The upcoming Afghan migration crisis

The immediate crisis in Kabul will end with the departure of US forces, but President Biden’s surrender to the Taliban will have deleterious effects well beyond Afghanistan. Another migration crisis in Europe could be among the most significant.

“Migrants and refugees from Syria, Iraq and Libya will be joined by Afghans,” Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko saidnotedOn Monday. “Even if they end up in the West, they will go and fly through Belarus.”

Lukashenko, isolated after his brazen robbery of last year’s presidential election, is facilitating illegal immigration to Europe. So far, more than 4,000 have crossed neighboring Lithuania this year, up from a few dozen in 2020. Poland and Latvia have also had to strengthen their borders with Belarus as they face thousands of illegal crossings.

The strongman made it clear that Minsk was arming migrants against European Union sanctions against his government elites and certain Belarusian industries. He told the US and UK to “choke on your sanctions” earlier this month. Mr Lukashenko has many reasons to believe that he can behave with impunity.

The International Monetary Fund this week gave the regime a lifeline of nearly $ 1 billion through “special drawing rights.” (See opposite.) Mr. Biden and his European counterparts, overwhelmed in Afghanistan, never organized effective opposition to the movement despite their influence at the IMF.

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