I offered a modest proposal today for dealing with Europe's refugee problem and its Daesh problem in today's New York Times "Room for Debate" page. Here's the heart of it:
A German parliamentarian is talking about conscripting military-age Germans to provide the services that displaced Syrians need. Maybe instead, Europeans should be conscripting military-age Syrian refugees, training them, and sending them back to fight for their own country. (According to the United Nations, in this wave of migrants, the men outnumber the women by nearly five to one.) Why shouldn’t those men be asked to help create the refuge that they and their families need -- in Syria, where they need it most.
Such a measure would not just help to solve the problem at its source. It would separate true refugees from those who are simply hoping to dodge the Syrian draft or find a more prosperous place to work. And it has a proud history in the West, as the Polish pilots who fought the Battle of Britain could attest, along with theFrench, Belgian and Dutch soldiers who fought the Nazis across Normandy to build a true refuge in their own countries.
Some may object that drafting combatants to fight for territory would be viewed as an act of war against Daesh.
Well, yes. But that’s a war that France’s Prime Minister, at least, has already declared.
This would be one way to show that he means it.