The international environment is transmuting expeditiously. The era of liberal cooperation, institutionalism, and complex interdependence are superseded by geopolitical competition, politics of containment, competitive co-existence, arms race, the development of nascent technologies, and incrementing utilization of incipient trends in warfare. In this environment, Pakistan’s national security challenges can increment, especially when the Pakistani economy is in deplorable condition.
The Pakistani economy is going through intense economic turmoil. According to the Asian Development Bank report ‘Asian Development Perspective 2022 Supplement’, for the fiscal year ending in June 2023, flood disruption and damages will decelerate the economic magnification with a tight monetary stance, high inflation, and an un-conducive international environment. Furthermore, this report integrated that floods have dampened the economic magnification in Pakistan. Before the floods, Pakistan’s economy was facing solemn challenges. Pakistan’s policymakers are unable to resolve these financial vows. Structural quandaries in the Pakistani economy have pushed Pakistan to the verge of Bankruptcy. In addition, these economic challenges are emasculating Pakistani facilities to face traditional and hybrid threats to Pakistan’s national security.
Understanding the matter better
In the traditional domain, geopolitical competition between China and the US is engendering a domino effect that is impacting all countries. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), governments worldwide are incrementing their bulwark spending. In 2022, the US bulwark budget first time surpassed 2 trillion. Furthermore, due to the war in Ukraine, European countries are incrementing their bulwark budget. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the Indian bulwark budget will be more than 76.5 billion USD.
According to a recent report, India is getting 120 Pralay missiles to deploy near the Pakistani and Chinese border. India is quickly adding new weapons to its arsenal. Although Pakistan has always maintained a conventional balance with India to maintain strategic stability, current economic vows can make it hard for Pakistan to provide comprehensive security. Furthermore, research and development in bulwark cognate matters have incremented.
Countries are spending a plethora of wealth on emerging technology and on research and development. In India, there is an increase of 17.57 percent in the Defense Research and Development (R&D) budget compared to 2021-22. A quota of 25 percent of the R&D budget is dedicated to industry, start-ups, and academia. Moreover, the US Department of defense budget for procurement and research denotes that it spent between $800 million and $1.3 billion on AI in 2020. In addition, it spent $1.7 billion to $3.5 billion on uncrewed and autonomous systems. To match these technologies, Pakistan will require to increment its bulwark spending. However, the impuissant economy can engender challenges for Pakistan to bulwark against hybrid threats.
The enemy can facilely use hybrid implements of warfare to increment such information and cognitive warfare to engender distance between people and institutions. It also becomes more facile for terrorists and extremists to recruit more people. States utilize information warfare as propaganda against other states to achieve their objectives. If the regime spends more on bulwark due to the international environment, then it would only be able to spend a little on human development in this economic situation.
Therefore, the Pakistani regime, political parties, and other germane institutions must converge to resolve the economic challenges of Pakistan. Pakistan needs long-term economic reforms in its economic structure. The goal of structural economic reform is not possible without reforming our political system, where political parties do not have democracy inside them. As a result, people from the elite reach the policy corridors. They are not yare to make policies that will harm their interest. Furthermore, every institution should work in its domain without any interference.
In conclusion, Pakistan’s national security is facing massive challenges due to the international security environment, trends in spending, diffusion of warfare, and emerging technologies. Ergo, it is the desideratum of the hour for all political leaders to sit together and work a way for economic development.
The writer is a Researcher at CISS AJK, MZD and working on Nuclear Politics & Disarmament, Emerging Technologies and New Trends in Warfare. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.