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Russia’s Not-So-Secret Weapon Against NATO and the West: Refugees

Ukraine Russia
Russian military 305th Artillery Brigade's exercise. 2S5 self-propelled cannon.

Refugees: Putin’s new weapon? Many in the West thought that war in Europe was a thing of the past. Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine put an end to that comfortable fantasy.

But Putin’s war effort didn’t start with a military invasion. Months before the Russian tanks started rolling, Putin was preparing the broader battlespace along the EU border. His weapon of choice: mass migration as in refugees.

In July 2021, Moscow’s puppet regime in Belarus began brutally driving thousands of desperate migrants to the Polish border. The forced migration was part of the hybrid warfare strategy designed by Moscow, and the West was ill-prepared for it.

You can blame the globalists for that. When the Soviet Union fell, they insisted that it marked “the end of history.” The bright new era would usher in a stateless society that dispensed with inconveniences like popular sovereignty and capitalism. Among the assumed blessings of this brave new world was the “right of migration,” which would help erase nations determining their own culture, economies, and polity.

But pushing for a borderless world not only undermined the stability of the nation-state; it created new vectors for bad actors to attack their enemies. As an institutional policy, the right of migration has failed the test and left us tap dancing through a minefield of social, economic, and political problems.

Traditionally, states managed their legal migration systems to sustain productive and thriving societies. Yet the 21st Century has already been marked by mass migrations driven by nonsensical political agendas and the acts of malicious adversaries.

Syria, for example, launched a refugee flood at Europe, and the first impulse of many Western leaders was to pretend this was little more than a humanitarian mission rather than an assault driving helpless, desperate people north to both pressure and destabilize Europe.

In the United States, the new administration has adopted an open borders policy that has allowed millions of immigrants to flood into the U.S. with virtually no vetting, no controls and no accountability.

These actions constitute assaults on stable states. In addition to imposing massive burdens for taxpayers, they foster organized crime, drug epidemics, transnational terrorism and other security threats and create political turmoil. Sound policies built on public safety, fiscal responsibility, and national sovereignty are pushed to the side with predictable results.

“Woke” policies offer no solutions for how to deal with a swelling tide of migrants. Worse, the “countermeasures” that governments are taking seem to be creating new threats and more problems. In principle, both the United States and the European Union have plenty of laws, procedures, and ideas about what the migration process should look like. In practice, however, migration policy has become hostage to the narratives of progressive circles who justify open borders based on the Marxist theory that immigration controls are a legacy of imperialism. Hardly anyone has the courage to screen migrants for their criminal record, not to mention their willingness to work and comply with societal norms. Indeed, even mentioning the need for immigrants to assimilate in their host nations is now routinely derided as racist.

But Lithuania and Poland have shown that it doesn’t have to be that way. They put a stop to this nonsense by refusing migrants send west by the Belorussian regime. The scam, sometimes perversely referred to as “refugee tourism,” was to issue tourist visas to Egyptians, Indians, and Pakistanis whom Lukashenko promised to help illegally cross the border further west.

Thanks to the firm stance of the Lithuanian and Polish governments, it didn’t work. The “tourists” were sent back. The biggest challenge was not policing the border but resisting the massive pressure from progressive circles demanding sanctions against Poland for racism.

Now, when a genuine humanitarian crisis like the war against Ukraine appears on Europe’s doorstep, yet more resources must be redirected to deal with it. Don’t think this will be the last. There will be more efforts to hammer the West with human waves.

This will only stop when nations take the self-imposed weakness of open borders off the table. Stop allowing the exploitation of refugees and asylum to become commandeered as back doors for unlimited migration, and focus on keeping them as legitimate humanitarian instruments. Establish secure borders, and enforce immigration laws that prudently address security, economic, and societal concerns and allow nations to welcome legitimate, legal immigrants as they see fit. Cease attacking responsible nations when they act in their own self-interest to keep their countries free, safe, and prosperous.

Finally, the free world needs to start taking seriously the threat posed by manufactured mass migration. The unfree world—China, Russia, Iran, and more—wants to take us down. To do that, they will use all means necessary—including hybrid warfare. Others wish to weaken and exploit us as well: transnational criminal cartels, the exploding network of human smugglers, and the resurging transnational terrorist groups.

The free world must increase its capacity to protect its interests. Our security, prosperity and way of life depend on our ability to counter not just conventional military forces and weapons of mass destruction but weaponized mass migrations as well.

Tomasz Wróblewski is CEO of the Warsaw Enterprise Institute, a Polish think tank. A Heritage Foundation vice president and 1945 Contributing Editor, James Jay Carafano directs the think tank’s research program in matters of national security and foreign affairs.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Commentar

    March 14, 2022 at 11:32 am

    The number one creator of refugees (heading for europe) is uncle sam, from its endless wars in afghanistan, iraq, libya, syria, and covert activities in, somalia, ethiopia, sudan and yemen.

    The crisis in ukraine is just another machination of uncle sam’s predilection for causing trouble, including in its own backyard. That’s what you get when the superpower graduates into an uberpower.

  2. Alex

    March 14, 2022 at 11:40 am

    Unprovoked invasion? Where were you when the Bandera Nazis were killing civilians in Dornbass for 8 years? Their tortures and murders are completely similar to the Volyn massacre and the Lvov pogroms. Then you did not care about ordinary citizens. And as soon as Russia launched a special military operation for denazification, the West sharply remembered its “poor and unfortunate” Bandera Nazis. After all, they were supposed to help in the deployment of NATO weapons in Ukraine, right? What now? Will the US and Britain take them in, as in the 44-46s?

  3. Theresa Garcia

    March 14, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    Where were you when the Bandera Nazis were killing civilians in Dornbass for 8 years? Their tortures and murders are completely similar to the Volyn massacre and the Lvov pogroms. Then you did not care about ordinary citizens. And as soon as Russia launched a special military operation for denazification, the West sharply remembered its “poor and

  4. A penny tossed to the wind

    March 14, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    Written into the subtext of this article is a decision framework we as citizens of the world will have to make in the coming decades.

    Humans got up on two feet, moved across the then continents and over the then seas, to settle on land around the world. We, then, even defined our territory of settlement. And defended them. Cross this river, you, and we’ll hurt or kill or capture you.

    Really intelligent stuff.

    Want more territory? Go and get it. Hurt and kill and capture. And with modern technology, really do it big time.

    Meanwhile, we bask in the glories of sophistication. Become a millionaire by selling books on how to negotiate and you yourself can make a fortune. How to find happiness, or peace, or wisdom; how to write code, fix a car, fix your busted gut. Finesse of achievement all over the place, everywhere you look.

    Brilliant, world-wide achievements made in those territories and shared all around the world.

    Sets us up well to handle what we’re also on the path of doing really well. Overpopulating. Ruining water, or running out of it. Getting flooded. Or burnt in a bushfire. Filling the oceans with plastic. Losing topsoils. Using resources to maintain our lifestyles at a rate that cannot be replenished.

    A couple of the territories are going under water. But we don’t think of them. That’s somewhere else.

    Surely one thing humanity does best, up there at the top of the list, is act with shortsighted fervour.

    What is “migration” as presented in the article? It’s moving from one territory to another. Just ast the authors of the article would do, if they were in others’ position. Call it by the name ‘migration’ however, and it becomes something else: a threat.

    Lovely, isn’t it. Sit in comfort. Tell it how it ‘is’.

    Much of what forms our life view, informs our thinking and determines our decisions – and our recommendations for how others are to live, even whole countries – is whether we’ve done it tough, suffered. If you haven’t done it, don’t have that experience, no book or life coach or university degree can give it to you.

    The point to all of this is that in the decades bearing down upon world citizens we’ll have to make critical decisions about territory. And our populating them.

    Are we, living in one territory, of relative comfort, going to block out others and watch them suffer and die? What if we are the ones, in our terriroty, who are going to suffer and die? We just suffer and die? (Is that what the authors would do?) Would being faced with the threat of ourselves suffering and dying change our way of thinking, change our decisions, change what we recommend others do, including our recommendations for entire nations of other people?

    What will be our collective decisions? And upon which ethos will we make them?

    Protecting ‘me’ or protecting ‘us’?

    Serving ‘me’ or serving ‘us’?

    What informs our decisions? What informs our recommendations for how others are to live?

    In those decades ahead, will the territories that humans long ago entered and claimed, then lost and gained, and changed, century after century, be so important?

    Will humanity in the future be defined by defining of territory?

    What decisions will we make, and recommend to make, then? And how do our decisions and recommendations that we make now, today, sit in relation to them?

    Will we still be governed by shortsightedness?

  5. A penny tossed to the wind

    March 14, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    Quick additions.

    The wider worldwide collective and individual mindset sees ‘territory’ – what humanity has come over the millenia to call a “country” – as something clearly definited and absolute in that definition.

    It’s that defintion that may well change in the future. Those challenges to clear definitions are actually happening now, have begun some while ago. If you act on the internet, by whose country’s defintion are you held? And by what measure? Moral, physical (server location?), legal, and interpersonal? There is a melding occurring which challenges that clear definition we until this contemporary age held and knew as a fact.

    Where does that interconnectivity end? What will become of it? Will our notions of ‘territory’ and ‘country’ be as dramatically changed as these technologies and interconnections dramatically change us (world citizens)? Will those notions be reflected in law?

    Obviously the changing at law for what defines a country and territory is long in the future. But how long ahead? Who could have foreseen, collectively, the changes that have suddenly come upon us?

    This entire precedence, that we as a species moved over lands, settling in them and defining them, is as you read being overturned, being challenged. Changing.

    Apply the rate of change that’s happened in very recent history, into the future, the definitions of ‘territory’ and ‘country’ can, in reason, be expected to change, and perhaps change more quickly than we currently expect.

    The other element to consider is that our current definitions of ‘country’ and ‘territory’ are bound to the current generation of those who define them. In other words, those who lead and legislate on our behalf. This governing element is primarily an older generation.

    It’s going to go. And with them go that strictly held mindset that holds, maintains and governs those defintions.

    There’s a whole new world order of younger people right now moving through the world’s governing systems, which are not bound by ‘Government’, live with a world view which is very different. These young people see and live in a world of interconnectedness (an interconnectedness that crashed into the sunset lives of the older governing generation).

    By “governing systems” there I mean anything in life that determines how humanity lives. That’s any system that exists. And those systems themselves are rapidly changing.

    The point here is that all too often we receive recommendations as what’s best, in a world or territory view, which are utterly absent of recognition of the changes now in effect.

    Right now, we don’t see the effects of change very much as these affect ‘country’ and ‘territory’. It’s not that obvious. And we are in the grip of the older generation’s mindset as that mindset governs our lives, which is extremely obvious. So it’s very easy to proffer a recommendation and very easy to accept a recommendation that is absent of future relevance. A future irrelevance that may be here before we know it.

    Like it or not, that change – that will be reflected by its definitions at law – is coming. No one can cling to the past and keep it as the way of things.

    The change is seismic. The younger generation has it – right now – in their collective mandate.

    Doesn’t it help to keep it in mind?

  6. Pleiades

    March 14, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    Far right gibberish posturing as informed opinion. Trump and Putin are interchangeable sociopaths – and so are the useful idiots that support them.

  7. Jacky

    March 15, 2022 at 1:26 am

    Mention of refugees (a consequence of US wars and numerous foreign policy mistakes) must be accompanied by the stories of orphans and children who lost their kindred brethren as a resukt of US military actions.

    For example, in 2006, US troops raided a village north of baghdad, Iraq, and shot several children, some right in the head.

    Earlier, in 2005, US marines, shot dead over two dozen civilians in Haditha (now known as the Haditha massacre) in revenge for a lost comrade.

    5 million iraqi children became orphans after their adult parents’ deaths.

    Thus, people need to take a look in the mirror when speaking or talking about refugees.

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