Friday, May 09, 2008

A New Kind of War

Gary Brecher, the eXile's resident War Nerd, writes in TakiMag:

To succeed in the post-1918 world, the world Woodrow Wilson dreamed up where “small nations” have rights even if they can’t defend them, you need to use slower, less obviously military methods, like birthrate and immigration.

The classic example of this kind of slow conquest is Kosovo. The Serbs could always defeat the Albanians on the battlefield, even when outnumbered, but the Albanians had a huge advantage in the most important military production of all—babies. According to the BBC, the birthrate of Kosovo Albanians 50 years ago was an amazing 8.5 children per woman.

The Serb/Albanian conflict offers damn near perfect lab conditions to prove my case that birth rate trumps military prowess these days, because the Serbs always beat the Albanians in battle, yet they’ve lost their homeland, Kosovo. Here again, we can blame Woodrow Wilson and his talk about “rights.” In places where tribes hate each other, a tribe that outbreeds its rival will become the majority, even if it can’t fight. So, after generations of skulking at home making babies, letting the Serbs do the fighting, the Albanians finally became the majority in Kosovo and therefore the official “good guys,” being oppressed by the official “bad guys,” the Serbs. At least that’s the way the naïve American Wilsonian types like Clinton saw it. So when the Serbs fought back against an Albanian rebellion in Kosovo, and dared to beat the Albanians, Clinton decided to bomb the Serbs into letting go of Kosovo, the ancient heartland of a Christian nation that had spent its blood holding off the Turks for hundreds of years.

Now, what helped the Albanians in this endeavor were two things. First, after 1945, Serbs had little or no authority in Kosovo (or Serbia, for that matter), so they could do little to stop this. Secondly, Tito's regime plowed massive resources - plundered from all over Yugoslavia - into the Albanian-dominated province, building schools, hospitals, factories, apartment blocks and other benefits of civilization. One notable thing is that the Albanian birth rate did not drop with urbanization - quite the contrary, it rose thanks to better medical care.

This is precisely what KFOR commander de Marhnac spoke of last November: Albanians not only outnumber the Serbs, they also out-breed them by orders of magnitude. And if the Serbs dare procreate, there's ways of fixing that.

Kosovo is not just a case study of successful (for the time being, anyway) demographic warfare. It is also a case study in how not to oppose it. A military response, even a successful one, can be used as a pretext for an actual invasion (i.e. the 1999 NATO bombing/occupation). It is inhumane by definition, and opens one up to charges of "genocide," whether deservedly or not. The only way to resist this sort of takeover is prevention. This means not just tighter immigration controls - though there is good sense in not letting just about anyone in, let alone people who wish you ill - but tackling the core vulnerability that demographic warfare has been designed to exploit: the welfare state.

Without a way to saddle someone else - preferably the host society - with the expense of delivering, feeding, educating and employing all those "weaponized" babies, any project of demographic conquest is effectively stillborn.


Red Star said...

A similar argument about birthrates and demographics is sometimes advanced over the Protestant identity of Northern Ireland. The Catholics, it is argued, must inevitabley gain majority there simply because they reproduce so much quicker - at least statistically. And the argument itself obviously adds to the determination of the protestants to resist, by rearranging electorates etc.

But again - a naive appeal to democracy or rule of the majority even, does not solve the conflict of interests there. The religious differences there soon run to education and then career and business opportunities etc.

And like Kosovo and Serbian interests, the 'Ulster Ulcer' has a very long history, and if nothing else ought to alert meddling super powers that resolution is unlikely to be quick and simple.

Idiots like Rice can wipe their hands and walk away from Kosovo, thinking it's time the Serbs 'got over it' but 700 hundred years of history confirm that there is no 'getting over' territory here. Kosovo may have temporarily gained Albanian identity, but this will only displace the injustice elsewhere or delay Serbian response.

One way or another.... Sooner or later... Again and again, even to the distant and casual historian, the Balkans provide a forbidding lesson to Europe.

Incidentally - great to see you back to mid-season form on, GF

Robstar said...

Intersting article but i have to say there is a flaw in the arguement that demographics beats conventional warfare. In the Kosovo case it was more to do with the West using conventional means of getting Serbs out of the way.
To say the West backed the Albanians because their was more of them is wrong, that was just the excuse they made up to convince the voters to back their aggresive adventure. They cherry pick whatever figures suit their needs. For example they don't mention 80% of the worlds countries don't recognise Kosovo's UDI, but instead say that 70% of the worlds economy do. If that hadn't been the case then i'm sure they would have come up with another figure to show they were in the majority. In the end the Albanian majority was just a means to justify the ends.

Gray Falcon said...

Oh, I never said the Empire backed the Albanians because they were a majority. I do know the difference between a cause and an excuse. But the whole willpower thing - Albanians want Kosovo, and are willing to lie, cheat, steal and kill in order to get it, while the Serbs make up excuses as to why they should *not* fight for it - fits the theory.

Robstar said...

I was refering more to the orginal article then your analysis. I do agree that the Albanians are motivated 100% in their goal while the Serb are more or less sitting on their hands. My conversations with family and friends living in Serbia are frustrating at best. All agree something need to be done but everyones waiting for someone else to do it. I think the election turnout says it all, given the importance of the issues involved barely 50% vote. That more than anything tells me most people have just given up.