The news that the EU is considering setting up so-called “disembarkation centers” in nearby non-member states is a distraction meant to appease an angry public, though no plan has been released thus far pertaining to the enforcement measures that would need to be implemented in order to make them more than a “band-aid solution” to the Migrant Crisis.
Sound Concept, Shallow Strategy
Politico reported that draft conclusions for next week’s European Council Summit have been circulating around and claim to announce the creation of so-called “disembarkation centers” in non-EU states for facilitating migrant processing. The concept is that individuals intercepted at sea would be sent to these facilities prior to determining whether they’re eligible for asylum or are just migrating for economic reasons, with the first-mentioned category being allowed entry into the EU while the second one could presumably be denied this privilege and possibly sent back home to their country of origin. The idea itself is sound enough, but it crucially lacks any enforcement mechanism for guaranteeing the removal of economic migrants from the “disembarkation centers’” host states, as well as a related one for getting their home countries to pay for their return.
The article suggests that NATO-member Albania and Major Non-NATO Ally Tunisia are being considered as the locations for these prospective centers, but also notes that nothing has been decided yet and that “opening [these facilities in Tunisia] could risk destabilizing the region’s sole post-Arab Spring democracy”. Importantly, no such security risks are mentioned when it comes to Albania, which is already hosting MEK terrorists and plans to also do the same for returning Daesh ones too, indicating that the Balkan country’s role as the pro-Western factory exporting regional destabilization remains unchanged. It’s uncertain whether Tunisia’s authorities are independent enough to resist being turned into the “North African Albania”, but the example of neighboring Libya might make even the most diehard Atlanticists think twice about the wisdom of this possible decision.
If there were any serious plans for ensuring security at these sites, then Tunisia’s concerns would mostly be moot and pretty much pertinent only in terms of its international reputation becoming synonymous with refugee/migrant camps, which is why there are reasons to reconsider the wisdom of this entire plan to begin with. The originators of the “disembarkation center” idea aren’t giving due attention to the security dimension of this concept, which is its Achilles’ heel because someone – either the host country, the UN, a “coalition of the willing”, mercenaries, or some other force – must guarantee that the intercepted migrants housed in these host countries don’t escape from their facilities prior to the completion of what’s led to believe will be their expedited processing.
The thought of possible terrorists infiltrating local communities is apparently real enough of a risk that Politico felt obligated to warn its readers that Tunisia’s “post-Arab Spring democracy” might be endangered if it goes along with this plan. Again, this apparently isn’t a problem for Albania, which the West has an interest in perpetuating as a center of regional destabilization against Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, and even Greece. Furthermore, even in the unlikely event that a solution is struck for securing the “disembarkation centers”, then other deals have to be agreed to in advance for working out who will be responsible for forcibly removing recalcitrant migrants from these facilities if their asylum appeals are rejected and they’re ordered to return back to their homeland.
Homeward Bound…And Back?
Accordingly, even if – which is another major uncertainty – these individuals are removed, someone needs to pay for their journey back home, which naturally raises the question of who that will be and what happens if their country of origin doesn’t want them back for whatever the reason may be. Financial incentives might compel impoverished states to go along with this final step of the process, but once more, someone will have to fund their trip, and there’s no way to prevent them from trying to re-infiltrate the EU once they land back home. After all, the Executive Director of the UN World Food Program warned in late April that the Second Migrant Crisis might come from Africa when considering that half a billion people might be pushed out of the Greater Sahel Region and into Europe in the coming years.
Therein lays the fundamental problem behind any so-called “catch and release” policy, where it doesn’t matter whether the migrants are released in the transit country hosting the “disembarkation centers” or sent back to their country of origin because they could theoretically continue coming back until the whole mass of them overwhelms the EU’s border defenses through swarming tactics and succeeds in breaking into the “socialist welfare utopia” that they all dream of living in. Correspondingly, the EU might be drawn deeper into “mission creep” through the establishment of more bases in the Greater Sahel Region designed to “preemptively” catch illegal migrants destined for Europe, however “unethical” this may be but operating per an agreement with cash-hungry quisling governments (“neo-protectorates”) like the ones in Mali and Niger.
Seeing as how the most effective solution to this problem necessitates a sustained multilateral military-developmental campaign that “strikes at the root” of illegal migration but may not be politically palpable for the European public given its incalculable long-term costs and indefinite timeframe, the “band-aid solution” that’s being bandied about for appeasing the rising EuroRealist populace is the distraction of so-called “disembarkation centers” that might actually cause more harm than good if they result in thousands of migrants and their terrorist infiltrators being sent to Albania prior to being let loose again all throughout the Balkans. The coastal state is already hosting MEK terrorists and very soon Daesh ones too, and the last thing that the region needs is hordes of destitute individuals willing to do these groups’ bidding in order to earn a few extra bucks for paying their way to nearby Italy or Germany.
This article was originally published on Eurasia Future.
Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Featured image is from Eurasia Future.