures have been unable to maintain authority, the Russian, Ukrainian or self-proclaimed Donbass republics' armed forces have also intervened as law-and-order support forces, but in a tragic mess that we have all seen through media reports.

The role of the Carabinieri

Wanting, in this area as well, to suggest a "lesson learned" for a hypothetical specific reference to operations conducted by the Italian Armed Forces in an international theater of operations, the tasks that the Carabinieri Corps undertakes for local security become essential. They, in fact, must range from the imposing public order and security as a substitute for local police to supporting local police training or instruction.

While in Italy the Carabinieri must carry out military tasks that consist of contributing to mobilization, protection of the national community in cases of public disasters and defense of the national territory and interests, overseas the use in theater of operations of Carabinieri assets (from the early stages of a campaign and in the presence of an inefficient local security apparatus) must contribute to the creation of a protected and safe environment.

These assets, placed within the framework of a proper military force, without overlapping with the activities of the other components (Army, Navy, Air Force), must complement and integrate the capabilities that the force itself can express, contributing to the resolution of a crisis and the start of the stabilization and reconstruction process of a city or an entire region.

The role of the Police

Military police assets must operate both in organic units and individually in performing training, advisory, and mentoring functions. The military police force must be specialized primarily in the collection of information from various sources in the operational areas of interest, especially in the civilian environment, in order to build up an information asset useful to the needs of the field commander and Rome, in both an operational and strategic view.

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Contacts with the local population and institutions, international organizations and NGOs must be considered an essential factor for the mission's success. The ability to establish relationships with local police and with police missions of international organizations must be a hallmark of the Italian military police force.

But the military police forces must also contribute to the integrated territorial defense; in particular, its airborne component, which is characterized by high mobility, marked combat capability, employment versatility and accentuated operational autonomy, must participate in "immediate reaction" operations aimed at the timely protection and safeguarding of national interests, wherever they are at risk of being compromised, on an autonomous basis, but predominantly as part of a broader military array or in support of Special Forces.

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Senior Fellow of the Centro Studi Machiavelli. Admiral of division (res.), former commander of destroyers and frigates, he has held important diplomatic, financial, technical and strategic assignments for the Defence and Navy Chiefs of Staff, both at home and abroad, at sea and on land, pursuing the application of capabilities aimed at making the Italian defence and security policy effective.