Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region are exposed to hybrid warfare by eastern countries, mostly Russia, Serbia and some other countries that have their own interests there.
Prof. Dr. Nedžad Korajlić, Dean of the Faculty for Criminalistics, Criminology and Security Studies of the University of Sarajevo, in the program Res Facta with Dženana Karup Druško, when speaking of security in the region, he discussed the hybrid warfare as one of the problems. “Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region are exposed to hybrid warfare by the eastern countries, primarily Russia, Serbia and some other countries who have their interests here. They often come here in preparation for economic investments and financial flows. Croatia too was exposed to hybrid warfare in relation to Agrokor. We are a fertile ground for this experiment of hybrid warfare”.
Prof. Dr. Dijana Gupta from the University Džemal Bijedić in Mostar, President of the Atlantic Alliance of BiH, emphasized how important for BiH is the experience of others, specifically North Macedonia, who had already walked the path that is now in front of BiH. In one of their recent projects, they worked on cyber actions because “social networks of today have a great role in forming young people”; “NATO gives us answers to all this, and it is not only about military component.”
About BiH becoming, all of a sudden, so interesting for the Russian Federation, academician Prof. Dr. Mirko Pejanović said:
- When NATO Alliance needed to get the consent of the leading world powers in the Security Council for air strikes in BiH, they got it from Russia too. Russian Federation conducts their own politics and their politics is the world politics and Russia is dealing with, or is measuring itself against, the leading world powers. The Russian Federation has developed to put together all its resources, political, economical and military, and is now equal to the world powers. It had not been so at the time of Yeltsin, Russia was on its knees, and now it has pretensions elsewhere too, much more apparently than here.
Russian Federation, basically, has a positive attitude towards BiH and building peace in BiH on the basis of Dayton peace agreement. Why do we have parties in BiH who want to stop this politics that disrupts this principal geopolitical course that was taken with the Dayton peace agreement, and give greater chances to Russia? Why do we have such internal politics? Why are the parties that advocate for such politics the leading ones, and share the power in BiH? Can we have a secure peace when the highest instances of the state, and the highest instance of the state is the parliamentary majority and its appointed government, cannot reach consensus on a single issue? We cannot.
We are protected by geopolitics, politics of the international community and the NATO, from failing completely. One of the questions of democratic development of BiH is the following: if somebody, and we know who, destroys the opposition, takes all the parties under their wing, takes hold of all levers of power at the level of the state and deprives the entity parliament of their rights – whatever he demands, the parliament has to vote for that - what is it then, is it a democracy or a kind of authoritarianism which is thus gnawing at the state of BiH. Russia is doing their thing, and if we do what is our job, Russia will help us.
When asked what would happen if some political forces decided that BiH should become Russian ally, Academician Pejanović said: “Academy of Sciences of BiH has done a study of immigrations, and its results indicate that economic aspect is not the only reason why people are emigrating. Secondly, there is a large number of those leaving, meaning that we here have no development, no investments, things are somewhat better in some local communities, but with the NATO alliance, our greater participation and membership, the leading investors from European countries will not anymore ask themselves in closed sessions: “can we dare to go there”; instead, they will go there.
Therefore, we will have a new status, because we will be a part of that security, peace and economic space. We cannot become a part of any other space that, traditionally or historically, had never been here; therefore, our path should be the acceleration of our integration with European Union and speedy integration into the NATO alliance.
In view of certain political messages that are becoming more and more aggressive -we even hear the word “war” mentioned again - when asked about the possibility of a new war breaking out in BiH, Prof. Dr. Korajlić said: “No. That is a pure political spin. There can be no war. Why can there be no war? We have presence of NATO around Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Croatia, Montenegro is in the NATO too. We have strong control of international forces on the border with Serbia. Serbia has its own problems with Kosovo. Serbia is not any more what it used to be. Serbia is striving towards democratization and embarking on the reforms of military and security sectors. Do you think that Serbia would dare to start a war with Bosnia and Herzegovina? No it would not.”
Academician Pejanović added: “Peace is not everything, but there is nothing if there is no peace.”