Washington Intelligence sources tell us that the alarming development of low birth rates in Europe is of significant concern to them because it will most likely lead to destabilization in the region.
The birth rates in Northern Europe have fallen well below population replacement rates, a development that has several ramifications for the United States -- because the 20th Century has taught us that our fortunes are tied to their fortunes.
As Northern Europe's average age increases, fewer and fewer workers will be available to replace the aged and take care of them in their retirement, causing a demand for "imported" workers, which usually means Turks and people from North African nations. But Europe has not proven itself to be a model of assimilation, especially to followers of Islam.
The result, as has already begun in Germany, is the importation, rather than the immigration, of workers. The term "imported" fits, because the Germans have no intent upon letting these workers become citizens. But they don't want them to leave, because laborers are so desperately needed. What this amounts to is the creation of a "Green Card" class of people: Workers who live and work in a nation but have no political rights. They cannot vote or participate in the democratic process.
Eventually, a large population of disenfranchised people will reside in the Northern Europe democracies, which, by definition, will no longer be democracies. They will have created a permanent, voiceless underclass, which sooner or later will resist its subjugation and exploitation.
Already, Europe has proven the fallacy of the concept of self-determination, because they have taken the concept too far. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up after World War I into Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, part of Yugoslavia, etc. Now, with the end of the Cold War, we have the further break up, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, etc. It is a rate of self-determination that could create a continent of Liechtensteins.
The British have sought a different path: devolution. England, Scotland, Wales and Ulster have gained near-national identities under the union of the United Kingdom. But this has not been the way of the continent.
So, with a European continent bent on disintegration everywhere there is an ethnic, religious or racial difference, the influx of an imported underclass will only exacerbate the situation. President Bill Clinton has been over there to preach assimilation, but apparently to deaf ears. And it is their failure to listen that so disturbs our intelligence community.
-- Jack Anderson and Douglas Cohn are columnists for United Feature Syndicate.