Active international cooperation as a new reality of interstate relations, contributing to the normal existence and development of states, is accompanied by the emergence of problems related to ensuring border security. This forces many countries of the world to significantly change their international and national border policy, organization and technologies for carrying out border activities. And Russia is no exception.
As the hearings at the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation “The State Border as a Factor of National Security - State, Perspective Problems” showed, border security today already has an impact on society.
The formation of the Customs Union and its possible consequences, the increasing alarm in the society, which it associates with uncontrolled, essentially illegal migration, as well as the completion of the reform of the state border protection system require an analysis of the results and an objective assessment of the state of the border security system. The main question is to what extent the adopted strategy of state bodies responsible for border security and their resource provision takes into account the scale and scope of the existing problems? But such an analysis can be objective if this state is assessed in comparison with the required border security system capable of effectively countering emerging threats in the field of cross-border interaction of states connected with the crossing of the state border by people, means of transport, goods and cargo.
Of course, determining the appearance of the required system is the task of the bodies responsible for ensuring border security. At the same time, it seems necessary to express some thoughts about the fact without which this problem cannot be qualitatively solved.
Threats as a concomitant factor of economic development
The openness and growth of cross-border interaction of states with neighboring countries in addition to the positive impact on their economies today are accompanied by the emergence of negative cross-border processes that are becoming increasingly large-scale, organized and systemic in nature: illegal migration, drug trafficking and others.
The global nature of these processes is a threat, especially for the prosperous countries that determine the level of civilization development of mankind.
Cities in these countries are overflowing with migrants who are not seeking to integrate into their socio-economic and cultural-ethical environment, but have a high potential of negative passionarity - terrorism. A type of human relationship, such as kiriofobiya, appears - hostility towards the indigenous population, as tragedy in Boston in April 2013 showed. Russia faces this phenomenon today. As a result, tolerance in a society that even has stable democratic traditions is reduced.
Anesthesia of the population is taking place, contributing not only to a significant expenditure of resources, but also to a decrease in the quality of the productive potential of states.
Experts point out that the specific feature of these threats is their unobservability until a certain moment, and their manifestation in the form of a specific event turns out to be so unexpected that it produces a shock in society.
Here the problem of the protection of the vital interests of not only the state, but also society and the individual fully arises. Moreover, the potential of unexpected manifestations of these threats and, as a consequence, the high degree of possible damage substantially depend on the state of the system of long-term forecasting of threats to national security, which includes border security as well.
Cross-border crime is a source of danger
Currently, there are different views on the required border security system, which differ in their attitude towards persisting stereotypes in organizing border activities, as well as the content of real threats.
The main stereotype in the organization of border activities is the attitude towards ensuring border security as a reliable defense and protection of the state border. As a result, a separate offender is considered as the main adversary for border agencies. However, the main source of threats today is cross-border crime.
Cross-border crime - the activities of cross-border criminal communities, which under the cover of legal (economic, social, cultural, spiritual, etc.) activities commit their criminal acts. This activity is well organized, has high economic efficiency, is protected by its own security structures, has a high potential for corruption in government structures, covers almost all border regions and employs a huge number of people. As a result of criminal activity, there are illegal movements across borders of countries of significant amounts of drugs, raw materials and natural resources, various types of smuggling, illegal migrants, as well as financial resources.
Today, experts recognize that cross-border crime significantly exceeds technical and resource capabilities of border structures in many countries, including the United States and Russia. An exception may be the border structures of Israel, which are actually an analogue of the Soviet system of state border protection, ensuring the maximum level of closeness of its territory.
Possessing large resources and having access to practically any, except, perhaps, nuclear, technology, cross-border crime is able to effectively organize on this basis its activities in the border area of any country and neighboring countries.
How is cross-border crime prevention? If we refer to the available indicators of the border activities of a number of countries, this is “the number of detained drugs and illegal migrants”. Such indicators as “the number of blocked channels”, “the activity of a criminal group has been stopped”, etc., are absent.
In addition, for example, in Russia, the volume of drugs seized at the border is substantially less than the volumes extracted from trafficking by drug control structures in the countries from which they are imported. As a result, instead of stopping the drug cargo at the border, they chase doses throughout the country. It is impossible to determine who works here more effectively.
This makes it possible to assume that the adopted approaches to ensuring border security do not allow border structures to fully counteract precisely cross-border crime. There may be several reasons for this - from the lack of appropriate technical capabilities to the limited methods used.
What kind of border security system is needed
In modern conditions, the border security system should be able to effectively counteract the whole range of existing and emerging threats, as well as negative transboundary phenomena and processes that become spatially, increasingly large-scale, organized and systemic.
Therefore, the development of the existing border security system should be viewed as the achievement of new properties of border agencies based on the qualitative transformation of all technologies in the field of border security, realizing a sharp increase in the capabilities of border structures, their application in space and time, the effectiveness of their tasks. And not only on the technical equipment and appearance of border structures, but also on ideas about the organization and management of border activities, the quality of the tasks performed.
This implies a fundamental change in the requirements for the content of border activities. It should not only become spatial, but also simultaneously expand functionally.
Of course, these changes are occurring. There is an equipment of border authorities with technical equipment. Even today, the implementation of border functions is carried out mainly in remote form and does not require a permanent presence on the state border line. The influence of the human factor on the performance of the border authorities is steadily decreasing. At the same time, the comprehensive provision of employees of state bodies involved in ensuring border security significantly increases, which makes their work more efficient and safe.
However, the further development of border security systems should be related to the need to solve the following problem - to achieve guaranteed superiority over the enemy at the expense of promptness and surprise of the actions of state bodies involved in ensuring border security in places of violations established in the border area by the legal regime. Today, the state of this problem largely determines the level of development of the border security system.
The basic requirement here is the possibility of achieving information superiority over the enemy, including due to the secrecy of observation, guaranteed detection of changes and reliable recognition of negative events, situations and trends in the border space.
A separate problem is the resistance of the border security system to corruption. The main factors for its occurrence can be attributed to the lack of effectiveness of efforts undertaken to counter cross-border crime, and the vulnerability of government officials involved in ensuring border security.
The lack of effectiveness of the efforts being made is due to the approaches used to organize the protection of the state border using technical means that allow criminal groups to easily identify both border areas and border response times controlled by border structures.
The vulnerability of government officials involved in border security is due to the common habitat of criminal groups in the border area and, as a result, the emergence of conditions for psychological and sometimes violent pressure on employees and their families from these groups.
Under these conditions, combating corruption by creating only a multi-level service of its own security and quickly solving the social problems of government officials involved in ensuring border security, as international experience shows, may not be sufficient. It is also necessary to reduce the vulnerability of such employees from the impact of criminal gangs.
One of the directions here can be minimization of the role significance of government officials involved in ensuring border security in threatening criminal groups and, on this basis, significantly reducing the ability of these groups to influence law enforcement officers.
This requirement can be implemented using functional spatially distributed structures that form a network that is similar to network-centric. Management in this network is carried out centrally within the framework of a single plan for the protection of the state border, and its execution is carried out by functional structures decentralized in an autonomous mode.
Thus, employees of a structure that monitors the border area, for example, when operating on a rotational basis, cannot influence decision making and their implementation, which virtually eliminates the need for criminal groups to influence them. This approach is not new: its counterpart is interchangeable outposts, which were proposed to be used to protect the state border in Soviet times.
Employees of the analytical unit, who carry out the assessment and preparation of decisions based on information monitoring, do not identify the perpetrators and do not come in contact with them, and conducting a power event - execute the order regardless of the personalities of criminal groups and attitudes towards them.
The implementation of these requirements should be a strategic direction in the development of the border security system and be based on innovative approaches to the organization, technical equipment and technologies of border activities.
Information superiority - the result of technical equipment
Ensuring information superiority over cross-border crime can be realized only in the framework of a fundamentally new provision of border activities - information and analytical.
A key element of this support should be a system of analytical monitoring of the border space - continuous observations and analysis of the state of the border space (events, situations and trends).
In accordance with the logic of countering cross-border crime, the main elements of the information and analytical support system should be the means and technologies of information monitoring of the border area and analytical structures.
In this regard, it is relevant to change the approaches to the technical equipment of state bodies involved in ensuring border security.
First, their armament programs should be structured in such a way that technical means are created not only for urgent, but also current tasks, as well as for the need to implement with them a wide range of efficient border technologies. Including those that today are considered only as promising.
To this end, a standard task should be solved to some extent, which is encountered in the practice of a number of countries in creating new types of military equipment — this is organizing close interaction between the customer and the industry already at the stage of determining development prospects, which would allow the industry not only to ensure the timely development of technical means required to provide border structures. It is able to anticipate their demands and develop means capable of fundamentally changing the technology of border activities.
Secondly, the complexes being created must ensure a qualitative change in border activities, for example, by the secrecy of observation, the guarantee of detection of changes in the boundary space, the reliability of recognition, etc.
So, to ensure the secrecy of observation of the border area, complexes should be created, the composition and functionality of which allow significantly complicate and maximize the opening time and modes of their functioning by criminal groups.
Similarly, the task of ensuring guaranteed detection of changes in the border space should be solved when the integration of monitoring tools in the system is performed taking into account the actual capabilities of the detection function in technical systems, depending not only on the terrain properties, but also on the daily and weather changes in the observation conditions.
To ensure the reliability of recognition of negative events, situations and trends in the border space, on which the effectiveness of the use of security units depends, advanced information and analytical technologies should be used in the complexes being created, including those with elements of “artificial intelligence”.
This will provide an opportunity to create a system of analytical monitoring of the border area, which will be a powerful territorial complex of a system for collecting and processing large input flow of heterogeneous information from different sources. Using the inherent potential of “artificial intelligence”, this system is able to assess the state of processes, objects and interconnections in the border space, while ensuring a further reduction in the influence of the human factor on the effectiveness of border activities. At the same time, the means of “artificial intelligence” are integrated both with individual monitoring tools and with the complexes formed by them.
Security can't be cheap
Creating a modern security system in the border area is impossible without significant resource costs. However, security is expensive. And here a dilemma arises - either it is invested in it, relying on the return of investments in the form of saving the population and a favorable habitat in the state, or they are trying to solve the problem, gradually spraying the required resources over time and at the same time losing the country.
The state border today is the line where government agencies involved in ensuring border security work almost at their limits. And if they do not have the opportunity to counteract cross-border crime, then no army will protect society from the manifestation of negative events, despite the fact that the money allocated to them is disproportionately more than the state bodies involved in ensuring border security.