Hybrid War

On the border between Belarus and Poland, masked, heavily armed men are holding a crowd of people hostage, trying to push them to cross the border illegally. The armed men have dragged these people to the border in order to make them act as migrants, render the Polish border insignificant, and destabilize Poland. The goal is to have the fake migrants occupy parts of the Polish territory and then bring in troops to control the territory militarily under the pretext of defending their rights.

This is called hybrid war. It exists to advance a model of statehood that is an alternative to the rapidly collapsing nation-state. This model isn’t tied to the territory, like the nation-state is, but to the people. “Our country” isn’t the territory within these clearly demarcated borders any longer. Instead, “our country” is wherever “our people” are. People are a lot more portable than land. You can bring them anywhere and start refashioning the society where you now have “your people” in any way you want, including militarily. This has already been done to several countries.

While Americans have been gazing intently at their navels and debating the racistest racism of the racistest racisms, other people have come up with an alternative to the nation-state – a pretty terrifying alternative – and are putting it in practice.

Currently, there are several models of state governance that are being tried out around the world to substitute the nation-state. The one I described is Russian. China is trying out its own thing. Maybe they’ll soon combine their models. In the US, though, we are still stuck on who’s what color. Important things are happening around the world but we can’t be assed to notice.

P.S. That’s exactly how it started in Ukraine in 2014:

Who was it that said Putin will start invading again the monent Trump is gone and a weak president is installed in the US? Yes, I believe it was me.

8 thoughts on “Hybrid War

  1. So far we have: Belorussian army with Russian troops on one side, Polish army with UK troops on the other side with migrants caught in between. What could go wrong?

    By the way, my parents grew up during the WW2. My father has some stories about being used by soldiers as a human shield (soldiers transporting munition “kindly” gave him and his friend a ride thus lowering a probability of being attacked). For some reason, watching some of the videos from the border seeing children and babies caught in the middle made me remember those stories.

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  2. The situation reported in the Polish media is a little different… Belarus (with Russian help?) is actively recruiting migrants in parts of the middle east and selling visas (several thousand euro), making it seem like it’s easy to get to the Schengen area.

    Once in Belarus they are mostly left to their own devices and finally transported near the border (usually being beaten and robbed along the way) and then many are abandoned in forests where they wander around for days. Some manage to get into Poland but don’t want to apply for asylum in Poland because they have their sites set on Germany which does not want them (and, unusually, is supporting the Polish government in attempts to keep them out and/or push them back into Belarusian territory.

    In other places they are pushed toward the border for confrontations with Polish border guards. The existence of Belarusian/Russian operatives among the migrant groups attacking the fortifications is well documented.

    I had assumed that one sub-goal of Lukashenka/Putin might be to get Poland to build a border fence that could be used to keep unhappy Belarusians in… a fence will be necessary since Putin’s goal is to rebuild a facsimile of the USSR and that model only works if you can keep people in by force.

    I had assumed that the primary target of the disruption is the EU and especially German (given Putin’s longtime obsession with Merkel and weird desire to keep in contact with her and have her admire how strong and relentless he is…. sick).

    Now they’re building camps for migrants on the Belarusian side as, I assume, they want to keep the migrant money rolling in…

    “fake migrants occupy parts of the Polish territory and then bring in troops to control the territory militarily”

    As….what? There have long been Belarusian and Ukrainian minorities on the eastern border but they’re far more Polish than anything else (trying to keep ‘their’ languages alive has been a chore).

    If they do that it would effectively mean the end of NATO since a Biden administration would not lift a finger (and who else…. can?)

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  3. Most people define identity in terms of language and culture. This has been fairly obvious with Boris Johnson in post Brexit Britain promoting ties with English-speaking former colonies.

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  4. The wealth of a jurisdiction has long been the people. In the middle ages, for example, peasants were sold along with land and regarded almost like cattle. The more productive the peasants the more the land was worth.

    Regarding weaponised refugees, according to my information both Turkey and Belarus are doing this at the moment. It doesn’t bode well for Belarus, since it seems that every nation that tries it does not fare well afterwards.

    As for the US, I personally don’t agree that it has navel gazed. From where I am it seems more like the Americans found their talent pool in Latin America long ago and so don’t have to try very hard to replenish stocks of young/poor/cheap labourers.

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  5. “This model isn’t tied to the territory, like the nation-state is, but to the people. “Our country” isn’t the territory within these clearly demarcated borders any longer. Instead, “our country” is wherever “our people” are.”

    Isn’t that a return to a pretty old fashioned way of describing a “nation” (before the rise of the nation state)?

    So that diasporas, exiles etc. are part of a “nation” even if they don’t live in the historic homeland (and people who are occupiers/migrants to the land may not be part of the same “nation” as their neighbor just by living in the same territory as the previous natives) and there are situations where people imagine themselves as a nation without a “nation state”?

    Like the idea of the Jewish diaspora as a nation irrespective of its members’ location, or people seeing Germans as Germans, regardless of if they resided in Tyrol, Alsace, Pomerania, or Pennsylvania or Chinese as Chinese regardless of if they live in Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, or San Francisco.

    You still see echoes of this for e.g. when people conflate ethnicity with nationality (saying for instance that an Asian American’s “nationality” is Japanese or an Italian American’s is Italian, rather than both belonging to the American nation, for example), and in ideas about citizenship through descent, rather than by birthright.

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    1. And that vision of Germany as being wherever a few Germans lived was the pretext for the beginning of WWII.

      Today we have this vision of identity practiced by the largest country in the world which is also a nuclear superpower. This already started a bunch of recent wars. This is a very very dangerous way of thinking.

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