The View From Olympus: Invasion

The column or caravan of Central Americans slowly moving north through Mexico with the intention of crossing into the U.S. is a classic Fourth Generation war invasion.  An invasion by immigrants is more, not less, dangerous than an invasion by a hostile army because the army eventually goes home while immigrants stay, permanently altering the cultural landscape.  In this case, they would not alter it for the better.

If this country is to survive in a 4GW world, we recognize that this invasion threat is just the flea sitting on the top of the penguin sitting on top of the iceberg.  If this invasion is successful, the next caravan will be larger.  The one after that will be larger still.  A combination of state failure, economic ruin, climate change, and population pressures means millions, tens of millions, ultimately hundreds of millions of people around the world will be trying to move from south to north.  If we don’t stop them, our societies, those north of the equator, will be turned into their societies, which is to say the places they are fleeing because they don’t work.  That may not be their intention (in the case of Islamics, it is their intention), but it will be the result because it is all they know.  Their numbers will be such that they cannot be acculturated by their new societies before those societies are engulfed, overwhelmed, and snuffed out.  

President Trump is right that we cannot allow these people to enter the U.S. and apply for asylum or refugee status.  In the time it will take for their cases to be evaluated, they will simply disappear among the millions of illegal immigrants already here.  They must be stopped at the border or before the border.  Again, this is true not just for the current caravan but for the millions who will be following them.  The question is how to do it.

An old practice, one that was almost universal up to World War II, would help: requiring visas.  To cross a border required not just a passport, which is issued by the country of the person’s origin, but also a visa, which is issued by the country they want to enter.  No visa, no crossing the border.  Some countries still require visas for entry.  Sometimes they can be obtained at the point and time of entry, but more often a would-be border crosser must obtain a visa well beforehand.  Crying “refugee” or “asylum” makes no difference: you still have to have a visa.

Visas would help, but as the 21st century unrolls, the numbers of migrants will be such that the borders will still be overwhelmed.  When ten million people are all heading for your border at once, only one thing will stop them: deadly force.  Again, at least up until World War II, anyone attempting an illegal border crossing was at a substantial risk of getting shot.  Border guards everywhere had standing “shoot to kill” orders.  Snipers were posted to shoot swimmers.  Unless borders are defended by force, they don’t really exist. 

Here we quickly run into one of the most confounding aspects of Fourth Generation war, the power of weakness.  At the moral level, having border guards shoot down women and children is a disaster.  The moral level is more powerful than the physical level, which means states will have great difficulty overcoming public pressure not to shoot.  But if they don’t shoot, they will be invaded and, both as states and as cultures, wiped out.

There are at least a couple of partial answers to this problem.  The first is to make border defenses automatic.  In most cases this should be feasible on land borders.  Defend the borders wherever possible not with men, but with automatic machine guns and the like.  The power of weakness is diminished because the invaders, knowingly walking into deadly threats, look stupid.  Instead of reacting with horror, people will say, “how dumb can you get?”

A second answer is to make the necessary violence invisible.  If invaders come by sea, a la The Camp of the Saints, automatic defenses are less visible.  But if their ships are torpedoed by submarines and spurlos gesenkt, the moral blowback will be less than if the evening news shows a destroyer pumping shells into a ship as desperate people swim for their lives — and are not rescued.

The feminized culture of sentiment that now rules in Western countries makes any defense difficult.  The strategic key to the West’s defense is to replace that culture with a more masculine culture that wants to fight.  That will happen.  Whether it happens in time is the question.


Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

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