The former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton has issued a stark warning to the United States government, asserting that the EU migrant crisis doesn’t just threaten Europe and the United Kingdom, but has significant ramifications for U.S. national security and immigration policies too. He argues that Obama’s policy of “leading from behind” in the Middle East contributed significantly to the problem.
Writing in his FoxNews column, in what may very well be the first time a major U.S. opinion former has recognised the problem, Amb. Bolton declares:
“One critical cause of Europe’s illegal-immigration spike is the growing chaos across the greater Middle East. This spreading anarchy derives, in substantial part, from Barack Obama’s deliberate policy of “leading from behind” by reducing U.S. attention to and involvement in the region. When America’s presence diminishes anywhere in the world, whatever minimal order and stability existed there can rapidly evaporate.”
“For years, the central cause of population movements into Europe was economic: North Africans crossed the narrow Strait of Gibraltar or headed to France or Italy. Turks and Arabs entered through Greece and Eastern Europe. Once into the European Union (“EU”), thanks to the Schengen Agreement, travel barriers are now almost nonexistent, and, as in the United States, illegal aliens can essentially travel freely. “
“These concerns are legitimate, but there are deeper risks as well. Mirroring worries in Washington, there is a serious and rising Islamicist terrorist threat hidden within the tides of people seeking refuge.”
This latter claim is backed up by the most recent reports emanating from Bulgaria, which state that ISIS operatives have been attempting to cross into Europe.
Earlier this year, leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage warned: “When ISIS say they want to flood our continent with half a million Islamic extremists they mean it, and there is nothing in this document [Common European Asylum Policy] that will stop them. I fear we face a direct threat to our civilisation if we allow large numbers of people from that war torn region into Europe.”
And the problem is the same as that faced by the United States on its Mexican border, says Bolton.
“How many boat people and others who seem to be economically motivated are actually terrorists, perhaps trained by the Islamic State in Syria or Iraq, seeking to conceal themselves among economic migrants to gain access to Europe? This is the same issue America faces on the Mexican border. Even the Obama administration recognizes the problem, as in 2011 when it indicted senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards officials for plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Washington, using drug-cartel hit men who regularly crossed the Mexican border illegally.”
“With the entire “European project” under enormous strain because of Greece’s financial crisis; increasing awareness of the EU’s “democratic deficit” whereby unelected Brussels bureaucrats wield enormous authority with essentially no accountability; and growing unease about the lack of American international leadership under Barack Obama, it is no surprise Europeans are nervous, many close to panic.
“The lesson for the United States is that reducing our global influence does not increase international peace and security. Quite the opposite. Obama’s retreat from the Middle East, whether in the aftermath of Libya, his disinterest in the Islamic State’s continuing rise, or his surrender to Iran’s nuclear-weapons program, are all part of the larger pattern. Europe’s illegal immigration problem is our problem as well.”