“We also went to Amatrice for a humanitarian mission.” This was the ineffable justification the Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti delivered Tuesday to the foreign and defense committees, for sending 300 people to Libya: 100 paratroopers, 135 logistic support specialists and 65 doctors, as well as a fully loaded, armed aircraft carrier in the neighborhood. Only the F-35 fighters were missing.
These forces have been sent into a situation full of lit fuses: terrorism, an internal conflict, the separatist rebellion led by General Haftar and the geopolitical confrontation among the Western powers.
Pinotti’s comment, which compares sending soldiers to Libya to sending support to the victims of the recent earthquake in central Italy, only adds to the list of questionable statements by the minister.
A year and a half ago, Pinotti had announced the assignment of 5,000 Italian troops to Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, then fortunately Prime Minister Matteo Renzi stepped in.