Monthly Archive: September 2016

Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement as an Instrument of Coercion

Mass migration, it needs to be said, has long been exploited by devious entities as part of a new military genre: asymmetrical warfare.

In a powerful essay published in Strategic Insights, Kelly Greenhill (2010) defined such a tactic under coercive engineered migrations, noting: “those cross-border population movements that are deliberately created or manipulated in order to induce political, military and/or economic concessions from a target state or states.”

Asylum seekers and migrants descend from a large fishing vessel used to transport them from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos (? 2015 Zalma? for Human Rights Watch)

Elaborating on her theory she goes on to add: “Coercive engineered migration is often embedded within mass migrations strategically engineered for dispossessive, exportive, or militarized reasons. It is likely, at least in part as a consequence of its embedded and often camouflaged nature, that its prevalence has also been generally under-recognized and its significance, underappreciated. Indeed, it is a phenomenon that for many observers has been hiding in plain sight.”

Greenhill’s insights certainly put Europe’s refugee crisis under a very different light. The real threat pose not the refugees per se, but the games of covert destabilisation so-called friendly nations are waging against each other’s governments. Qui bono?

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