Italy, June 2001


At school of Imperialism

Science, knowledge and military strategy: the relation between University and NATO


In this article we will try to set up a general picture of the financial supports that NATO allocates to scientists who belong to several international study and research groups, to universities and industries all over the world.

But not only that. In fact, it is useful focusing our attention on the collaborations that are coming popular between the Military Academies and the Military Institutions of Superior School with different Italian Faculties.

The promotion of scientific-technical projects, assigned to collaborative researches in different countries, is a strategic intervention that NATO has been carrying out for many years (just think that since 1957 about 500.000 scientists have been using those NATO "supports") and is a useful tool for the development of Imperialism as it allows the acquisition of more and more advanced information in every field and the creation of permanent infrastructures also in those countries that have not joint NATO, the so-called Associates States.

Every new technological product, every discovery and scientific innovation are direct interest of NATO and we know how it uses those resources.

It is a foregone statement to say that the NATO member countries work together strictly in the research field, but it is interesting underline that many scientists who use the funds, are from East Europe and Mediterranean countries. The researches conducted by these international groups practically cover every kind of subject and field and it is difficult to synthesise them for the vastness  of their intervention (from the military industry,  chemical, the problems related to pollution and environment). Substantially, NATO acts on a scientific program, that has been lately reorganized in order to implement a more efficient collaboration between the scientists who come from the member countries and the associates countries. Nowadays the NATO scientific program consists of 4 sub-programs.

1. Education grants: through the education grants students can go on studying in a NATO or associate country, in a long period view.

2. Co-operation: to set a co-operation in the research fields and establish personal relations between the NATO scientists and those of the associates countries.

3. Infrastructures: support the associates countries in organizing the research programs and creating base infrastructures.

4. Science for peace: implementing the research in the environment problems  of the associates countries, through a collaboration between the researchers and industries from NATO and from associates countries (source from the Research Service and International Relations). For example, Sassari University has organized a day of "information and investigation" on the financing sources for the scientific research, regarding the Fifth Context Program of RST of the European Union, the NATO, and the International Agency for the Atomic Energy with the attendance of delegates from MURST and the entrepreneurs. The treated themes were: quality of life, of energy, of environment and sustainable development, of increasing the human potential in the research.


The goals fixed in the Scientific Program of  NATO are clear: they go on creating and exploiting  the research human potential in order to create stable base infrastructures, especially in the associates countries and everywhere the NATO countries have interests (in particular where it concerns the US) infiltrating and becoming decisive for the choices of the countries stroked by the imperialistic aggressiveness, bound by the enormous amount of money allowed for the research.

Not less important is also the strict connection with the product sector in general, which can keep and increase its "margin of profit" and it is difficult quantify which are the industries that enter into  agreements for the production of the new scientific and technological discoveries, whether they are   war industries or textile.

Another problem is on a cultural level. Many contributors and co-directors participating the sub-programs mentioned before are also university professors, so they can interact and change into consensus or simple acceptance the NATO action to the young students, or, at least, they contribute to give an image of the new "humanitarian" rule that the political-military machinery of the western imperialism has reached. While the reality show us bloody wars against the populations, sometimes used as "guinea pigs" for experimenting new means or techniques of destruction, the professor runs meetings on the environment! Also in the faculties where in the past it was strong the student opposition there has been a considerable penetration of the soldiers in the university context, as we will see.

The tendency in many European States has been to restructure their own armies not only following the NATO rule, but also following the project of construction of a new European model of defense; in Italy the centre-left Government and the Parliament have approved the transformation of the present army in a force made up of "professional soldiers", starting from 2005. The relations that Academies and Military Institutes have formed with the University structures of the country have grown in the last years, showing also a weakness while they are facing this change (we will analyse this matter later).

As the social control and the repression was growing, also in Italy, the military presence in the Faculties which had previous agreements with NATO, has increased, receiving funds from the Army to create courses reserved to cadets of the different Military Academies.

With the approval of the Law D.L. 464, Nov. 28th 1997, it is allowed to draw up contracts between Universities and Academies and the Military Institutes of Superior Instruction and it is regulated the use of the teachers for "specific teaching programme".

Moreover, it is regulated the granting of academic qualifications to the officers who are in force when the law becomes valid (art. 2, comma 3). The D.L. 464, as a matter of fact, sets outward rules for settled relations and guarantee the Degree (ex-officio?).

The National University Council (N.U.C.), organ which decides the creation of new degree courses, sanctions unanimously with "observations and conditions" (?) the realization of a University Diploma in Strategic Sciences in the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The course is exclusively dedicated to the training of the Military Academy's cadets of Modena. Besides, in the same meeting the University of L'Aquila has been authorized to create a diploma in Investigative Sciences, dedicating it to the NCO of the Customs Officers.

After the approval of N.U.C. the ex-commander General of the Military Academy of Modena has received, while was in charge, the Degree ad "honorem" in Law and ex-Rector of the same University has been appointed "cadet ad honorem" at the Modena Academy. Still holding the privileges given to the soldiers, the Chief of Staff of the Army and the Inspector of the Military Schools got a degree.

But it isn't a case restricted to Modena and L'Aquila, also in Turin, thanks to the local Political Science Course, has been created the Degree in Strategic Science and it seems that the Naval Academy of Livorno is trying to create the Degree in Political Science with a Technological line, in convention with the University of Florence. In Florence, the local police head-quarters have reached an agreement with the University in order to manage a 3 years refresher course on "Communication and Institution", dedicated to executives and police inspectors. In the agreement is also scheduled that the University of Florence place its teachers at disposal, and they will teach for free, while the lecture rooms are offered by the Spadolini Foundation - New Anthology and the organization is given by the publisher Le Monnier (from "La Repubblica", 19th of May 01).

Using public funds, Academies enrol cadets to "exclusive" University courses (= granted degree), using the same funds they pay them during their studies and, besides, provide them with a military carrier, with a pre-defined progress from second lieutenant to General.

Many soldiers with high grades expressed their enthusiasm for the reorganization of the Army in a "professional" way, so why using Universities when they can use Academies and Military Institutions which form the new "executives" of the military body? We could make the hypothesis that actually the Army is late in the adjustment of the structures and of its body in the expectation of a new asset of the Army and a deeper preparation and knowledge of the new technologies is required. For the time being they are pleased with "free" degrees with the heading "Science", but it may be not enough to speed up the modernization of the Army.

What is sure is that the presence of the army in several Faculties of Italy and the rise of Faculties which give their support, that means obtaining funds, to the needs of the Army, creates new problems. The D.L. seen before opens the possibility to make equal the Military Official and the University teacher and rise to a university level several military subjects. There are courses in Strategic Sciences where the teachers are directly appointed by the Military Academies and this situation can lead to the passive acceptance of the soldiers, creating a consensus on the so-called an army "peace messenger", while our duty is to contrast this "invasion" and avoid what someone has defined: "the cadets will assume a more relevant executive rule in the society".