Mass Migration and State Failure

Europe and the Geopolitics of Interventionism

A Statement by Hans Köchler, President of the International Progress Organization, Vienna, 21 September 2015

The uncontrolled mass migration into the territory of the European Union, further fuelled by recent statements of the German Chancellor, is the direct result of Western interventionist policies in the Middle East.

In spite of the lofty statements of UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, expressing his “shock” at the treatment of “refugees and migrants” by Hungary, the United Nations Organization carries heavy responsibility for the developments: The military interventions in Afghanistan (since 2001) and Libya (2011) were carried out under the auspices of the world organization; a binding (Chapter VII) resolution of the United Nations Security Council imposed punitive sanctions on Iraq (1990-2003) that resulted in the economic destruction of the country and the death of up to a million citizens. The later unilateral invasion of Iraq by the United States and her allies (2003) completely destroyed the societal order and brought about the political disintegration of that country, with the emergence of the “Islamic State” as ultimate consequence. Interference by the United States and her Western and Middle Eastern allies in the civil war in Syria has further fuelled the conflict and also led to the fracturing of that country’s political unity. It is worthy of note that all these uses of military force, whether direct or indirect, were misleadingly carried out under the banner of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

The rapid collapse of the political order of the Middle East was the inevitable result of these interventions. The chaos and political vacuum created in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria is at the roots of the wave of mass migration that has now reached Europe. State failure in the Middle East, triggered by foreign intervention, now affects the very stability of the state system in Europe, including the integrity of the European Union. The collapse of border controls, and the loss of territorial control, a key element of national sovereignty, in member states such as Greece, Austria, Germany, and Croatia is a clear sign of state failure within Europe itself. Hungary, almost the only EU country that is determined to uphold national sovereignty and to defend European rules, should be supported in its efforts, not vilified for its steadfast commitment to the rule of law. If the European Union continues to violate its own rules and agreements, it will delegitimize the entire European project. The national interests of member states must not be sacrificed for a dubious policy of uncontrolled mass migration that will bring about chaos and destabilization in Europe and will only serve the geopolitical interests of outside powers.