Europe was already bracing for another wave of migrants that could surpass the record influxes of a few years ago. Then President Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan happened. The countless Afghanis who prefer not to live under a medieval theocracy, and who cannot be airlifted out of the country (which, thus far, has left many third country nationals stranded), are certain to be exiting any way they can. And that, most likely, means overland to Europe.
Afghan migrants will be joining the exodus of those fleeing the decade-long sectarian bloodletting in Syria, the utter collapse of Lebanon (which has been described as “sliding back to the stone age”) and other failed states in Asia and Africa.
Greece, the gateway to the European Union for Middle Eastern migrants, has been taking steps to prevent a repeat of the chaotic migration of the mid-2010s. To protect their country, and the health and safety of their people, Greece has built a wall along its border with Turkey. The border wall has obviously been in the works for a while, but the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has lent new urgency to securing borders, says the Greek official in charge.
“The Afghan crisis is creating new facts in the geopolitical sphere and at the same time it is creating possibilities for migrant flows. As a country we cannot remain passive to the possible consequences,” stated Michalis Chrisochoidis, Greece’s Citizens’ Protection Minister. “Our borders will remain secure and inviolable. We will not allow uncontrolled and erratic movements and we will not allow any attempt to violate them,” he added.
Chrisochoidis’ assertion of national interest stands in stark contrast to the positions taken by his American counterpart, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who recently conceded our borders are out of control and that conditions along our southern border are “unsustainable,” and yet is doing nothing to bring the situation under control. Additionally, President Biden, who failed to heed warnings from defense and intelligence agencies about his plan (or lack thereof) to withdraw from Afghanistan, does not seem to be taking seriously new warnings from the Pentagon about the heightened danger of terrorist attacks against the United States in the aftermath of the Taliban victory.
Like dozens of other countries, Greece is now added to the list of nations that recognize that they cannot be “passive to the possible consequences” of chaotic migration in the face of a global pandemic and renewed threats of terrorism – which leaves the Biden administration standing alone, once again, rather than leading the world.