The existence of Gladio was confirmed and admitted by the Italian government in 1990, after a judge, Felice Casson, discovered the network in the course of his investigations into right-wing terrorism. Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti admitted Gladio’s existence but tried to minimize its significance.
The main function of the Gladio-style groups, in the absence of Soviet invasion, seems to have been to discredit left-wing groups and politicians through the use of “the strategy of tension,” including false-flag terrorism. The strategy of tension is a concept for control and manipulation of public opinion through the use of fear, propaganda, agents provacateurs, terrorism, etc. The aim was to instill fear into the populace while framing communist and left-wing political opponents for terrorist atrocities.