Thursday, February 11, 2016
Migrant crisis: NATO deploys Aegean people-smuggling patrols to stop people-smugglers taking migrants from Turkey to Greece, isn’t it amazing that Turkey, Germany and Greece have all arrived at the George Laird view of deploying NATO, albeit it has taken some considerable time to get there
Do you remember my first of 2016 on the blog, in that post I focused on the migrant crisis, this is easily the most dramatic event to hit the European mainland since the end of WW2. The migrant crisis will ripple through Europe at so many levels because the actions of a few politicians have impacted on the many, in ways that will take decades to repair.
Online, you can read horror stories of how migrants have acted and how they have been treated by others. I touched on the story of ‘Goran in Austria’, a little 10 year old boy brutally raped by an Iraqi migrant; and also migrant using a little girl as shield during a riot at a European border.
Although there are lots of interesting stories which drive my stats up, especially when I touch on SNP incompetence, I like to tackle tricky subjects which need to be addressed; and present solutions which some people don’t like. When I go on media programmes, I don’t what politicians do, sit there say something is ‘terrible’, how ‘heartbroken’ they are, and not have any answers to the problem as they hog the air time talking about themselves and delivering meaningless pap to the audience.
As I remind readers on the blog and elsewhere, sooner or later everyone comes around to the George Laird view, it just takes them a bit longer.
In my first post of 2016, I wrote as I had done before that there needed to be NATO involvement in the migrant crisis, this is because they have experience of co-ordinating a multi national force. Prior to that blog post, I had through-out 2015 came to the conclusion that the Med needed to be patrolled so that migrant boats could be turned back in international waters rather than have them sail on their merry way round the Med.
It now seems that my idea is in sync with NATO now saying, ‘We'll send in the warships’. It seems that the German chancellor Angela Merkel wants vessels to patrol the Aegean Sea in an attempt to stop migrants crossing. Much more is needed than this, on the African side of the Med, it is important that countries also play a part to assist in stopping the migrant boats from leaving their territorial waters. So far, I am not seeing much in the way of diplomatic action to get a security plan drawn up for the Med involving countries which border it.
Security in the Med simply cannot be an ‘allies only’ matter.
It isn’t surprising to me that we are at the point of Defence ministers considering military action to stop people smugglers, already some ‘Dick Tracy’ detective work has been going on to identify routes and people involved. People smuggling is big business, it seems, it isn’t some ‘mom and pop’ business of some little African trying to make a few quid, it is serious criminal enterprise, done in a professional manner.
The EU leaders have in the main failed to tackle the influx of migrants, they were politically sucked into seeing this event as simply a humanitarian crisis, and the politicians fell all over themselves to try and out bid each other that they were more ‘caring’ than others. Forget ‘humanitarian crisis’ and focus on the reality, they used the crisis for political gain, the outcome of their shallow hollow politics was the Paris Attacks and Cologne, among a host of other events of varying degrees of seriousness and criminality.
Should defence ministers who met in Brussels deploy warships?
Yes, how this action wasn’t arrived at earlier is a scandal, and it shows that in terms of European security there is a serious gap not just in recognising that action is needed but also in decision making time. Someone will have to come up with an idea for a working group in various intelligence agencies to red flag when action is necessary. The amount of time that this issue has spent just ‘hanging in the air’ is an apt lesson in failure to plan.
Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg trying to make action sound all warm and cuddly said members 'see the need to manage and to tackle the human tragedy' caused by the migrant crisis.
'I think we will take very seriously the request from Turkey and other allies to look into what Nato can do to help them cope and deal with the crisis and all the challenges they face, not least in Turkey.'
Obviously Stoltenberg needs to be informed that we are in a post cuddly landscape, where national security concerns come to the fore, yes, we need to deal with the humanitarian aspects of the crisis such as camps established outside Europe for people to be processed and assisted.
Germany and Turkey put forward the appeal for military intervention after Merkel met the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey has 80,000 people parked on the other side of their border want to transit through their country. Something which represents a national security threat in Turkey, consider the issue of the Kurds and the ongoing border troubles in the region, they have legitimate concerns.
You maybe surprised by the U turn by Angela Merkel, it is quite simply, massive bad press personally for her, violence breaking out in Germany, rise of the far right, and her intelligence agency telling her that terrorism is going to rise. We have seen Paris, but we will see other cities in Germany being targeted, it isn’t just about stopping the influx of migrants, it is about rounding up migrants who are in terrorist cells in Germany.
Angela Merkel crossed a line in Germany which may fatally be the end of her career; she must tackle the internal threat and remove it whether it is hard line Jihadis or the violent sex criminals, failure to act will see ordinary Germans taking matters into their own hands as they did recently with a massive brawl when a young German woman was sexually assaulted. The far right in Germany is rising; something which has not gone un-noticed within Germany and outside it, gun sales have gone through the roof, and you can’t have missed a Swiss General urging people to arm themselves, I don’t think he has target practice in mind.
Any new security plan for the Med will have to include new joint civil and military facilities while the remit of the new EU Border Force is worked out, and also what assets can be drawn on by NATO to service the search grid in the Med. This of course will have to be done in parallel with blocking off land routes. Although the idea of ‘Fortress Europe’ maybe uncomfortable in the minds of some people, but there are few options available to stem the tide, there is only hard choices and no soft options, national security needs to be maintain if people want a safe and secure EU. We cannot operate the Schengen agreement of free movement while the external borders are porous.
When you don’t deal with a problem in a timeous matter, it snowballs, some people are overwhelmed by the scale of the migrant crisis as being too difficult a task to tackle, and predictions of the European Union being doomed are rife. The EU can be saved or it can fall, Angela Merkel changed because she was looking into the abyss, the full horror of what she did has sunk, and now she is acting because her political survival is at stake.
We might still be looking at a post Merkel Germany in the near future, so she better wise up and listen to her intelligence people because matters need dealt with immediately.
The mood in Europe is refugees are not welcome.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University