Talk:Strategy of tension

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Please undo redirection and rewrite this article[edit]

The Strategy or Tension has very little to do with the U.S._Army_Field_Manual_30-31B. The term first appeared in The Observer in 1969 and is now used in almost all Italian history books and textbooks about the Years_of_Lead. The term has also been used in a discussion of the Belgian terrorist crisis in the 1980's.

This article should be completely rewritten, and the debate over whether the FM 30-31B is genuine of false should be deferred to the article U.S._Army_Field_Manual_30-31B. References to Ganser should be avoided, or mentioned only with the caveat that many historians have criticized him heavily.


  • Cento Bull, Anna. Italian Neofascism, the Strategy of Tension and the Politics of Nonreconciliation. Berghahn Books, 2007.
  • Ferraresi, Franco. Threats to Democracy: The Radical Right in Italy after the War. Princeton University Press, 1996.
  • Willan, Philip P. Puppetmasters: The Political Use of Terrorism in Italy. iUniverse, 2002.
  • Hajek, Andrea. “Teaching the History of Terrorism in Italy: The Political Strategies of Memory Obstruction.” Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression 2, no. 3 (2010): 198–216. (And Italian literature referenced herein).
  • Jenkins, Philip. “Strategy of Tension: The Belgian Terrorist Crisis 1982–1986.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 13, no. 4–5 (1990): 299–309.
  • Luciano Lanza: Secrets and bombs [[1]]

Agnerf (talk) 15:54, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

rewording of charged terms[edit]

i edited some words in the article after arriving at this page randomly. the entire article is full of POV, weasel words, and needs to be rewritten entirely. i dont have the time to do the reasearch i edited some of the more gratuitous words such as the phrase:

"This is an important political tactic meant draw attention to the perceived crimes of the Italian Right and Far-Right parties who were supported by the Western bourgeois."


"This is an important political tactic meant draw attention to the perceived crimes of the Italian Right and Far-Right parties who were allegedly supported by the foreign belligerents."

the term "Western bourgeois" is so politically charged and biased there is no way it can be constructive. who says only the landowners in western countries are interfering? are the bourgeois in eastern countries all left wing? Is the CIA exclusively landowners oppressing the masses?

to the admin who undid my edit, please dont undo my "un-constructive" edit that is constuctive so wantonly (talk) 23:41, 23 February 2010 (UTC)


As can be seen in the "Gladio" entry, even the network's existence is disputed and considered to be a conspiracy theory by some. Even more so its far-fetched alleged involvement in terrorist activities, mainly based on a set of debunked Soviet forgeries. Additionally, the entry does not even make an attempt to present the opposing view, so I am labelling it factually challenged, as it is. [2]

Also removing a dead link that claimed to be a USA Today article (but did not load ; the nefarious work of Gladio network and the masonic lodge, perhaps?) 00:02, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Please refer to Wikipedia:NPOV dispute: "Then, under this new section, clearly and exactly explain which part of the article does not seem to have a NPOV and why. Make some suggestions as to how one can improve the article. Be active and bold in improving the article." The US State disclaimer you have put totally admits on the existence of Gladio, it only denies two assassinations in Greece and a military manual. Now, I'm sure you will understand why the US State Dept is not exactly the most neutral source for this kind of stuff. I advise you to read or find someone to translate you this [3] Repubblica article which back-up claims in this article. It is a well known historical fact, proven by investigation by judge Felice Casson and others, that Gladio has engaged in false flag attacks in Italy. I don't know exactly what you mean by a "conspiracy theory", because I don't think that Italian victims of the Piazza Fontana bombing or the 1980 Bologna massacre think it's "just a theory". Tazmaniacs 23:47, 28 April 2006 (UTC) ps: the Repubblica link that is provided here and in the main-text of the article also give links to the Italian Commission on Terrorism report and the original juridical sentences. CQFD. Tazmaniacs 23:49, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

The article in La Repubblica refers to the opinion of an investigative magistrate, not a court. It is the theory of a prosecutor, not fact. It is merely an allegation. There is no proof. Just allegations. Of course Gladio existed, everyone knows that, and obviously, the Italian Communist Party can claim whatever they wanted to claim. Katana0182 (talk) 03:47, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

I think that "Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari" is better than the half english half italian name "Armed Revolutionary Nuclei - ARN", also because is is quite common the use of the acronym "NAR" in both books and newspapers, as is common the use of "BR" for "Brigate Rosse"; "Revolutionary groups in arms" could be a more perceptible translation, and should follow italian name.

Talk:Italian general election, 1948[edit]

A section of this article will be deleted in a week from the main page, because it lacks sources.Travb (talk) 22:37, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

POV tag[edit]

I've added a POV tag. Relying on just one source to write an article is never good practice, but in this case it involves a marginal author. Although the term has been much used, it has also been abused too easily, especially to fume conspiracies where non exist. See the work of Richard Drake on Aldo Moro for another example of this. Intangible2.0 21:04, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I think it needs more footnotes, but it doesn't appear to be single-sourced at all. Can you explain more clearly what's up with the POV tag? What would the article have to say/be to be acceptable to you? Katsam 10:25, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Ganser is not a mainstream author, neither is Philip Willan. Reports from political parties should not be construed as fact. The strategy of tension is just a theory, it does not have to have any bearing on actual historic events. Intangible2.0 21:10, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure about Ganser, but Willan writes for the Guardian, which isn't exactly fringe literature. And the article also references La Repubblica. How many different references does it need to be OK? I'm also not sure that being poorly referenced is the same thing as being POV-pushing. If that's the problem, there ought to be a different tag (like cleanup or maybe there's a needs-more-references tag?)
Also, can you unpack "is just a theory...does not have to have any bearing on actual historic events" for me? It seems to me that it was a phrase invented to describe a phenomenon, in this case neofascist terrorists committing bombings in the names of Communist terrorists so as to push the country towards the center-Right. Do you dispute the idea that neofascist terrorists committed bombings in Italy in the 1970s and attributed them to the Red Brigades? Or...? Katsam 07:56, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
No, it is the way opinions are presented as fact in this article, like those of Ganser. How was the 1980 Bologna attack a false flag operation, it was readily ascribed to neo-fascist terrorists? The are plenty of mentions of the "strategy of tension" in Google Scholar, like these articles from Foreign Affairs:[4], [5]. No need to start off with Ganser in the lead. Also, one has to be careful not to introduce original research into the article, like the examples given in the Other section, who is saying these attacks were also part of a strategy of tension? There is no reference. Intangible2.0 22:41, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Sorry I didn't get back here sooner. I'm going to try to rework this article in relationship to your criticisms. Katsam 08:19, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

History of X?[edit]

I'm confused: why is this in the History of Spain category and WikiSpain project? I see no mention of Spain in the article. Similarly, with the History of Belgium, Contemporary French History, Contemporary German History, History of the Philippines, and History of the United Kingdom. If there is a connection to these categories, then the article should reflect it. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 00:05, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Giant conspiracy[edit]

"The history of Italy as a giant conspiracy" might be a better title for this article. No doubt the "strategy of tension" existed, but it simply cannot explain every event. This article confuses facts and fiction and needs proper references. Dalla Chiesa murdered as part of the "strategy of tension"? I very much doubt that - the Mafia had their own reasons, unless you think that they were part of the giant conspiracy as well. This article badly needs to be re-written by someone with a better understanding of the history of Italy. - Mafia Expert 19:18, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

I second this opinion. Unfortunately I don't qualify. Untrue Believer (talk) 00:14, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Don't agree. It is not a mistery that Mafia, P2 and extremist right groups had many contacts. Just the person of Licio Gelli, was -e.g.- investing the money of the Corleonesi in the Vatican Bank, on one side, and covering the black terrorists during the investigations about Bologna railway station's massacre, on the other side. It may sound "conspircy theory", but that's history of Italy in that period. Call as you wish.--Desyman44 (talk) 19:13, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Uh oh. The word 'conspiracy' has arrived. Everybody run! Is there any sand nearby for us all to bury our heads in? (researchALLwars 00:12, 1 February 2011 (UTC))

this is a very silly article[edit]

The sourcing is dreadful and inadequate. There's no discussion of the Red Brigades and almost no discussion of KGB activities in Italy. Gaintes (talk) 23:05, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Simply because "strategy of tension", as stated in the definition, is used to indicate the actions "of far-right terrorist groups" supposed to be supported by "United States together with the then fascist Greek government" "in order to spread panic among population and create the demand for a "strong" government" weakening the Communist party. Of course there were BR and KGB (about KGB I think there's only the controversial Dossier Mitrokin), but this simply doesn't belong to the subject of the article. --Desyman44 (talk) 19:22, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
Eh, actually there is NOTHING in the definition of "strategy of tension" in this article that mentions this is only about "far right terrorism..." Funny how nothing about left-wing terrorist organizations or the KGB is in here. (talk) 21:12, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Agree that this article is silly. it should proably be relegated to a sub-section of one or more other articles which use more conventional political terms. --Salimfadhley (talk) 10:12, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Citation verification needed, factual accuracy disputed.[edit]

I believe that based on the citations, that most of this article is based off of a report TO a subcommittee of the Italian Parliament in the year 2000 by parliamentarians who were members of the former Italian Communist Party, the present (Democratic Party of the Left (PDS)) of Italy.

This article reports these statements of political opinion of the former Italian Communist Party parliamentarians as fact, and, as is currently read, attempts to launder citations - misreporting what the citation says - in order to do so.

Also, this article from The Observer of December 7th, 1969, needs to be verified. I cannot find it in the archive of The Observer. As such, I am having trouble finding whether or not it exists.

Please provide the title of the article.Katana0182 (talk) 03:36, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

I continue to await the title of the article referring to the Dictatorship of the Colonels, introducing the term "strategy of tension", and clearly identifying (using the voice of the newspaper) the US as the promogulator of some "strategy of tension"; this article was allegedly published in The Observer on December 7th, 1969. I would also request the author, and the page number. This is for verification purposes, as I cannot find the aforementioned article in the archive of The Observer.
If this information is not provided within a reasonable amount of time (such as by next Monday), I will be forced to tag the material as having failed verification as the material has not met its WP:BURDEN and begin the removal process. In the mean time, I will attempt to verify some of the other extraordinary claims in this article.
I am also requesting that editors assist me in making clear whether factual assertions in this article are really factual assertions, statements of opinion (and if so, whose opinion), or if they are rather WP:FRINGE Fringe theories. If they are fringe theories and not fact, there remains a question of whether fringe theories are encyclopedic, and they need to be rewritten to make it clear whose theories they are and where they come from, at the very minimum. Katana0182 (talk) 00:56, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I continue to be unable to find the article in the Observer's archive, having done multiple searches. As such, unless somebody provides adequate evidence that the article indeed exists (title, author, and page number), I will tag the assertions as having failed verification no earlier than Tuesday morning at 0:00 UTC. At that point, I will begin the removal process.Katana0182 (talk) 22:26, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
I have tagged the article from the Observer as having failed verification. As such, I am proposing the removal of the phony article (if I'm somehow mistaken as to its phoniness, do correct me by WP:PROVEIT proving that it exists) as well as all challenged, uncited materials within 1 week.Katana0182 (talk) 13:46, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
A quick search in the italian Wikipedia page and Google books shows that the article has been quoted as << L. Finer, "Greek Premier plots Army coup in Italy", in The Observer, 7 dec 1969, pp. 1-2 >> in the italian book << Biscione F., "L'Italia repubblicana nella crisi degli anni Settanta," Rubbettino Editore, Soveria Mannelli, 2001, p. 242. >> -- R. 12:19, 28 August 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
I still am unable to find this article in the Archive of the Observer at searching The Observer using the search queries "L. Finer" "Greek Premier", etc, though there was an article on the Guardian of Monday, December 8th, 1969 (pg. 2) bylined "Greece will fight hard against expulsion moves." No mention of a "strategy of tension" is present in this article of 12/8, but if you can supply me with a query that works for the Observer article of December 7th, to find it in the archive, I'll consider it verified.Katana0182 (talk) 01:26, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

If no one is going to provide sources, maybe we should just delete the whole article. --Uncle Ed (talk) 18:13, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

If it can help, this is another book that cite (and describe) the Observer articles [6].--Yoggysot (talk) 18:27, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Resuming: there are two books citing a couple of articles of the Observer, and the one which should introduce the term "strategy of tension" is «480 held in terrorist bomb hunt»

  1. Leslie Finer. «480 held in terrorist bomb hunt». The Observer, 12-12-1969. cit. in Anna Cento Bull, Italian neofascism: the strategy of tension and the politics of nonreconciliation, Berghanh Books, 2007; ISBN 9781845453350
  2. Leslie Finer. «Greek premier plots army coup in Italy». The Observer, 6-12-1969. cit. in Francesco Biscione, L'Italia repubblicana nella crisi degli anni Settanta, Rubbettino Editore, 2001, pag. 242

Not all the articles are available through the Observer online query, I don't see why one should delete the whole article. Kind regards --Biopresto (talk) 09:51, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

And answering to Katana0182 I underline that the subcommittee of the Italian Parliament (as all subcomittee have to be) was composed of transversal and bipartisan parliamentarians (look here for a list --Biopresto (talk) 13:47, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Searching for commons keywords like "house", "england", "italy", "france", "greek", "queen" in the archive [7], Observer only, with 1960/69 date range and most recent first, seem that all result from that year (1969) stop at 31 august. Apparently there are no results for the months from August to December, this can explain why the Observer article (that was published in this range) can't' be found with the search engine.
As a note, if you search Guardian only (1960/69 date range and most recent first) you can found an article "Greek advice for a coup in italy" Saturday, December 06, 1969 Page: 2. This is a screenshot of the article [8] (i delete it in few days) --Yoggysot (talk) 04:47, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
PS the existence of the Observer article was also cited in [9] (audition of an ex italian secret agents) about the report of the Guardian article linked above --Yoggysot (talk) 05:06, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Maybe the problem is that the editors who want to delete the whole article are as much impartial on the issue as the US Department of State.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:12, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Other citation[edit]

Citation link on note 1 is not working: --Biopresto (talk) 20:29, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

German Version[edit]

Please take note of the german version of this article. It mentions 9/11 and Operation Northwoods (talk) 07:23, 15 January 2011 (UTC)


After reading the article and the above discussion: the issue is extremely comlex and references are lacking even if there is abundant material quoted in the Italian version.

The English reader may read the book by Stuart Christie on Delle Chiaie PDF on line. It contains some factual errors on the dates of the Italian governments in 1945 but it is very well informed. It details all the work done by the OSS (especially James J. Angleton, who btw also rescued Junio V. Borghese in 1945) since the wartime period to set up the counter insurgeancy network /strategy by employing and linking former fascists, Sicilian mafia, some Freemason secret lodges, Italian military officers, police and secret services, leading Italian industralists... Apart from the internal Italian connctions there were international ones based on the Portuguese Aginter that provided logistical and material support.

If I have time I will try and translate some more material from the Italian WK which is well referenced, though mainly from Italian sorces (books, magistrates's sentences, parlaimentary inquiries). Another organisation within this scheme was the Rosa dei venti denounced by also by a member and put under inquiry by magistrates in the 70s. The networks were so widespread and far reaching that it can be considered fair to state/assume that Italy was run by a parallel state that overlapped to a great degree with the official one.Aldrasto11 (talk) 05:43, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

World powers[edit]

I reverted this edit which an editor has twice tried to insert. The editor is not communicating, a trait which they have in common with the prolific IP-hopper that is lurking on this and the Arab Spring article. A sock investigation may be in order.

Regarding the edit, there is no sourcing provided for the term "world powers" in the lead. The examples given in this article is not world powers, but political factions within countries. "World powers" may use the strategy, but it is a strategy applicable by any political grouping, and as such it is an incorrect definition to use this term, bordering on the disruptive, as it seems aimed at specific events connected with the Arab Spring article. --Saddhiyama (talk) 11:50, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

A more idiomatically correct phrase than "Strategy of tension"[edit]

From what I can tell there is no notable political theory in the English Language called "strategy of tension". This seems to be a literal translation from a phrase used in Italian politics. I think an English political theorist might be more likely to say Divide and Rule. As such this article seems to be a biased and jumbled selection of world-history with no particular thread or notability, based ultimately on a mis-translation.

Furthermore, I note that most of the references are in non-English languages (is there a WP policy about that), and of the articles which are in English, none of them use the phrase "strategy of tension" in a way which would indicate that this refers to a notable concept or political theory. --Salimfadhley (talk) 22:26, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

This phrase is used by all English speaking publications on the subject, ie in the following books: "Italian Neofascism - The Strategy of Tension and the Politics of Nonreconciliation", "A history of Contemporary Italy" by Paul Ginsborg, "Italy, a difficult democracy", "Threats to Democracy", "Italian Politics" etc. Just do a qick search on google books, and you will find a plenty of them. There are others with exactly this title which expand the meabing but all derive it from the Italian period of neo-fascist terrorism. Kind regards --TheGriffon (talk) 14:49, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Propose to delete the Popular Culture section[edit]

I spot-checked a few of the links in this section. None of them actually link to subjects which are substantially relevant to the article. Given that they mainly list foreign-language films which are mostly unknown to an English-speaking audience I doubt this even counts as "popular culture". --Salimfadhley (talk) 22:31, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

US Army Field Manual 30-31B[edit]

Hi! Remedial Reading Assistant here to lend a hand! The claim "The theory began with the Cold War Soviet hoax document called US Army Field Manual 30-31B, where the term was first published." is incorrect. U.S. Army Field Manual 30-31B was obtained Mr. John Young under a Freedom of Information request in 2001, and published here: The text does not include the words 'strategy' or 'tension'. - Remedial Reading Assistant (talk) 22:32, 5 June 2017 (UTC)