The 2018 MIL€X 2018 Report shows a further increase in Italian military spending: 25 billion euros in 2018 (1.4% of GDP), an increase of 4% compared to 2017 which reinforces the growth trend started by the Renzi government (+8.6% compared to 2015) and which resumed the incremental dynamics of the last three legislatures (+25.8% since 2006) prior to the 2008 crisis.

The budget of the Ministry of Defence grows in 2018 (21 billion, +3.4% in one year, +8.2% from 2015) and the contributions of the Ministry of Economic Development to the purchase of new armaments (3.5 billion of which 427 million in mortgage costs, +5% in one year, +30% in the last legislature, +115% in the last three legislatures) on which 5.7 billion will be spent in 2018 (+7% in the last year and +88% in the last three legislatures). Among the ongoing national rearmament programmes (all listed in the MIL€X Report) the largest are the new Navy warships (including new aircraft carrier Thaon de Revel), the new Army tanks and attack helicopters, and the new Typhoon and F-35 warplanes.

To the F-35s the MIL€X Report dedicates an in-depth analysis that analyzes the actual costs (50 billion with operational costs), real industrial and employment repercussions, structural defects (which risk to put out of service the F-35s so far purchased by Italy for 150 million each) and the strategic function of this weapon system which is strictly offensive and intrinsically contrary to Article 11 of the Italian Constitution and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Another in-depth study of the Report concerns the costs of “nuclear servitude” linked to the storage and surveillance costs of the American tactical B-61 nuclear warheads in Italian bases (23 million only for the updating of the external surveillance equipment and the vaults containing the twenty B-61s inside the eleven nuclear hangars of the Ghedi base) and the costs of stationing US military personnel assigned to and maintaining Italian aircraft and pilots on standby for the “nuclear strike” (the same purchase of the F-35 nuclear bomber by Italy, according to the Pentagon, it represents “a fundamental contribution to the American nuclear mission”).

Among the further focuses of the MIL€X 2018 Report: the Italian expenditure to support the 59 US bases in Italy (520 million per year) and to contribute to NATO budgets (192 million per year), the hidden costs (Mission Need Urgent Requirements) of the “infinite” military missions abroad (with in-depth analysis of the costs of 16 years of presence in Afghanistan and 14 years in Iraq), the cost of the Italian military base in Djibouti named after the fascist war hero ‘Commander Devil’ (43 million per year), the 13 billion euros “treasury” hidden in the Investment Fund set up by the Renzi government (also intended for Piaggio Aerospace’s new armed drones), the forgotten “golden slide” for senior officers (condemned by the Court of Auditors) and the onerous situation of the 200 military chaplains still borne by the State (15 million a year between salaries and pensions).