NATO to the Rescue

 

With more than a million migrants having reached Europe in the last year, reports The New York Times,

… and many more on the way, NATO stepped tentatively into the crisis for the first time on Thursday, saying it would deploy ships to the Aegean Sea in an attempt to stop smugglers. …

Gen. Philip M. Breedlove of the United States Air Force, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, subsequently told reporters here that his staff was figuring out the rules of engagement and how to deal with refugee boats that are intercepted. …

The European Union has a border agency, Frontex, but it lacks substantial resources and in essence relies on national authorities, like the Italian Navy and the Greek Coast Guard. It failed to prevent the deaths of 3,800 people who drowned in the Mediterranean last year while trying to enter the European Union, and more than 400 have drowned this year already.

“The E.U. obviously wasn’t doing enough, and NATO can do more,” Mr. Daalder, now the president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, said in a phone interview. “Clearly, the U.S. supported it.”

He added: “This is not the solution to the migrant and refugee crisis, but it represents an acknowledgment that not enough is being done to address the crisis.”

NATO, like the European Union, operates by consensus. Jeffrey Rathke, a former American diplomat and NATO official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said the announcement reflected the reality that “Frontex is not able to cope with the situation” and that the United States and Turkey, which are members of NATO but not of the European Union, could do more.

Your thoughts?

There are 11 comments.

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  1. Underground Conservative Coolidge
    Underground Conservative
    @UndergroundConservative

    And put them where? Are we just going to be the new and improved ferry service?

    • #1
  2. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Underground Conservative:And put them where? Are we just going to be the new and improved ferry service?

    Beats me. But NATO’s sure busy these days. That was one busy NATO meeting yesterday, it seems.

    • #2
  3. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    I recall we were hesitant to pick up Somali pirates because once they were on the boat they could ask for asylum and end up in Minneapolis.

    • #3
  4. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    It could be they’re using this to position forces to oppose to a push from Russia into Turkey during the “wargames” in the Southwest district.

    Didn’t NATO and U.S.S.R. used to schedule war games as a sort of “don’t even think about it” message during the Cold War?

    • #4
  5. Tenacious D Inactive
    Tenacious D
    @TenaciousD

    http://thechronicleherald.ca/world/1341267-nato-orders-warships-into-aegean-to-help-ease-migrant-crisis

    “NATO’s website says the flotilla is composed of a German navy flagship, the Bonn, and two other ships, the Barbaros from Turkey and the Fredericton from Canada.”

    The Bonn is a Berlin-class supply ship, the Fredericton is a Halifax-class frigate, and the Barbaros is a frigate of its namesake class.

    • #5
  6. Lady Jane Grey Inactive
    Lady Jane Grey
    @LadyJaneGrey

    NATO should ask Australia’s government for advice on how they deal with their “boat people” problems.
    People-smuggling boats are intercepted offshore and diverted to a holding area for migrants – it used to be on an island but I may be out-of-date on that – where people were processed for asylum or deportation. Nobody gets onto Australian soil until they have been identified and vetted.

    • #6
  7. Pilli Inactive
    Pilli
    @Pilli

    Lady Jane Grey:NATO should ask Australia’s government for advice on how they deal with their “boat people” problems.
    People-smuggling boats are intercepted offshore and diverted to a holding area for migrants – it used to be on an island but I may be out-of-date on that – where people were processed for asylum or deportation. Nobody gets onto Australian soil until they have been identified and vetted.

    Sounds like a good plan.  I would add that after the refugees are taken off the smuggler ship that it be sunk and the crew charged with crimes on the high seas.

    Make the cost to smugglers too high to make it worthwhile.

    • #7
  8. Dustoff Inactive
    Dustoff
    @Dustoff

    PILLI
    Secretary of State for you!

    • #8
  9. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    This will be used, of course, as a justification from Brussels on why European states must give up their own forces and allow them to be Borged into an EU super-military… that takes its orders only from Brussels.

    • #9
  10. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Douglas:This will be used, of course, as a justification from Brussels on why European states must give up their own forces and allow them to be Borged into an EU super-military… that takes its orders only from Brussels.

    Why would that be a bad thing? It would be great if Europe had a military capable of dealing with these things by itself, wouldn’t it? By the way, NATO’s based in Brussels, so effectively this is exactly what that is — but supplemented with US and Turkish forces. And at this point, Turkey will likely enter the EU, if it survives, and the EU will become something quite different, so what you’re describing is exactly what should happen, because really, we should not be wasting time, money, or effort on something Europeans could and should do for themselves — and would do if they could organize their way out of a paper bag.

    • #10
  11. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Douglas:This will be used, of course, as a justification from Brussels on why European states must give up their own forces and allow them to be Borged into an EU super-military… that takes its orders only from Brussels.

    Why would that be a bad thing? It would be great if Europe had a military capable of dealing with these things by itself, wouldn’t it?

    Are you honestly asking why European nations losing a keep aspect of sovereignty… their own military forces.. is a bad thing?

    • #11
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