Start date: May 14, 1804
End date: Sep 23, 1806
Italian Fascism (Italian: Fascismo Italiano), also known simply as Fascism (Italian: Fascismo), is the original fascist ideology, as developed in Italy. The ideology is associated with the Fascist Revolutionary Party (PFR), founded in 1915, and the succeeding National Fascist Party (PNF) in 1921, which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party that ruled the Italian Social Republic from 1943 to 1945, the post-war Italian Social Movement and subsequent Italian neo-fascist movements.
Italian Fascism was rooted in Italian nationalism and the desire to restore and expand Italian territories, which Italian Fascists deemed necessary for a nation to assert its superiority and strength and to avoid succumbing to decay. Italian Fascists claimed that modern Italy is the heir to ancient Rome and its legacy, and historically supported the creation of an Italian Empire to provide spazio vitale (“living space”) for colonization by Italian settlers and to establish control over the Mediterranean Sea.
Italian Fascism promoted a corporatist economic system whereby employer and employee syndicates are linked together in associations to collectively represent the nation’s economic producers and work alongside the state to set national economic policy. This economic system intended to resolve class conflict through collaboration between the classes.
Italian Fascism opposed liberalism, especially “classical liberalism” that Mussolini and Fascist leaders denounced as “the debacle of individualism”, but rather than seeking a reactionary restoration of the pre-French Revolutionary world, which it considered to have been flawed, it had a forward-looking direction. It was opposed to Marxist socialism because of its typical opposition to nationalism, but was also opposed to the reactionary conservatism developed by Joseph de Maistre. It believed the success of Italian nationalism required respect for tradition and a clear sense of a shared past among the Italian people, alongside a commitment to a modernised Italy.
The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was a proposed missile defense system intended to protect the United States from attack by ballistic strategic nuclear weapons (intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles). The system, which was to combine ground-based units and orbital deployment platforms, was first publicly announced by President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983. The initiative focused on strategic defense rather than the prior strategic offense doctrine of mutual assured destruction (MAD). The Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) was set up in 1984 within the United States Department of Defense to oversee the Strategic Defense Initiative.
Reagan was a vocal critic of MAD doctrine. SDI was an important part of his defense policy intended to end MAD as a nuclear deterrence strategy, as well as a strategic initiative to neutralize the military component of the Soviet Union’s nuclear defenses.
The ambitious initiative was criticized for allegedly threatening to destabilize the MAD-approach and to possibly re-ignite “an offensive arms race”. SDI was nicknamed largely in the mainstream media as “Star Wars”, after the popular 1977 film by George Lucas. In 1987, the American Physical Society concluded that a global shield such as “Star Wars” was extremely ambitious and with existing technology not directly feasible for operational status, and that about ten more years of research was needed to learn about such a comprehensive and complex system to set up and make it fully operational.
Under the SDIO’s Innovative Sciences and Technology Office, headed by physicist and engineer Dr. James Ionson, the investment was predominantly made in basic research at national laboratories, universities, and in industry; these programs have continued to be key sources of funding for top research scientists in the fields of high-energy physics, supercomputing/computation, advanced materials, and many other critical science and engineering disciplines—funding which indirectly supports other research work by top scientists, and which was most politically viable to fund within the budget environment.
Laser research funded by the SDI office was disclosed at laser conferences that also included panel discussions on the subject with the participation of James Ionson, Edward Teller, and other prominent advocates of SDI.
During the administration of President Bill Clinton in 1993, the SDIO’s name was changed to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) and its focus shifted from national missile defense to theater missile defense; and its scope from global to more regional coverage. It was never truly developed or deployed, though certain aspects of SDI research and technologies paved the way for some anti-ballistic missile systems of today. BMDO was renamed to the Missile Defense Agency in 2002. This article covers defense efforts under the SDIO.
Today, the United States holds a significant advantage in the field of comprehensive advanced missile defense systems through years of extensive research and testing. The US and the UK also have both laser weapons and 360 degree laser shields in development, which are expected to be ready for military use as early as 2020. Many of the obtained technological insights were transferred to subsequent programs and would find use in follow-up programs.