|Krug 99 – Circle 99 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina|
Summary of Session of 29 October 2023 – 44
POLITICAL RESPONSES TO SECURITYY THREATS FROM INSIDE AND OUTSIDE BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Security is the most important political and social issue in Bosnia today. Security lies at the heart of relations and conflicting political aspirations within the country. Security lies also at the heart of influences and interests of the neighboring states. Security can no longer be viewed ad hoc, but rather should be considered from a strategic perspective with a vision that includes specific activities. Security should not be dependent on any political party turbulence or restructuring of authorities at any level. That is a red line, representing the priority interests of the citizenry, which cannot be crossed.
The younger generation now clearly sees the significance and seriousness of the slogan enunciated long ago: “We should live as though there will be peace for a hundred years, but we should be prepared as though war could break out tomorrow.”
Such an attitude is based on political assessments of domestic, regional and global trends. For this reason, it is absolutely necessary to continue investing in infrastructure. In addition, it is imperative that the standard of living of the citizenry be raised and supportive social programs be enhanced. Special attention should be paid to training teams of specialists, civil defense, police and other security and intelligence structures. Above all, we should strengthen strategic partnerships with other countries that can assist us in coordinating a higher quality of rescue missions, as well as limiting damage in case of an attack. Nevertheless, history teaches us that you can rely on only a few friends in times of trouble. Rather, the most recent developments on the world scene show us that partnerships are formed or maintained on the basis of economic calculations and interests.
Looking at things from this perspective, the Tuzla Canton has lately expended a record amount of resources on capital investments, as well as on personnel, materiel and technical equipping of the police department. We have also made a considerable investment setting up a civil defense service. The equipment acquired and the investments in personnel outfitting and education will be used sparingly, and will be used exclusively for extending help and support to the civilian population. These acquisitions are aimed at facilitating the carrying out of the most essential organizational tasks, as well as the enhancing the capability of domestic structures so that they can respond to the greatest challenges. It is important to stress that these acquisitions represent for the first time the purchase of modern equipment with our own resources and not through donations.
Today it is essential to focus on the necessity of developing resistance to the impact of hybrid warfare being conducted against our state and our society. The objective of this warfare is to encourage defeatism and loss of confidence in the strength of the state political will. Unfortunately, we are witnesses to the oft-stated statement that “the war in our homeland is not yet finished, rather only the means have changed.” The strategic objective of such policies in Bosnia and Herzegovina is to force state institutions to accept defeat without a fight, to increase lack of confidence in our own forces and to enhance doubts about ultimate victory and success, as well as to sow fear so that those institutions would refrain from offering resistance through systematic activities.
For such an approach, education and the sensitizing of the populace is necessary for this struggle through the systems of a civil society. In the current environment, the issue of security is one of the most important political questions for responsible Bosnian political institutions. Unfortunately, they are today for the most part disunited and divided by personal and other interests. Such division contributes considerably to the weakening of the Bosnia-Herzegovina political bloc. Considering global and regional political trends and the role of Tuzla Canton as the economically most powerful and most populated Canton in Bosnia, today consciousness is being raised about the need to pay considerably more attention to security issues and defense, and to remove dangers that can lead to unintended consequences.
Young people, in whose name, among others, this presenter is speaking, is deeply aware that the time is at hand for much-needed state institution political unity. Representatives of the younger generations, members of pro-Bosnian political parties, are being called upon to defend common principles and to leave inter-party differences behind in the interests of the security challenges facing our homeland. They are being called upon to define their common stances and to guide their activities along the path of enhancing the security and prosperity of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The new generations should emphasize those values that represent Bosnia as a state for all of its citizens regardless of ethnicity, religion or political party affiliation, or any other delineation. Bosnia is a state whose values will enrich the collective culture and every other dimension of the European Union and whose capabilities will contribute to the stability of the NATO alliance.
Young people in Bosnia, wherever they live, have never before in history and never will in the future betray their homeland.
The presenter was Irfan Halilagic, Prime Minister of Tuzla Canton.
Adil Kulenovic, President of “Circle 99” (“Krug 99”)
|Association of Independent Intellectuals – Circle 99 (Bosnian: Krug 99), a leading Bosnian think-tank, was established in Sarajevo in 1993, in the midst of the Bosnian war (1992-1995), while the capital was under siege. Circle 99 provides a platform to bring together intellectuals of various professional and ethnic identities; university professors, members of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, artists, journalists, entrepreneurs, diplomats, and other prominent figures from Bosnia and from abroad. Multidisciplinary discussions and initiatives are held each Sunday throughout the academic year, in the form of regular sessions about politics, science, education, culture, economy, and other societal issues. The overall goal is to sensitize the public towards a democratic transformation, achieving and maintaining peace, and integration of modern Bosnia into the community of countries fostering liberal democracy. Circle 99 has been declared an organization of special significance for the city of Sarajevo.|