The limits, it should be noted, are as much political as they are military. Neither Germany nor the United States is politically prepared to commit military forces unless it believes its own national interests to be at stake. The use of German military force within the Balkans and elsewhere is unpopular in Germany because, according to opinion polls, a majority of Germans do not want to see their army, navy, or air force fighting in a foreign country. The U.S. public is reluctant to put its military forces in harm's way, with the result that threats from local forces and terrorist groups have successfully deterred the United States from using its military power in internal wars. The international community is particularly ambivalent and indecisive when a civil war erupts as a result of a secessionist movement that threatens to break up an existing state. And the slaughter of one people by another in a fratricidal ethnic conflict may make ineffective the kind of limited short-term intervention that governments and their military forces prefer, particularly when the international community is unwilling to support one side or another in the conflict.
Governments are, however, prepared to use military force to protect their own borders, not only against armed interventions but now against irregular migrants as well. Austria, for example, though unwilling to use ground forces abroad, employs them at its own borders. Similarly, the U.S. Congress has appropriated dramatically increased funds for patrolling the U.S.-Mexican border and for the interdiction of rafts and ships at sea carrying asylum claimants. After the fall of many authoritarian regimes that prevented their citizens from emigration or traveling abroad, border control has taken on a new post-cold war dimension.
The working group's principal finding--to state the obvious--is that international migration and refugee movements are foreign policy, not simply domestic, issues. Still, citizens and policymakers are all too often unaware that if they want to secure their borders against unwanted population flows, this cannot be done simply by unilateral decisions to regulate entry. Land and sea borders cannot be totally sealed, labor markets draw in peo-