Fourth Generation Warfare, No Child Is Spared

Theater of 4G Plus war

pakistan-attack

William S Lind, a US analyst coined the term Fourth-generation warfare (4GW) in 1989. The traditional concept of war has undergone a significant transformation since the introduction of this phenomenon. Diluting the dividing line between the civilian and soldier, it has somehow dissolved the war in peace. The previous Generation Wars represents typical state-versus-state conflicts involving the military strength of the belligerents. They were fought by the uniformed soldiers in the defined battlefields under a hierarchy of command.

The 4G war is an asymmetrical war that represents certain engagements between a state and some non-state entities commonly termed as violent non state actors (VNSA). It is a highly complex phenomenon having undefined battlefields and indefinite battlefronts. Besides other disruptive guerrilla tactics, these violent groups use terrorism as their primary instrument. A highly-sophisticated psychological war, aiming at spreading chaos and confusions through organized and excessive media manipulation and propaganda, is also its essential feature.

At present, Pakistan is also experiencing this diabolic complex phenomenon. On account of state’s rapidly-fading writ, the crumbling structure of the state has created a vacuum that has readily been filled by various violent non state actors like (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan) TTP and its various splinters groups, Al-Qaeda, TSNM and LeJ etc. Instead of indulging in controversies regarding their nomenclature and genesis, we should focus on their morphology and the intended agenda.

At present, there exist two significant narratives explaining the nature of the whole phenomenon of terrorism in Pakistan. The first one is a ‘Just-world hypotheses’ while the other relies on oft-stated conspiracies theories. The so-called Just-world hypothesis is simply a blame-the-victim approach that is based on as-you-sow-so-shall-you-reap principle. It attributes all the present violent and volatile state of affairs in the country to Pakistan’s failures as a state and its fading writ to overcome the extremism and other sectarian and ethnic cleavages. Pakistan is, now, reaping the harvest of the ‘wild oats’ it has constantly been sowing in the past.

There are a lot of contradictions and inconsistencies in this so-called just-world hypothesis. After 9/11 incident, the UN authorized the ISAF to invade Afghanistan to dismantle the network of Al-Qaida. Twenty eight different countries of the world contributed their troops for the war on terror in Afghanistan. Pakistan was rather a reluctant ally of the US which only facilitated the Nato supplies thorough its territory as did other Central Asian Republics and the Russia. It is quite inexplicable why is only a poor ‘accomplice’ like Pakistan being punished for this ‘crime’ by these terrorists while ignoring the ‘principal accused’ and its all local collaborators present in Afghanistan?

The recognized rules of engagement in Islam strictly prohibit attacking and killing non-combatants. Ironically, the primary targets of these ‘Jihadists’, generally, have been innocent civilians. The recent attack on innocent school children in Peshawar has significantly exposed the face of these beasts in human clothing. Their beliefs and acts have nothing to do with the teachings of Islam. It shows how sincere and committed they are to impose Islamic Sharia in Pakistan.

One may also absolutely fail to understand why has this so-called ‘Islamic Castle’ been declared and treated as a ‘citadel of infidelity’ by those who called themselves Islamic Jihadists? Why are these ‘Mujahedeen’ are trying to destroy the only Muslim nuclear and military power in the world? Ironically, despite actively participating in the post-takeover reconstruction of Afghanistan, India not only saved itself from the wrath of this reactive wave of terrorism but has also success fully managed to shift the very epicenter of the whole insurgency from its northern Himalayan region to western part of Pakistan. Consequently, the same territory that was relied by Pakistan to be used as ‘strategic depth’ is now being used for ‘strategic encirclement’ against it.

On the other hand, the conspiracy theorists believe that there is an ‘Anti-Pakistan Syndicate’ that is planning and executing all the acts of terrorism in Pakistan. The newly-formed ‘Tetra Entente’ comprising the conventional unholy ‘Triad’ of three Intelligence agencies like the Raw, the Mossad and the CIA with another addition of the NDS of Afghanistan is all important. Aiming at undermining the conventional military strength and nuclear capacity of Pakistan, the ‘Greater Middle East’ initiatives of the US and the ‘Greater and Safer Israel’ policy have converged with India’s regional security doctrine. As reflected by the simultaneous ‘do more policy’ towards Pakistan and ‘drone policy’ towards extremists, the game of run-with-the-hare-and-hunt-with-the-hound is being played in Pakistan in the name of the War on Terror. According to these conspiracy theories, all the violent non state actors operating in the country are nothing but paid agents or hit-men of these diabolic forces. Although this approach can be criticised, it holds certain valid points. It is a fact that the war on terror has facilitated all the anti-Pakistan ‘birds of a feather’ to flock together in Afghanistan. It is also a fact that the extremism has mushroomed in Pakistan since the US invasion in Afghanistan. The increased and excessive interest of India in the affairs of Afghanistan and its rising influence can also be observed. What immediate or direct interest does India have in Afghanistan except to harm Pakistan? In fact, these conspiracy theories are further reinforced when the people at the helm in Pakistan frequently point fingers towards ‘foreign hands’. Recently, former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf has emphatically and openly named and blamed India for the supporting terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

So far, India has fought four 2G wars against Pakistan. Somehow combining the tactics of 3G War and the strategy of Brinkmanship, it devised the Cold Start Doctrine to initiate a limited war against Pakistan following the 2001 Parliament attack. Owing to its inherent weakness in respect of rapid mobilization of troops that was a pre-requisite for such surprise attack, it couldn’t enforce this doctrine. At present, there exists a balance of power between the two countries in respect of conventional military as well as the nuclear strength. Now, a proxy 4G war is perhaps the only option that is available to India.

By 4G Plus war I mean a value-added 4G war which is complex by nature and proxy by character. The so-called Anti-Pakistan Syndicate has imposed this war on Pakistan through various violent non-state actors in the form of these pseudo-jihadists and pseudo-nationalists. Analyzing together the chronology of terrorism in Pakistan, the nature of this violent phenomenon and the regional strategic perspective, making a conclusion about it would no longer be a confusing riddle. Surely, either we are too naive to see the writing on the wall or have buried our head in the sand.

The writer is a lawyer. He can be contacted at mohsinraza.malik@ymail.com.Follow him on Twitter

The UK Horn Upgrades Her Nukes (Daniel 8:8)

The United Kingdom’s future nuclear deterrent: 2014 update to Parliament

trident UK
Gov.uk

This report explains the progress the MOD has made on the successor programme over the last year and sets out plans for the coming year.

Detail

The 2014 report, which is the third in a series of reports. It covers the following areas:

  • assessment phase overview and progress since last report
  • programme management
  • build, test and commissioning strategies
  • design strategy
  • international collaboration
  • submarine nuclear enterprise
  • supply chain
  • barrow infrastructure
  • long lead items
  • submarine costs
  • warhead
  • future work

Iranian Nuclear Horn Committed To THE END (Daniel 8:8)

Budget pressure unlikely to deflect Iran from nuclear goals

Iran's Nuclear Program

Iran’s Nuclear Program

DUBAI Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:21am EST

(Reuters) – A big oil price slide will hurt Iran’s attempts to rescue battered living standards, but economic pain is unlikely to soften its stance in nuclear talks or end aid to allies such as Syria, matters seen by its ruling clerics as strategic priorities.

Economic misery due to sanctions and mismanagement has been a reality for years, and while social strains in the 76 million population are deep, the clerics will seek to contain them, say experts examining Iran’s budget plans for 2015.

The largest drop in oil prices since the 2008 financial crisis means more budget pressure for the OPEC member, already bereft of tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue due to Western sanctions and years of economic mismanagement.

And tougher economic times may spur Tehran’s determination to end a nuclear dispute and lift sanctions that isolate it from the global banking system and deter most foreign investors.
But significant changes in Iran’s regional strategy including its approach to any nuclear deal are unlikely.

That is partly because funds for security affairs come from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not the government. He also decides nuclear policy.

“Our support to our brother Assad will never change,” said a senior Iranian official, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “Because of (declining) oil prices we face economic hardship … but we will mange to continue our support to Syria, militarily and financially.”

Ali Vaez, of the International Crisis Group think-tank, said the oil price fall would hurt, but was unlikely to make Iran accept a nuclear deal “that it views as lopsided”.

“Iran’s support for its allies in Iraq and Syria is not a questions of means, it’s a strategic necessity. This is why neither the fall of the rial in 2012 or economic malaise in 2013 affected Iran’s support for its Syrian and Iraqi allies.”

Iran and world powers are negotiating to end a standoff over Tehran’s nuclear goals. Tehran denies Western charges it is seeking nuclear weapons.

President Hassan Rouhani presented a “cautious, tight” budget on Dec. 7 in response to falling oil prices, now almost $10 a barrel below the $70 his budget was based on.

Spending was six percent above this year, a real terms cut due to inflation of 20 percent.

But with revenues pressured, plans to hike defense spending 33 percent prompted speculation that Rouhani wants to placate security hardliners, hoping they will indulge his bid to win a nuclear deal and end sanctions.

POWERFUL HAWKS

Powerful anti-Western hawks in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), who report to Khamenei, have been wary of the negotiations.

They have tolerated the talks, diplomats speculate, largely because his big 2013 election win revealed the depth of anger over economic mismanagement and support for his aim of ending Iran’s international isolation.

Mehrdad Emadi of Betamatrix International Consultancy suggested Rouhani had to consider the IRGC in setting economic policy because it could spoil any nuclear deal.

Greater defense spending was aimed at “giving them a big piece of the public pie so they can stop kicking up a fuss when it comes to negotiations, especially those with the Americans.”

“The IRGC are extremely sensitive to any reduction of ‘military aid’ to what they see as strategic allies.”

The IRGC could ruin any rapprochement with the West it felt might hurt its interests.

Last year, Iran granted Syria a $3.6 billion credit facility to buy oil products, with another $1 billion for non-oil products.

Domestically the government has ways of mitigating the pain.

One is gradual depreciation of the official exchange rate at which it converts oil revenues from dollars into rials. This allows a progressively smaller amount of dollars to supply the same rial revenues.

The central bank’s official exchange has dropped to 27,043 from 25,651 at the end of June and 24,774 at the end of last year. Next year’s budget is based on a rate of 28,500, showing the government plans to continue this strategy.

Meanwhile, the free-market price of the rial has stabilized at about 35,000, far from lows near 40,000 two years ago. That suggests most Iranians think that while cheaper oil will pressure the rial, they do not yet expect an economic collapse or a run on the currency.

Emadi said Rouhani would try to shield the poorest from spending cuts to avoid any repeat of the unrest that followed 2009’s disputed presidential election.

A 30 percent rise in bread prices on Dec. 1 rattled Iranians, but there was no major unrest. Emadi said the government later took steps to compensate poorer households.

There could be further subsidy cuts but open protest was unlikely since “the regime’s machinery of repression still makes this very risky”, said Scott Lucas of EA WorldView, a specialist website on Iran and Syria.

(Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi, Andrew Torchia and William Maclean; Editing by Giles Elgood)