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Strategic Engineered Migration as Weapon of War

by Leonid Savin, Voltairenet, November 5, 2015

After reading the title, you may think it is describing the phenomenon that Europe has recently been facing: the hundreds of thousands of refugees, both victims of the hardships of civil wars and opportunists, who are invading the Balkans by land and by sea and then making their way further, trying to reach richer countries like Germany, France and Scandinavia by any means possible.

It would seem that this stream of refugees has objective reasons: armed conflicts and wars have been going on in Libya, Syria and Iraq for many years, while the situation is also turbulent in Palestine and Afghanistan. In Tunisia and Egypt, meanwhile, both of which experienced the Arab Spring, the situation also leaves much to be desired. Hardly anybody is taking notice of Bahrain, where opposition protests have been brutally suppressed for years, while in Yemen, air strikes are even being carried out on wedding processions. The location of these two states is not very convenient, however – there is simply nowhere to flee. There is also another important detail: camps are being built for Muslim refugees in Saudi Arabia, but nobody is going there for some reason. As a last resort, they stay in Jordan and Turkey.

Is there also some general reason for their frantic desire to flee so far from their homeland? Wealthy relatives who have already settled in the European Union, perhaps? Or stories about welfare benefits on which they will be able to live comfortably? After all, to make such a journey they have to pay handsomely for the services of smugglers. According to some reports, these smugglers take between $4,000 and $10,000 to transport a single refugee from Syria or Libya to Europe. Even if this person has wealthy relatives abroad, receiving money via bank transfer is impossible in war-torn Syria. Organising transportation on credit clearly involves certain guarantees, especially considering that the boats often sink in the Mediterranean.

Who is providing guarantees that encourage hundreds of thousands of people to rush from other continents to Europe and why?

Researchers have discovered a very interesting fact related to the use of social networking sites [1]. It has come to light that calls on Twitter for refugees to travel to Germany have mostly come from the US. The time spent practising in other countries has not been in vain – from Iran during the 2009 presidential elections to Egypt and Tunisia, where the role played by social networking sites in mobilising the population was considerable.

What we are seeing now is the practical implementation of theoretical calculations of a strategic nature. Such strategies have been under development for a long time. One of them is a study by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University that bears the name «Strategic Engineered Migration as a Weapon of War», which the author also uses for the title of this article. The study was first published in 2008 in the Civil Wars journal [2]. Using a combination of statistical data and case study analysis, the author of the work, Kelly Greenhill, provides answers to the following questions: can refugees be a specific type of weapon, can this weapon only be used in wartime or in peacetime as well, and just how successful can its exploitation be? On the whole, Greenhill answers these questions in the affirmative.

In fact, researchers at the Belfer Center, along with researchers from other departments at Harvard University, have been working on designing strategies for conflict management in the context of broader foreign policy issues for many years. The director of the Belfer Center, Graham Allison, was an assistant secretary of defence in the Clinton administration. As well as this, the Center also funds the research of a special task force devoted to Russia.

The US is only pretending to sympathise with Europe, which is being hit hard by the migratory wave. In a recent article by Richard Haass, president of the influential globalist organisation Council on Foreign Relations that deals with European issues, the use of the word «managing” with regard to the migration crisis in the European Union was no accident [3]. Savouring the problems being faced by Europe as a result of the influx of refugees, Haass notes that the US has both an obligation to help the European Union and strategic interests with regard to Germany and Europe as a whole. Despite this «obligation to help”, however, there has been no help at all from the US either in controlling the illegal infiltration of European countries or in terms of the temporary settlement of refugees.

There is also another interesting fact. On 15 September, Barack Obama signed an executive order on the use of behavioural science techniques in public administration. The most recent branch of behaviourism, known as «Nudge”, is nothing more than the latest way to manipulate people. The hand of Cass Sunstein, who previously worked at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration, can clearly be seen here. Along with a British colleague, he co-authored the book Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness, in which psychological manipulation techniques in the context of everyday life are hidden behind fine words [4]. (Incidentally, Sunstein’s wife is Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the UN.) There is no doubt that the ‘nudge’ technique will be used far beyond the borders of the US.

The most effective weapon, however, both metaphorically and literally, may be those migrants capable of setting up a small guerrilla group to carry out subversive terrorist acts on the new territory. It is rather interesting that the US is not just playing host to the ones who seem the most ‘promising’ for this, but is also granting them refugee and resident status as well as the official protection of the US government.

As far as one can judge from a recently leaked internal document, a special report to US Congress for the 2014 financial year on the issue of migration prepared by the US Department of Homeland Security states that in 2014, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services applied 1,519 exemptions to individual applicants granted refugee status, resident status, and the official protection of the US government [5]. And the most interesting thing is that in one way or another, all of these people have links with terrorist groups and extensive experience of subversive activities.

The list includes old allies of Washington from among Cuban exiles, Kosovo Liberation Army militants who for some reason cannot live well in their own artificially created state, and many other covert and overt allies of the US. There are members of the Nationalist Republican Alliance from Salvador, most likely those who shot political opponents during the Cold War and are now hiding from justice. There are fighters from the Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrean Kunama – ethno-separatists who are opposed to the Eritrean government. There is the Tigray People’s Liberation Front from Ethiopia and the Oromo Liberation Front from the same country.

The list also includes activists from the Burmese Chin National Front and its military wing, the Chin National Army, which are members of the so-called Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). Members of the Karen National Union, including militants of the Karen National Liberation Army (an ethnic group living in Burma and Thailand) also received a quota to live in the US on the spot.

Refugee status was given to 49 former Iraqi citizens from the Iraqi Democratic Party, the Kurdish Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. The list of «1,519 exemptions” also includes members of other organisations that have devoted many years to armed conflicts.

One can only speculate on the kind of future wars the US has in mind if it is planning to use such specific migrants as a weapon.

1)Who is twitter-luring refugees to Germany?”, by Andrey Fomin, Oriental Review (Russia), Voltaire Network, 22 September 2015.

2)Strategic Engineered Migration as a Weapon of War”, Kelly M. Greenhill, Civil War Journal, Volume 10, Issue 1, July 2008.

3)Managing Europe’s Perfect Storm”, Richard Hass, Project Syndicate, October 2, 2015.

4)Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, Penguin Books, 2009.

5) Report on the Secretary’s Application of the Discretionary Authority Contained in Section 212(d)(3)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Annual Report to Congress, Fiscal Year 2014, US Department of Homeland Security. Download.


  1. BigB says

    “…receiving money via bank transfer is impossible in war-torn Syria. Organising transportation on credit clearly involves certain guarantees…”

    This is quite naive – the mechanism of transfer is the ancient honour based code of hawala. You give money to hawaladar Ain your home country, who puts in a call to hawaladar B in the recipients country, who gives the money (minus commission) to the recipient. No ‘transfer’, no trail, no record. The hawaladars honour the commitment to settle the debt later.

  2. bogomil says

    After leaving their first safe haven in Turkey, the earlier influx of refugees used Bulgaria as their point of entry into the EU, but were quickly shown a very nasty welcome there, and now burden Greece & Serbia with their un-invited presence..
    Sure it is a horror show for the refugees. The people of Aleppo & Damascus had somehow thrived for 10,000 years, before the CIA arrived with their foreign mercenaries..
    Merkel, with her dog & pony videos, is strangely legal in Germany, but easily blackmailed anywhere else. Perhaps is also true of Sweden?
    In Bulgaria, where I live one hour away from the Greek / Turk frontier, our border fence is nearly complete, & Trump would feel proud of us. The EU is paying, of course; 1 Euro for the fence, 3 Euro for our nato-friendly mafia “leaders”. Cheers ! After last months arrest of the border-control Chief & 12 officers, for receiving bribes from traffikers, the EU is now offering to hire 500 contract “refugee hunters”. Cheers !

  3. Seamus Padraig says

    I want applaud the Off-Guardian for running a piece like this. So many alt-Left publications would shy away from considering such a possibility for fear of being branded as ‘xenophobic’. In fact, I’m kind of surprised that Louis Proyect hasn’t shown up yet to denounce us all for being a bunch of raging ‘xenophobes’! But there is indeed a growing body of circumstantial evidence that certain powerful elements in the west have been engaged in the deliberate creation and manipulation of migration flows for years now, to the detriment of both migrant and native-born alike. Good work, Off-Graun!

  4. John says

    No one has mentioned the role of Angela Merkel in this situation.
    Without her opening the doors of Germany, many of those who attempted to leave Africa and war torn areas of the Middle East would never have contemplated their perilous journeys to gain “sanctuary” in Germany.
    The “pay back” for Merkel and Germany has been seen in a spate of terrorist-related events recently.
    The other group now thanking Merkel for her stupidity has to be those now organising modern-day slave auctions in Libya. See http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/libya-public-slave-auctions-africa-migrants-sold-refugees-international-organization-for-migration-a7678031.html for details.
    There are other media reports available on the same topic.
    When I have referred to neo-feudalism in the past, it seems that what I predicted is slowly coming to pass.
    As Jeff Halper has pointed out in his recent publication “War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification”, Pluto Press, 2015, ISBN 978-0-7453-3430-1, Israeli methods of control are now being exported around the world to control or pacify slum-dwellers in America and elsewhere around the world.
    This is now the modern army of surplus labour on the move, being deployed to undermine workers’ rights and encourage the creation of a new zero hours zero futures precariat in the western world.
    Ultimately, the already wealthy and powerful interests in the west and elsewhere are using these modern forms of pacification to control and dominate “ordinary” people so that the world’s wealth ends up in fewer hands.

  5. Seraskier says

    Of course, of course. Those refugees are just tools of American foreign policy, aren’t they??

    That’s why they risk their lives aboard criminally unsafe boats, right? And not, possibly, because an obese orange-faced orang-utan is bombing their country from the air, like the gutless stinking yankee poltroon he truly is?


    • Seraskier says

      I see the obese orangutan’s pals dropped by to downthumb my post?

    • Seamus Padraig says

      Maybe you’re unaware of this, but Trump only became president on Jan. 20, 2017–about a year and a half after the massive influx of refugees into Europe began … but hey, don’t let me interrupt your reverie there!

  6. What shouldn´t be forgotten: the process strips societies of the “Southern Hemisphere” of the most agile and well trained Young People!

  7. Jen says

    This strategy might well explain the spate of terrorist incidents in Europe over the past few years in which the perpetrators (whether real or supposed) turn out to be people well known to the authorities yet allowed to live and work in the general community in spite of the risk they pose.

    One wonders who in the US government or its agencies is egging on these “migrants” to go to Germany, France and Scandinavia (and especially Sweden) and why these countries. Does one dare see a connection in Germany and France having been allies in World War II (as Nazi Germany and Vichy France) and Sweden, technically “neutral” but collaborating with the Nazis and emerging from the war as the richest country in Europe?

    • Detailed examination by many researchers of the string of alleged “terrorist incidents” in Europe reveals them – all of them – to have been false flag events organised by state agencies and/or private contractors and using so-called “crisis actors” and dummies to fake dead and injured persons – like the ‘body’ in black tights (quite obviously a mannequin) placed under the back wheel of a 12-ton double-decker bus on Westminster Bridge – supposedly the body of a woman hit by the “terrorist’s” 4×4 and hurled in front of the bus, which then ran over her with both front and back wheels. Instead of the mangled corpse we would expect, the ‘body’ is intact, with no sign of breakage, compression or blood. There are many more indications that this was a false flag, but this fake victim is sufficient to prove the whole thing was a staged event. And of course the alleged ‘terrorist’ was known to the police/secret services.

      There are credible suggestions that the flood of migrants to Europe – and especially Germany – was facilitated/engineered (more Soros money?) with the deliberate aim of undermining national cultures. It is extremely unlikely that Merkel’s “open arms” policy was either her own idea or a genuine response from the heart. Merkel does what she is told to do by her US controllers. It appears that she has a villa in Paraguay (the bolt hole for when things go pear-shaped?), conveniently situated next door to the Bush family villa.

  8. bevin says

    “It would seem that this stream of refugees has objective reasons: armed conflicts and wars have been going on in Libya, Syria and Iraq for many years, while the situation is also turbulent in Palestine and Afghanistan..”
    This is just the icing on the migratory cake. The real story is that vast areas of land, which has supported subsistence and near subsistence communities for millennia is being ‘cleared’ of its inhabitants and the land ‘sold’ to speculators and capitalist agricultural corporations.
    It’s Enclosure on a global scale and these migrants are following the paths pioneered by various groups from the British Isles driven from their peasant holdings into proletarian poverty, dependence and desperation in the Planet of Slums of which Mike Davis wrote.

    • Seraskier says

      [[ is being ‘cleared’ of its inhabitants and the land ‘sold’ to speculators and capitalist agricultural corporations. ]]

      Really? In Syria?

      Do you actually have the slightest clue where these refugees are coming from?

      • bevin says

        No not in Syria. Nor did I suggest that. The mass migration crisis long predates the current war on Syria. The number of Syrian refugees is small compared to the total migration, but it is related to the general phenomenon.
        It is probably all a bit too complicated for you to understand. Can you play dominoes, for example?
        Large population displacements in Africa lead to migrations to Arabia, the Levant and southern Europe, among other places, this leads to adjustments in local housing, job and other markets and to political and social disruptions- unemployed young men become prey to jihadi recruiters, amongst other things.
        Consider, for example, the number of Iraqi refugees pushed into Syria by the US Invasion and the ‘surge’ and ethnic cleansing that followed it- this produced changes in Syria which increased political and sectarian tensions. By 2011 they amounted to a situation in which the US and its allies found it easy to ignite war.
        Consider the matter of Ukraine where massive amounts of fertile land are being bought up by foreign corporations, displacing populations designed to join the European proletariat, just as their predecessors in Poland, Romania etc did. It is all part of the same movement.

        • Seraskier says

          [[ It is probably all a bit too complicated for you to understand. ]]

          Your messages begins:

          [[ “It would seem that this stream of refugees has objective reasons: armed conflicts and wars have been going on in Libya, Syria and Iraq ]]

          Then you write:

          [[ No not in Syria. Nor did I suggest that. ]]

          So it looks like it’s you that’s having the conceptual difficulties? Try buying a map? Or there is something these days called The Internet, where they have some maps, I hear.

          [[ displacing populations designed to join the European proletariat ]]

          Really? So now there are armies of Ukrainian refugees washing through Europe too – doing America’s bidding?

          Sorry, I’m needed back on Planet Earth now.

        • Seraskier says

          No answer from “Bevin”.

          Not that I seriously expected one!!

          • Seamus Padraig says

            You also seem unaware of the fact that a huge percentage–perhaps even a majority–of the ‘Syrian’ refugees aren’t Syrian at all; in fact, many of them aren’t even Arab or from the Levant. Many of them are Central Asian, Sub-Saharan African and even Albanian. That was one of the first clues that there was something very wrong with the official narrative on the ‘Syrian’ refugees.

            • Seraskier says

              As I suggested earlier – you and your chums are keen to blame brown people for fleeing the wars YOU started.

              • Seamus Padraig says

                A.) My ‘chums’ and I haven’t started any wars at all, and I assume that they, like me, are completely opposed to all those illegal and immoral wars (Iraq, Libya, Syria, et al.). It is the neoliberals/neoconsertives (and their pseudo-left dupes/apologists) who promote a policy of ‘invade the world, invite the world’.

                B.) Once again, you’re begging the question. One of the main points at issue is how many of these people actually are Syrian war refugees–or even war refugees at all. In Germany, where I now live, the MSM initially did refer to them as Syrian refugees (Flüchtlinge); but when people started asking nosy questions about the ones from Albania, Central Asia, etc., suddenly the MSM starting calling them ‘migrants’ (Migranten) instead, and going on and on about how they will some day be very helpful in addressing Germany’s alleged ‘labor shortage’. All of this was very suspicious behavior.

                C.) As far as bona fide war refugees are concerned, I have nothing but compassion for their plight, and I certainly do not oppose giving them aid, shelter, medical care, schooling for the children, and anything else they may need in order to lead a dignified and humane existence. However, we must first establish that they are, in fact, war refugees, and secondly, if they are war refugees, we should let them in only temporarily and with the understanding that they are to go back to their country of origin once the war is over. If these conditions are not fulfilled, then the people in question actually aren’t refugees at all, but rather normal immigrants.

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