Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal |
The adversaries have been successfully operating hybrid warfare techniques to bleed Pakistan. They failed to coerce or frighten Islamabad with their conventional and nuclear weapons mighty arsenals. They are making alliances and devising new trade routes to Afghanistan to undercut Pakistani trade. They are also using sophisticated propaganda for maligning and financing militants for conducting terrorist activities in the country.
The gist of the fact is that India and its like-minded states make use of conventional/unconventional, regular/irregular, overt/covert tools, and exploit all the dimensions of war to undermine Pakistan’s national security. The hybrid warfare countermeasures necessitate the proper conceptualization of this new-generation of warfare. What is meant by hybrid warfare? It is a type of warfare widely understood a blend of conventional/unconventional, regular/irregular, and information and cyber warfare.
The situation warrants that Government ought to chalk out a grand strategy or a compressive strategy involving the entire nation to combat the current and potential threats of Hybrid warfare.
Precisely, hybrid warfare is a full-spectrum of warfare without any limitation of just war precepts. Though the hybrid wars are a contemporary feature of the global strategic environment, yet the concept of Hybrid Warfare is not new as the same subversive techniques and tools have been used in the past by states and their intelligence agencies. Since 2005, however, the term ‘hybrid warfare’ has become very popular, especially after the asymmetrical warfare strategy effectively used by the Hezbollah in the 2006 Lebanon War.
Read more: India’s hybrid warfare in Pakistan
In the contemporary strategic environment, both state and non-state actors are employing hybrid warfare strategies or tactics to pursue their political objectives. John Mecklin pointed out that the new form of international conflict “can combine Internet-enabled propaganda, a global “dark web” of encrypted communications, cyber attacks, positive and negative economic pressure, espionage, irregular military action, and other efforts that aim to advance political interests without progressing to full-scale war.
Perhaps, its an ‘ambiguous war’ or ‘grey area conflict.’ The revolution in communication technologies and processes of globalization, collectively, proliferates hybrid warfare techniques. Consequently, today, wars are no longer fought on conventional battlefields alone, but also asymmetrically over the digital world, cyberspace, social media, etc. The strategic competitors are making the best use of hybrid warfare tools in the exploitation of domestic fault lines like political, economic and societal to destabilize one another.
The government announced and executed the National Action Plan to combat comprehensively the adversaries’ hybrid warfare onslaught. To conclude, Pakistan is confronting Hybrid Warfare.
India has grown proficient at using hybrid-warfare capabilities and tactics to pursue its objectives in the South Asian region since the end of Cold War. New Delhi typically operates below the threshold of conventional warfare, using a blend of military and paramilitary tools, including proxy forces/militants/separatists, cyber tools, and information operations to shape and coerce neighboring states to its advantage.
Consequently, India succeeded against its small neighbors. Nevertheless, Islamabad has been resisting New Delhi’s endeavors to establish its hegemony in the region through the Hybrid-war. India has been frequently violating the Line of Control. No ethics within the military domain allow firing on the civilians’ working/moving near the border during the peacetime. The Indian forces intentionally target the civilians to cause a fear in the region.
They justify their firing by claiming that they are preventing infiltration of the militants. They intelligently misguide the international media by sharing with them erroneous facts. In addition, it is providing material resources, intellectual and media support to the Baluch dissidents in Baluchistan and radicalized militants groups operating in Pakistan.
In addition, it is providing material resources, intellectual and media support to the Baluch dissidents in Baluchistan and radicalized militants groups operating in Pakistan.
Recently, while speaking in Washington, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee highlighted: “the Whole world knew that almost all intelligence agencies are operating in Afghanistan. These adversaries are involved in an “indirect sub-conventional warfare against us”. In order to counter such threats, the country’s armed forces are committed to undertaking synergetic national efforts.”
The critical examination of Pakistan’s national security policy reveals that both the military and civilian law enforcement agencies are not only aware of the hybrid warfare menace, but have been struggling to prevent the state and society from the nefarious designs of enemies. The armed forces launched operation Zarb-e-Azb in June 2014 to erase the safe hideouts of the terrorist groups located in North Waziristan agency.
They also started operation Radd-ul-Fasaad to eliminate the clandestine terrorist sleeper cells across the country in February 2017. The government announced and executed the National Action Plan to combat comprehensively the adversaries’ hybrid warfare onslaught. To conclude, Pakistan is confronting Hybrid Warfare. The transformative nature of warfare necessitates revamping in its national security strategy. Thus, the situation warrants that Government ought to chalk out a grand strategy or a compressive strategy involving the entire nation to combat the current and potential threats of Hybrid warfare.
Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal is Associate Professor, School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. He is also an advisor on Non-Proliferation to SASSI, London and a course coordinator at Foreign Services Academy for the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This piece was first published in Pakistan Observer. It has been reprinted with permission. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.