Ministry of Defense (Italy)

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The Ministry of Defense in Via XX Settembre in Rome: in the foreground Palazzo Caprera , seat of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, then Palazzo Baracchini , seat of the Minister of Defense; not visible opposite: Palazzo Esercito des Heeres
Defense Minister's service flag

The Italian Ministry of Defense ( Italian Ministero della Difesa ) is a ministry of the Italian government . It is responsible for the defense policy of Italy and the armed forces of the country. It is headquartered on Via XX Settembre in Rome . The incumbent Defense Minister is a member of the "Supreme Defense Council" ( Consiglio Supremo di Difesa ), which is chaired by the Italian President .


The political leadership consists of the minister and two or three state secretaries . The latter are not civil servants in Italy, but politicians. Below the political leadership level, the ministry is divided into a military and an administrative area, plus a number of subordinate institutions.

Military organization

At the head of the armed forces is the General Staff of the Armed Forces . The Chief of Staff is responsible for the overall military conception of the armed forces and for operational management. The military intelligence service , the special forces command and the operational command in Rome-Centocelle , the General Inspectorate for the Sanitary System , the Command Academy of the Armed Forces and a few other institutions are subordinate to the General Staff . Since 1997 the staffs of the armed forces Army , Navy , Air Force and Carabinieri have been subordinate to it. Before that he was just primus inter pares .

Administrative organization

The head of this organization is the Secretary General of the Ministry of Defense, who is also the "National Armaments Director ". He and his two deputies are responsible for the nine departments ("General Directorates" or "Directorates") of the Ministry, which are responsible for both administrative and armaments:

  • General Directorate for Military Personnel (PERSOMIL)
  • General Directorate for Civilian Personnel (PERSOCIV)
  • General Directorate for Social Security, Conscription and Employment Services (PREVIMIL)
  • General Directorate for Services (COMMISERVIZI)
  • Land-Based Weapon Systems Directorate (TERRARM)
  • Directorate for Sea-Based Weapons Systems (NAVARM)
  • Airborne Weapon Systems Directorate (ARMAEREO)
  • Directorate for Telecommunications, IT and Future Technologies (TELEDIFE)
  • Infrastructure Directorate (GENIODIFE)

Other organizations

Other or subordinate institutions of the ministry include the central budget planning office (BILANDIFE), the internal audit department and the war grave welfare department . The military pastoral care with the Catholic military ordinariate , its own seminary , 16 subordinate military deans and the subordinate military chaplains is also important . From an organizational point of view, military justice is a matter for the Ministry of Defense. However, the military judges and prosecutors are independent in the exercise of their office and in this context are only subordinate to their self-governing body, Consiglio della Magistratura Militare .

In the past in particular, the armed forces had many of their own military factories, arsenals, workshops, laboratories and the like. Many of these facilities have been outsourced, sold or privatized in recent years and decades. What remained of it in the Italian military was transferred in 2001 to a corporation under public law called Agenzia Industrie Difesa , which is supposed to run the subordinate companies on the basis of private business aspects and make them competitive. The companies operate in promising market niches that are also of considerable relevance for the military. These are marine arsenals , chemical, pharmaceutical and graphic companies as well as smaller specialized explosives and ammunition factories.


Palazzo Esercito (Army) in Via XX Settembre, formerly the Ministry of War
Palazzo Marina (Navy) on the Tiber,
formerly the Ministry of the Navy
Palazzo Aeronautica (Air Force),
formerly the Ministry of Aviation
New building for the General Secretariat and Armaments Directorate in Centocelle

The history of the Italian Ministry of Defense goes back to the State Secretariat for War of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont, established in the 17th century . On February 17, 1717 Viktor Amadeus II put it on an equal footing with the two new State Secretariats for Foreign and Internal Affairs.

The Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont was at the forefront of the Italian unification movement from 1848 , into which the old Italian states were incorporated in 1861 and which thus assumed the name Kingdom of Italy .

In the course of the revolution of 1848 and the imposed constitution of Karl Albert ( Statuto Albertino ), the meanwhile seven state secretariats were renamed into ministries. The Ministry of War remained in Turin with the other ministries until 1865 . In the course of the relocation of the capital it came to Florence until 1870 and then finally to Rome.

As early as October 11, 1850, the Ministry of War was spun off from the Ministry of Navy and temporarily merged with the Department of Trade and Agriculture. The later Piedmontese and first Italian Prime Minister Cavour , who also held the office in 1861, became the first naval minister . Later, Benedetto Brin , in particular, reorganized the Ministry of the Navy. The Aviation Ministry was added on August 30, 1925, and Italo Balbo in particular took care of its expansion until 1933 . Benito Mussolini took over these three ministries directly from 1933 to 1943 and thus also took direct responsibility for the inadequate equipment and training of the Italian armed forces, their irresponsible use and their defeat in the Second World War . Due to the war there was still a Ministry for War Economics from 1917 to 1918 and from 1943 to 1944 , the last head of which was Carlo Favagrossa , who as armaments commissioner had pointed out in 1939 that Mussolini's war plans were hopeless.

After the proclamation of the republic , the Italian Ministry of Defense was founded on February 14, 1947, and from then on civilian politicians took over its leadership. However, until at least 1965 it was in fact an umbrella organization in which the ministerial administrations of the old ministries of the three armed forces continued to exist almost unchanged. Against considerable resistance from the armed forces, in 1965 their administrative departments and their respective armaments departments were subordinated to the Secretary General and Head of Office of the Ministry. The latter only became the "National Armaments Director" in 1978, thus further strengthening his central authority over the armed forces. For a long time he managed a total of 19 departments, but only a few of them worked across the armed forces. It was not until the far-reaching reforms of 1997 that the ministry was given a truly integral structure.

Service building

The historical development, urban planning and financial reasons have meant that the Italian Ministry of Defense does not have a central service building, as is the case with the Pentagon in the USA, for example . Three buildings for the ministries of the armed forces were erected in Rome by 1931, and they still serve as the domicile of the Ministry of Defense.

The management area of ​​the Ministry is in Via XX Settembre , a few hundred meters northeast of the Quirinal Palace (seat of the President). The Defense Minister has his official seat in Palazzo Baracchini , and the General Staff of the Armed Forces is in the adjacent Palazzo Caprara . Exactly opposite is the Palazzo Esercito ( ) with the Army General Staff. North of the Piazza del Popolo is the Palazzo Marina ( ) with the Admiral's staff on the banks of the Tiber . The Palazzo Aeronautica ( ) with the General Staff of the Air Force is located between Roma Termini train station and La Sapienza University .

In 2016 the general secretariat and the armaments department of the ministry moved into a new building (Palazzo Guidoni) on the former military airfield Rome-Centocelle ( ). The above-mentioned administration and armaments departments were located in front of the three buildings of the armed forces or at other locations. Since the operational command and other military command posts were also located in Rome-Centocelle, the development of a central office is becoming apparent there.

The General Command of the Carabinieri in Piazza Bligny ( Villa Ada , ) is subordinate to the Ministry of Defense only in military and administrative respects, otherwise to the Ministry of the Interior .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. (PDF; 4.7 MB) Archivio di Stato di Torino, Archivio di Corte, Regia segreteria di guerra, p. 477
  2.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Le riforme militari sabaude p. 2@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  

Web links

Coordinates: 41 ° 54 ′ 11.2 "  N , 12 ° 29 ′ 31.5"  E