Definition of invasion.
In the tradition of literary orthodoxy let us start with the standard text book/dictionary definition of an invasion and move on from there. Let it be stated from the outset that invasion has several different definitions that can all be suitably applied to a small array of phenomenon.
According to the Merrium-Webster Dictionary an invasion is:
1) “especially: an incursion of an army for conquest or plunder”.
2) “:the incoming spread of something unusually hurtful”.
The Online Oxford Dictionary defines invasion as:
1.1 “An instance of invading a country or region with an armed force”
1.2 “An incursion by a large number of people or things into a sphere of activity”
1.3 “An unwelcome intrusion of another’s domain”.
There’s a great deal that can be said about an invasion just within what has been described but what really makes an invasion significant is intent. More specifically, does the invading force wish to pursue the pre-Napoleonic goal of invasion (ignoring Westphalia momentarily), being use of massive military force to seize and hold territory with the explicit intent of plundering resources?
This seems logical but an invasion does not necessarily need to pursue this end. Neither of the US led invasions of Iraq required a seizure of resources or cessation of territorial integrity. Most certainly not in the first Gulf War where US forces smashed a retreating Iraqi army who may – or may not have – sought a tactical withdrawal in order to launch counter attack or favourable post-battle posture. In 2003 many accused the US of desiring to seize oil from Iraq, but the US – at the time and to this day – has little reason to invade a Middle Eastern country for oil.
If the US was so intent on invading a sovereign nation for oil they could’ve easily done so to Venezuela who has the largest oil reserves in the world (300,878bn barrels). This would have also been of little cost due to geographical proximity to the US, accessibility due to sea lanes (the US has the largest blue sea navy in the world), and the comparatively simple nature of the society which makes counter-insurgency operations markedly easier than the Middle East. And even if the US were hell bent on the high-quality oil of the Middle East, they could have just struck a deal with Sadaam Hussein like Jaques Chirac did, or perhaps offered them something to the effect of food for oil.
Sometimes invasions are not about resources at all but based on nothing but simple notions of uniting national or ethno-religious identities be they Serb, Kurdish, Tutsi, Jew or Ukrainian. When Russian forces seized the Crimea in 2014 they did so out of frustration that the Ukrainian government did not look favourably on their perceived idea of national unity which saw a people separated from their kin folk in the Motherland.
The difference between invasions like the US invasion of Iraq and the Russian invasion of Crimea is intent. Ultimately the US had – albeit ill-conceived – a notion of exit strategy concerned in an eventual withdrawal. The Russian Federation had no such intent, instead opting for seizure of territory for nationalistic purposes which excelled President Putin to astronomical levels of popularity even though all he did was masterfully take advantage of a weakness in US foreign policy under the Obama administration.
In Putin’s defence however, moving on a weakened adversary is the hallmark of a great tactician in the Sun Tzu tradition. Ultimately, what this all boils down to is a difference between occupation and annexation. Iraq is not US territory with any clear gain for US sovereign integrity or nationalistic empowerment. Russia has seized strategic ground in the Black Sea with no intent of ever pulling her forces from the area all the while chanting about the romanticized notion of unification of long lost peoples.
The key take away here is that intent for invasion matters.
The ‘Migrant Caravan’.
Some time prior to the US mid-term elections a ‘migrant caravan’ began amassing peoples in Honduras and Guatemala for a journey north towards the US border, with the explicit intent of incursion and having various demands met with no concern for US law. A people who have, as Stefan Molyneux puts it “already signalled their desire to break American law”.
Estimates of the so called ‘Migrant caravan’ have ranged from 5000 to 14,000, though prior to reaching Tijuana, in early November, the most consistent number was around 7000. The LA Times reported that these numbers were thinning but it’s an extremely difficult to monitor given the distance, the travellers and the terrain both physical and human.
Travellers tend to slow down in towns as they are good places for breaks during the journey yet some will take longer than others. The distance from the Honduras northern border to the US southern border in California is 3,912.315 km which is roughly around the distance from Melbourne to Cape York (3,944.6 km) and would take about 797 hours or 33 days to walk. The shorter distance would be to the Texas border which is 1,789.591 km and would take around 363 hours or 15 days to walk. Travelling along the Pacific highway from Melbourne to Brisbane is about 1,781.8 km and would therefore be the closest equivalent to the distance between Honduras and Texas. Walking for around 8 hours a day is a trying task for the strongest of young men – which the caravan is mostly made up of – and near impossible with women and young children.
There have been reports of people in Mexican towns supporting them with food, water and shelter as well as some sporadic means of transportation being provided to the ‘caravan’. This is of course the only way that such a trek is made possible, with a great deal of outside assistance. The worn-out shoes and feet, the illness brought on by weather, dehydration and lack of food can only be adequately resisted with a great amount of resources provided. Yet this is still near impossible for a few Mexican townspeople to provide so much resources to so many people at every stage of this long journey.
Clearly the assistance is coming from a serious financier with an intent to cause disruptions to US border integrity and inevitably, domestic politics.
Another clear indicator of this is the timing. The mobilisation of this force happened to pick up most of its momentum around the US mid-term elections and had a sizable amount of media coverage until the election had passed. Now it seems Conservative Review and Breitbart and the like are the only media outlets covering the story in any depth, especially since the vanguard of this horde arrived in Tijuana where locals are protesting the presence of these ‘invaders’.
So why is this happening, and what is there to gain by sending a large number of migrants into the United States?
Two possible answers are:
- The economic burden that mass migration causes.
- The voting tendencies of peoples who are new to Western societies.
Large numbers of migrants put a drain on resources and incur a heavy cost to the tax paying inhabitants of any nation. In 2016 when Australia pledged to take an additional 12,000 Syrian migrants on top of the 13,750 annual intake the cost was estimated to be more than $700 million. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton pointed out that the costs would likely go on for some time as almost none of the extra refugees taken in spoke English and would need to “languish” in unemployment and on Medicare.
An article in The Australian from that year highlighted a 2011 report from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship which noted that while it is true that migrants from the third world do assist in filling labour shortages, it can take a considerable amount of time. The article also noted that:
“The Social and Economic Contributions of First and Second Generation Humanitarian Entrants report found that, among those interviewed as new arrivals in 1994-96, 84 per cent of the refugees were unemployed. Three years later, 33 per cent still did not have jobs”.
The key factors of newly arrived migrants having such low employment were poor English language skills, low education and literacy rates, poor physical and mental health among a small host of other factors. The article goes on:
“In a 2010 survey of relatively new migrants to Australia, including 8500 refugees, half the respondents said they spoke English not well or not at all. The Australian Survey Research found 24.1 per cent were in paid work”.
In Sweden the 318,000 ‘Syrian refugees’ will cost around $18.6 billion USD which accounts for 19% of the national budget in 2017. On average this amounts to just over $58,490 per ‘refugee’ per year. A major academic study by the University College London analysed figures from 1995 to 2011 found that:
“Migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) made a negative contribution to the public purse of £117.9 billion because they consumed more in public expenditure – including NHS costs, welfare hand-outs and education – than they contributed in taxes”.
Stefan Moleneux also points out the issues facing Germany where in 2016 the migrant population cost over $86 billion over 4 years which means that 12 Germans have to work to pay taxes to support 1 migrant.
The other destabilising factor for the current US administration is the voting tendencies of newly arrived migrants particularly from Latin America. Pew Research conducted a study on the recent mid-term elections and found that Hispanic voters were more enthusiastic and engaged than in previous years. A positive sign for those in favour of tight border controls is that 1% more Hispanic voters are voting Republican than in 2014 which is a 6% increase from the 2010 mid-terms. But overall, the trend for Latin voters in the US leans left towards the Democrats.
Another relevant factor in voting tendencies is that of felony voting, that is to say if convicted felons in the US could vote. A 2002 study by Uggen and Manza found that:
“Democratic candidates would have received about 7 out of every 10 votes cast by the felons and ex-felons in 14 of the last 15 US Senate election years”.
So why is the voting tendencies of convicted felons of any relevance? Judicial Watch Inc who describe themselves as a ‘conservative, non-partisan, educational platform’ have had staff following the migrant ‘caravan’ and have reported on their observations. From their initial reports at the Guatemalan-Honduran border they claimed that the mainstream media narrative of refugees – many of them women and children – fleeing hardship is hardly accurate. A report by Judicial Watch claimed:
“Guatemalan intelligence officials confirmed that the caravan that originated in the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula includes a multitude of Special Interest Aliens (SIA) from countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India along with various African nations, as well as other criminal elements and gang members.”
In essence, a large amount of criminally minded Latin American men may well be voting in the US should they be granted asylum of some kind and its quite common knowledge that some regions of the US are reputed to be very weak on enforcing voter ID laws. As if all of this was not enough, Politifact, citing Guatemalan news source Prensa Libre on October 11th, claimed that Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales stated at a press conference that “close to 100 people” with close links to ISIS were detained and deported to their country of origin. How many more have slipped through past the weak security forces of Central America is anyone’s guess.
What’s evident in all of this, is that should this invading horde enter their desired destination, the US would be immediately constrained by financial burden, would more than likely see a dramatic shift in voting patterns against the current administration, and would need to brace itself for imminent Jihadist activity more than likely supported and agitated by groups like CAIR. Some may argue that there is no evidence that this invasion is supported by outside financiers, and though that may be the case, from a strategic standpoint, this is irrelevant. The mere fact that enemies of the West can utilise such means to cause financial, societal and political discontent in the US warrants a firm resistance by US Department of Homeland Security and even military action.
This invasion needs to be seen as the threat to national security that it clearly is, and it doesn’t need to be funded by Iran, Soros or the Muslim Brotherhood to constitute such a threat.
While wars have often been invasions of territory launched by conventional forces to seize resources, this is no longer the case. In 2018 there is no need to send armed men to carry out this objective. Let us be frank; 7000+ mostly fighting aged males heading from Central America to the US are likely a well organised, well-funded and well-resourced invading army that has the ability to drain the nation’s resources, shift the balance of power and cause immeasurable mayhem. As stated, the intent of invaders matters, and this rowdy horde of vagabonds, thugs and terrorists are not your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. They constitute nothing less than a hostile invading force, hellbent on weakening a powerful Democracy and must be treated with the swift aggression that any conventional military invaders would be.
Oh, and it’s definitely time to #BuildTheWall.