Italy could realistically declare war to India in the next few weeks. As an alternative, the European Country known for his fashion industry, rather than for its military capabilities, may just give up the life of two of its soldiers, dismiss all the army personnel and resign its Sovereignty.
Two Italian Navy-Seals have been arrested yesterday by Indian police, in the state of Kerala. The two officers were serving, as part of a team of six, in official duty on an Italian flagged oil-tanker ship. When, at the large of Indian coasts — but in international waters — the Italian ship has been approached by a pirate boat with armed men on board, the Italian officers intervened to prevent the attack. At the same time, a fishermen boat called the Indian Coast Guard lamenting that two of its crew members have been shot dead by some armed people sailing on an oil-tanker, inside Indian national waters.
Tricked by the Indian police and by their own (or their superiors) poor judgement, the Italians ended up in Indian police custody, and may be tried in the next days for murder of first degree.
Italian claims of immunity for its officers clashed with a raged reaction of the local population. Now, the two soldiers face a concrete risk to be sentenced to death by a local Indian court of law. And the federal Indian government has no political will to interfere: the party at government would never let Italianity of Sonia Gandhi to become once again a weapon in the hands of opposition parties.
If they would have been Israeli soldiers
First of all, IDF would have never withdrawn in front of any request to hand two of its soldiers to a foreign power. Tzahal commandos would have fought bravely, rather than resign their weapons to a group of mustached Indian local-police officers. In the unfortunate event that two soldiers would have been captured, a Mossad operation would have freed them without wasting too much time.
Americans would have immediately moved two or three aircraft carriers in the Indian Ocean, they would have deployed a bunch of nuclear submarines around strategic objectives in the Indian peninsula and would have sent some B2 Spirit stealth nuclear bombers over the skies of New Delhi. Most likely, Indians would have thought twice before arresting a US Marine soldier.
Italiani brava gente
Italy has two aircraft carriers, named after an (in)famous general (Garibaldi) and a fat, populist and powerful former prime minister (Cavour, not Berlusconi!). However to save some dimes, Italian government decided recently to reduce the number of F35 Lightning II to be deployed on the two battleships. So, Italy does not seem ready to send its carriers, even because Indian police could easily impound them!
War to India
Steffan de Mistura, Italian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister is a former Swedish diplomat in the service of United Nations. De Mistura rushed today to India to meet high rank government officials, and to offer some monetary compensation to the families of the two killed fishermen. Interesting enough, Italy official position is that (1) India has no jurisdiction, (2) soldiers are immune, and (3) the two Italian soldiers did not kill the Indian fishermen. In spite of claiming these points, Italian government would be ready to pay a couple of million euros, to get back its two servicemen.
Should the monetary offer be refused, or accepted, the Indian judicial system seems well determined in prosecuting, and eventually executing officers Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone. Italy would have then no other choice than to declare war to India: not an easy task though, considering Indian oversized army and population, its nuclear arsenal and the delicate regional equilibria.
Should war occur, on which side would you stand?