Case for Geospatial Border Surveillance on the Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia Border in Response to the Migrant Crisis and Hybrid Warfare

  • Amer Smailbegović University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Criminology, Criminalistics and Security Studies
  • Nedžad Korajlić University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Criminology, Criminalistics and Security Studies
  • Jasmin Ahić University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Criminology, Criminalistics and Security Studies
  • Ivan Toth University of Applied Sciences Velika Gorica
Keywords: Border security, Geospatial, Surveillance, Hybrid threats, Migrants

Abstract

Bosnia-Herzegovina and Republic of Croatia share 931km of border (494km land and 425km riverine), which has been contentious for the greater part of the modern European history and represented one of the hardest and most-militarized border demarcating the frontiers of the major empires. Nowadays, it is in the process of becoming another hard-border between the Schengen-Zone EU and non-EU Western Balkans. In this study we are considering several strategic elements required for planning of effective and constructive border security, while countering variety of pseudo-hybrid warfare operations as well as tactical considerations when responding to crisis, communications and overall control of the fluid frontier. Strategic elements taken into consideration are:  a) overall contiguity of the border, b) communications network / trafficability at border-crossing and c) geospatial support in the intelligence preparation of the area. Tactical elements considered are a) real-time geospatial support during operations b) alternative communications and vetting of alternative communications c) defensive operations (e.g. drone defense, jamming defense, incursion prevention). We are considering lessons-learned from the hostilities and frozen-conflicts in Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Yemen and potential future conflagrations in Trans-Dnistria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo* and the Baltics. We are using several criteria in understanding the required geospatial preparations required to undertake or defend against mass-migrations and potential hybrid threats such as unresolved territorial issues, population density information, infrastructure condition, land-use and overall completeness and availability of geospatial data.

* Designation without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence

References

Bajrovic, R., Kraemer, R., & Suljagic, E. (2018, March 16). Bosnia on the Russian Chopping Block: The Potential for Violence and Steps to Prevent It. Foreign Policy Research Institute, p. 4.

BH-SPS. (2020). Unofficial Field Reports for 2017-2019. Sarajevo: Written communication from Bosnia and Herzegovina Service for Foreigner's Affairs.

Border Police of Bosnia and Herzegovina. (2019, September 11). Handover of specialist equipment donation of the Czech Republic to Border Police of BiH, Sarajevo. Press Release, p. 2.

Bougarel, X. (1999). Yugoslav Wars: The revenge of the countryside between sociological reality and nationalist myth. East European Quarterly, Vol 33. No. 2, 157-175.

Cocco, E. (2017). Where is the European frontier? The Balkan migration crisis and its impact on relations between the EU and the Western Balkans. European View, 16, 293-302.
Dzhambazova, B. (2018, 11 27). In Serbia, a Former Military Base Finds a New Role. The New York Times.

European Commission. (2019). Analytical Report: Commission Opinion on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application for membership of the. Brussels: European Commission.

European Commission. (2019). Expert Report on Rule of Law issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Brussels: European Commission.

Europol. (2019, October 22). EUROPOL supports action days in Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. EUROPOL Press release.

Galeotti, M. (2018). Do the Western Balkans face a coming Russian storm; Policy Brief. Berlin: European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).

Kalan, D. (2019, February 20). In Bosnia, a Migrant Way Station Is Becoming a Winter Prison. Foreign Policy.

Kesetovic, Z., Korajlic, N., & Toth, I. (2013). Krizni Menadzment (Crisis Management). Sarajevo / Velika Gorica: Univerzitet u Sarajevu, BiH i Veleuciliste Vilka Gorica, Hrvatska.

Lakic, M. (2018, October 11). Serbia Blames System’s ‘Abuse’ for Restoring Visas for Iranians. Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN).

Losh, J. (2016, January 29). Putin's Angels: the bikers battling for Russia in Ukraine. The Guardian.

Massey, D., Durand, J., & Pren, K. (2016). Why Border Enforcement Backfired. AJS, Vol. 121, No.5, 1557-1600.

OSCE. (2018). Assessment: Migrant and Refugee Situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina; An overview of the intervention of key actors in the field. Sarajevo: The Office of Security and Cooperation in Europe: Bosnia and Herzegovina Office.

Ostojic, R. (2016). A European Perspective of the Migration Crisis: Croatian Experiences. Zagreb: Politik Fur Europa 2017-plus.

Padurariu, A. (2014). The Implementation of Police Reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Analysing UN and EU Efforts. Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, 3(1), p.Art. 4. .

Parker, C., Persson, T., & Widmalm, S. (2019). The effectiveness of national and EU-level civil protection systems: evidence from 17 member states. Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 26, Issue 9, 1312-1334.

Pavlakovic, V. (2013). Symbols and the culture of memory in the Republika Srpska Krajina. Nationalities Papers, Vol. 41, N.6.

Radio Free Europe. (2015, 30 8). Migrants Escape from Hungarian Camp. Radio Free Europe Broadcast.

Rothenberg, G. (1960). The Origins of the Austrian Military Frontier in Croatia and the Alleged Treaty of 22 December 1522. The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 38, No. 91 , 493-498.

Rothenberg, G. (1964). The Croatian Military Border and the Rise of Yugoslav Nationalism. The Slavonic and East European Review, V.43 No.100, 34-45.

Secrieru, S. (2019, July). Russia in the Western Balkans: Tactical Wins, Strategic Setbacks. EU Institute for Security Studies, Brief, p. 6.
Published
2020-12-12
How to Cite
Smailbegović, A., Korajlić, N., Ahić, J., & Toth, I. (2020). Case for Geospatial Border Surveillance on the Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia Border in Response to the Migrant Crisis and Hybrid Warfare. Annals of Disaster Risk Sciences, 3(2). https://doi.org/10.51381/adrs.v3i2.52
Section
Articles