| How the sausage is made|
Operation Gladio was the secret network of operations established in Europe by NATO after the Second World War in the event of an invasion by the Soviet Union. The term was used to describe the then-newly revealed stay-behind network in 1990, though a fascist terrorist had alluded to the program during his trial as early as 1984. The Prime Minister of Italy confirmed in 1990 that the program had indeed existed. Operation Gladio, though initially revealed in Italy, was later found to have extended to ten different NATO member countries and five non-member countries.The clandestine operations are alleged to have had links to terrorist activity, including pro-colonialist terrorism in De Gaulle's France during the Algerian War and the notorious Years of Lead (Anni di Piombo) in Italy between the late 1960s and early 1980s. The truthfulness of these allegations is a matter of serious debate, and theories about them are not something restricted to paranoid rants by tinfoil hat aficionados.