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The Information Warfare (By: Anum Ibrar)

Information Warfare, Anum Ibrar,
Written by Guest Author

By: Anum Ibrar

THE nomadic horsemenScythians– who dominated a vast swathe of present-day Ukraine and southern Russia, from the seventh century to the third century B.C. continued to unleash vile atrocities and terrify long after they were gone. According to Herodotus they “ravaged the whole of Asia. They not only took tribute from each people, but also made raids and pillaged everything these peoples had.” Napoleon, also called Russians as: “They are Scythians!” However, the current realm is all about a more subtle yet equally devastating in the form of information warfare.

The postmodern era brings with it new dimensions of security as well as warfare. Now, the domain of warfare has been changed owing to the changing technological dynamics. It has been well said that every era reflects the warfare according to its own peculiar technology. The post -modern era is all about information warfare-re-engineering of information to play the cards. The nuclear deterrence is, undeniably, playing its part only to revert the war. The war is being waged by the information tools. This is the most advanced kind of warfare where the Meta narratives are built to disintegrate a state. In simple words: there is no single truth but a lot of truths to create chaos and confusion among different institutions of a state. This wave of disinformation, in turn, leads to sabotage. This is relatively a cheap mode of warfare using propaganda as its tool. However, the practical manifestation of information warfare can be best described by fueling strife between civilian institutions, military institution and public. Here, the strategy of smart power is used that is both coercion and persuasion by the enemy to move the institutions for a massive clash.

The best manifestation is the example of Pakistan where institutions are in instant clash and a war of narratives in going on between different factions in the country. There is no single narrative, though multiple narratives in the form of pro-jihadist Taliban, sectarian based narratives, and separatist narratives like that of Balochistan Liberation Army and Balochistan Republic force. Then, there are numerous number of pseudo liberal forces that are camouflaging the basic tenets of Islam to build confusion and anarchy in the minds of people. This is the form of ideological war that is creating two extremes in our country: one is religious extremism (Islamophobia) and another is (unrestrained liberalism). Indeed, both are heinous forces to succumb the country into insufferable damage. The post-truth era is quite conducive for this type of warfare tactics where truth is not concrete rather in a constant flux. Every identity is shaped according to a certain agenda settled by the enemy. According to Robert D Kaplan, unlike the old times where the enemy was ever ready and present to fight, the present era reflects an entirely different reality: the enemy appears on his own terms. You do not have to fight recklessly; rather you have to wait for the enemy to appear. The information warfare is all about manipulation of information and deception. Dick Cheney once stated about (IOS) are converting third world countries into a first class warrior. The present realm of strategic warfare between India and Pakistan has a major chunk in IW. India is keeping all her options open to destroy the image of Pakistan globally. The social media platforms are continuously portraying the negative image of Pakistan. India is projecting her power to raise the irk of Afghans against Pakistan in spite of the great sacrifices that Pakistan has made. In addition, the portrayal of Pakistan as a terrorist nation with draconian Sharia law is the elephant in the room. The Hindustan Times and other hyper-nationalist pages are running this heinous campaign in order to malign the soft image of Pakistan. In the world of soft power, maligning a nation is quite detrimental for her national interests. In addition to it, the international media is also playing cards against Pakistan. Time and again, it has hardly maintained that Pakistan has sacrificed thousands of lives in War on terror. The propaganda against our intelligence agencies is on its peak especially when it comes to Afghanistan. The PTM is another façade of this warfare. Directly or indirectly, army is held responsible for the ultimate misery of Pashtoon. What the international media forget to mention is that Pakistan has handled a great number of Al-Qaeda terrorists to USA. By doing this, international media houses are bent on distorting the institutions and creating chaos that will lead to the ultimate failure of our national security and give a way to the enemy to penetrate into our internal affairs. Moreover, the international media hardly reports any incident of the cold blood murder of our army personnel by terrorist. The USA along with her friends is determined to weaken our country so that it will become spineless and can easily be molded according to her design. All we need are advanced Cyber warfare tools; synchronizing the institutions to have command our information; raising public awareness and polishing our capacity to influence- soft power. To have a final say, Sun Tzu sums it up: one who knows his enemy and himself should never be afraid of the results of hundred battles.

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