Why does Saudi Arabia not welcome refugees?

Refugees - Weakening Europe?

Under the leadership of the USA, the western democracies have interfered in a number of countries in the Islamic world and in their internal conflicts over the past 15 years, explains peace researcher Otfried Nassauer. Be it to fight so-called Islamist terrorism or be it to eliminate dictators like Saddam Hussein, Gaddhafi or now Assad.

The influx of refugees, with which Europe is now confronted after the neighboring countries, are a consequence of this. What were the original goals of the various geopolitical actors and how are they reacting to the problems caused by them?

- The USA - Failed Missionary in the Near and Middle East?

- Europe and the USA - Does Washington want to keep Europe small?

- Near and Middle East - The cards are being reshuffled

- Turkey - The fear of a Kurdish power center

- Russia - Increased self-confidence?

- Germany - Refugees as Potential?

 

The USA - Failed Missionary in the Near and Middle East?

 

With the western military, existing, unpopular rulership structures could be smashed, but no stable states could be built.

Otfried Nassauer, peace researcher

What are the goals of the USA in the Arab world?

Otfried Nassauer: About the geopolitical or economic motives of the US to get into the internal conflicts

Interfering in different countries of the Islamic world means little, but much is said about the values ‚Äč‚Äčthat are supposed to justify it. There was something missionary about it. In most cases, however, it has been shown that, with the Western military, existing, unpopular rulership structures could be smashed, but no power relations and forms of government that were permanently accepted by the people and peoples concerned, no stable states could be built.

Let us take a closer look at the flow of refugees from Syria.

At first the Syrians only fled to the neighboring countries. Then the donor countries only paid these neighboring countries a small part of the promised economic and financial aid. In the meantime, the situation has worsened: Due to a lack of money, the UN Refugee Agency and the World Food Program themselves have to stop providing basic services to many of the people who have fled. The result: the poorest have to go back to the war zones. Those who can afford it would rather try to get to safe countries straight away. They are then in Europe.

What responsibility does the US have for the refugee flows?

You certainly have a lot of responsibility. But by no means the only one. Washington is responsible for the apparently "neverending" global war on terrorism, for the situation in Iraq and for the failure in Afghanistan.

 

Europe and the USA - Does Washington Want to Keep Europe Small?

 

What role does Europe play?

We in Europe shouldn't throw stones out of the glass house. It was above all Great Britain and France who pleaded for military action against Libya and Syria. So Europeans certainly cannot wash their hands in innocence. You have mostly participated in the US-led interventions. In Washington, however, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, many saw themselves as the sole superpower, which now also had the right and the duty to shape the post-war order of the Cold War. That wasn't just the winning mentality, but also some arrogance. It was believed that the Near and Middle East could be reshaped to suit their own taste with a stroke of a hand.

An arrogance whose consequences Europe must pay for today?

From the US perspective, Europe is an important regulatory partner, but at the same time an important economic competitor. Washington needs it, but neither should it be too strong or too independent. Calling the USA

also for a Europe that speaks and acts decisively with one voice on foreign and security policy. On the other hand, they do a lot to ensure that it never comes to that. As long as the USA as a unified state

to act, but Europe first has to seek the European compromise before it can act, that is an advantage for the USA, which Washington would like to preserve for as long as possible.

It is not a disadvantage for the USA if its competitor Europe is confronted with instability in its neighborhood and its consequences.

Otfried Nassauer, peace researcher

Is it in the US interest to weaken Europe?

Europe should by no means perish. Washington needs the Europeans as regulatory and economic partners. But Europe shouldn't become too strong either. That's why Washington occasionally sponsors

the disagreement in an enlarged Europe. Divide and conquer. It is not a disadvantage for the USA if its competitor Europe is confronted with instability in its neighborhood and its consequences. No matter whether in the Ukraine, in the Near and Middle East or, by the way, in North Africa. For the US, these regions are far away. Instability is therefore acceptable over a longer period of time if Europe bears the costs and can therefore do less in order to be economically competitive. This does not apply to Europe.

 

Near and Middle East - The cards are being reshuffled

 

If we now look at the crisis regions of the Near and Middle East. What changes do you see there?

Some of the cards are being reshuffled there. The geopolitically long passive Russia is re-entering the stage. On the one hand, an Alawich-Shiite axis is emerging around Assad, the Iraqi government in Baghdad and Iran, which expects support from Moscow and political backing from Beijing, because these two do not want to submit to the dominance of Washington without resistance. On the other hand, we have the Sunni structure from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Emirates. It is weakened.

By what?

These countries are traditionally the partners of the USA. But when it comes to the nuclear deal with Iran and the fight against IS and Al Qaeda, there are now clear fault lines with Washington.

Geopolitics is always a politics of resources. How do oil and gas play a role in the conflict?

In Syria, a gas pipeline project of Shiite-Alawi-led countries is competing with a Sunni one.

Otfried Nassauer, peace researcher

Of course, it is always about oil and gas, about controlling their transport routes and marketing. These are important sources of income for some and effective instruments for others to influence the economic development opportunities of entire states. This is even visible in Syria. A gas pipeline project from Shiite-Alawi-led countries will compete there with a Sunni one. But fault lines can also be seen here: Saudi Arabia in particular is responsible for the low oil price. It wants to prevent the fracking oil from paying off and new oil wells from being tapped. That goes against the USA too. Conversely, the nuclear deal with Iran also means that a supplier would return to the world market who, firstly, can bring a lot of cheap oil to the market and, secondly, competes directly with Saudi Arabia for the role of regional supremacy.

 

Turkey - The fear of a Kurdish power center

 

Does Turkey have a kind of mediator role for geographic reasons?

It's all very complicated for Turkey. It is a neighbor of the wars that has had to take in millions of refugees. It is the only Islamic NATO country. However, Turkey's interests are often different from those of the USA. Ankara has abandoned the goal of EU membership and is paying more attention to autonomy. It covertly promoted the strengthening of IS because it was hoped that IS would serve its main interest: preventing the emergence of a stronger Kurdish power center.

The anti-Kurdish orientation of Turkish politics is omnipresent, for example even when Ankara proposes a protection zone for civilians in northwest Syria.

Otfried Nassauer, peace researcher

The Kurds are the largest people on earth without a state of their own. Many live in Turkey. The electoral success of a Kurdish party recently prevented President Erdogan's AKP from forming a government based on a majority that would amend the constitution. The PKK is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, but at the same time, together with the Syrian YPG, it is the most powerful ground force that takes action against IS. The anti-Kurdish orientation of Turkish politics is omnipresent, for example even when Ankara proposes a protection zone for civilians in northwest Syria. It could deport Syrian refugees into this area, thereby changing the ethnic composition in this area to the detriment of the Kurds and Alawites and leaving them with the problem of refugee care.

 

Russia - increased self-confidence?

 

Russia is now also participating in the Syrian conflict. What is Russia trying to achieve with this?

As I said, we are in a time of upheaval. Although Russia is no longer a superpower, it is at least a major regional power and the only one with sufficient nuclear potential to threaten the US with unacceptable damage. Moscow has long hoped that the West would ultimately accept Russia's security interests and that Russia would have an important say in shaping European security and in regions bordering on Russia. That hope has died in Moscow over the past decade. Russia today no longer believes in a more independent Europe as a partner, and it no longer believes Washington's talk of strategic partnership either. It relies on its own strength. It demonstrates the ability to his

Russia is signaling to Washington and the rest of the West that they are no longer willing to give up important foreign trade or military partners without a fight.

Otfried Nassauer, peace researcher

To be able to enforce interests de facto - in Crimea because of the Black Sea Fleet and in Syria with the help of the Black Sea Fleet. Fighting radical Islamists is definitely in Russia's interest. How threatening this could become for Moscow has already been shown several times from a Russian perspective in northern Causeway. Many ISIS fighters come from Russia and threaten to return.

Ultimately, however, Moscow is concerned with more: it signals to Washington and the rest of the West that it is no longer willing to give up important foreign trade or military partners without a fight. They should be held. Moscow is signaling in Syria: Assad must be included in the solution. It remains to be seen whether Moscow can sustain such a policy of military intervention economically and militarily in the long term. Low oil and gas prices limit it.

 

Germany - Refugees as Potential?

 

Back to the refugees arriving in Europe and especially in Germany - why is Angela Merkel letting enormous numbers of refugees into the country?

Syria was a secular state, and Baath socialism attached great importance to education. Taking in these people can be very constructive.

Otfried Nassauer, peace researcher

Angela Merkel is a trained physicist. She observes the balance of forces and knows what polygons are. She also knows how to influence them and how to calculate their own effects in advance. In the longer term, it is

Definitely an advantage if Germany allows significantly more immigration. Especially when it comes to young, relatively well-educated people. In fact, it is well worth the effort. Syria was a secular state, and Baath socialism attached great importance to education. Taking in these people can be very constructive. In the case of Ms. Merkel personally, her socialization in a Protestant rectory household is also likely: Protestants are shaped by a kind of moral imperative, ethical responsibility plays a major role. They cannot speculate that fallible, misguided decisions will be forgiven them at the next confession.

 

Not all refugees survive the dangerous journey to Europe. The Internet platform The Migrants Files collects data on deaths on Europe's borders.