Friday, June 12, 2015

Trolling for Paranoia

The notion that a UN use-of-force resolution is a solution to Europe's illegal immigrant problem in the south is farcical and will only increase Russian paranoia if such a resolution is proposed.

What, migrants will get the pirate template?

Now the European Union, faced with an unprecedented crisis of migrant smuggling across the Mediterranean Sea, is considering similar extraordinary measures to address its migrant problem. The Europeans are seeking a use-of-force authorization from the Security Council that would give EU countries the sanction to destroy the boats that smugglers are using to ferry thousands of Syrians and sub-Saharan Africans to southern Europe. EU officials have said only identified smuggling vessels with no passengers on them would be targeted.

One, we barely gave the pirates the pirate treatment. We should have hung some as an example to the rest.

Two, if the rules of engagement only allow verified vessels involved in the migrant smuggling business to be targets and only if they have no migrants on board, I think we can guarantee that a vast armada of warships and surveillance aircraft will be deployed to achieve something statistically indistinguishable from bupkis, as that article notes:

“I get that the EU countries are frustrated with the situation they’re facing, but I’m not sure how an essentially kinetic operation solves it, while the chances are there of only making it worse,” says Michael Desch, co-director of the International Security Program at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. “Boats are often dual-use, so how are you going to figure out that what’s used as a fishing boat one day is going to be used to smuggle migrants the next? And that’s not to mention,” he adds, “the risk of a very bad mishap where you misidentify a vessel and hit one with human cargo.”

Even if the EU succeeds in sinking an actual smuggling vessel with no migrants on it, how hard would it be for jihadi smugglers to kill some photogenic tykes and their extended family and scatter them in the water around the sinking hulk? Bad Europeans! See how they kill innocent migrants?

Worse, the fact that it makes close to zero sense to use military force to stop illegal migration will propel Russia to new levels of paranoia about the West's intentions about Libya.

Russia saw the West twist a no-fly resolution for Libya into regime change. Why shouldn't they harbor deep suspicions about what we intend with this effort?