SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Instability in the Balkans is the biggest threat to Europe's security this year, the top U.S. intelligence official said.
Violence could flare up in Bosnia and in the South Caucasus, the U.S. director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Tuesday in Washington.
"Events in the Balkans will again pose the principal challenges to stability in Europe in 2010," EUObserver.com quoted Blair as saying. "I remain concerned about Bosnia's future stability. While neither widespread violence nor a formal breakup of the state appears imminent, ethnic agendas still dominate the political process."
Bosnia's stability remains fragile. The country is made up of two semiautonomous regions: the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska and the Bosniak-Croat Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Hundreds of Bosnian police on Tuesday raided a Muslim village in the country's north to prevent "attempts to destabilize the country," BBC reports. The village is populated by Bosnian Sunni Muslims.
Blair said he is also worried about the frozen conflict between Russia and Georgia over the two breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.
"The unresolved conflicts of the Caucasus provide the most likely flashpoints in the Eurasia region," Blair said. "Moscow's expanded military presence in and political-economic ties to Georgia's separatist regions of South Ossetia and sporadic low-level violence increase the risk of miscalculation or overreaction leading to renewed fighting."