According to this article by the SMH, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott appears to have shut the door on an increase in Australia‘s intake of Syrian refugees even as his cabinet moves closer to approving air strikes on the strife-torn nation.
This story highlights a global trend, with liberals wanting greater humanitarian aid, whilst conservatives are more focused on dealing with the cause of the humanitarian disaster.
Russia‘s President Putin seems to be have a point when, according to the NYT, he argued for an international coalition against terrorism and extremism.
Essentially, there are three separate but connected problems:
- The cause, which President Putin refers to as terrorism and extremism;
- The humanitarian disaster, which is about dealing with the refugees; and
- The social consequences, addressing the medium/long-term consequences of of open immigration to Europe.
Finally, the World has faced up to (2), the humanitarian disaster and Angela Merkel & other leaders are right to focus crisis management activities accordingly.
However, strategically it is necessary for political leaders and commentators to focus on (1) and (3), as well.