With the advancement in technology in the modern world, countries have also evolved and taken a new leap in terms of logistics involved in warfare. Now Hybrid Warfare, a 5th generation war also called asymmetrical warfare, is the new face of war.
Earlier, in all the four-generation warfare manpower and sophisticated weapons were primarily used to fight a battle. But now the war has changed its face, infiltration is not only done by physically crossing the border but just by sitting on a cosy couch and using a computer, an attacker can create chaos which may be far more destructive.
What is Hybrid Warfare?
About 4.46 billion people are active internet users, which is 59% of the total world population. If anything happens in a place, the whole world gets to know about it in a small amount of time.
Hybrid warfare Includes traditional battlefield, indigenous population specifically of the conflict zone, financial warfare and most importantly information warfare, influential warfare, psychological warfare & media warfare for narrative building and diplomacy in the international platform.
Countries use this platform to create a negative impact or a change in the rival nation’s narrative. They have their own unofficial I.T cells to do so, like for Pakistan they have DG ISPR.
Hybrid Warfare may involve:
- Collection of tactical data and using it for their propaganda.
- Creating fake news through fake websites, social media and other means of mass communication to create a narrative.
- Use of non-state actors for proxies. For example- Pakistan directly does not infiltrate or do illegal activities in India instead, it uses Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen for their cross border terrorism.
- Cyber Warfare – Hacking digital platforms and stealing the data, and even disrupting the public service platforms.
- Deep fakes to promote propaganda & mislead people by creating fake news.
- Use of False Flag to misguide and disguise the actual source and pinning the blame on a second party.
- Financial Warfare. For example:- Chinese debt trap policy.
- Use of more advanced weapons to show their supremacy.
In this type of warfare, the battle may continue for decades.
How can it be tackled?
To tackle such types of attacks, All of Government Approach(termed by Lt. General Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd)) is needed. Military, police or state intelligence can not handle all the attacks alone. The Government needs to act in multiple domains like use of foreign diplomacy to gain international support, check media outfits for fake news, and control them. Political roles like using democracy to gain public support and trust as done in J&K by conducting DDC and panchayat elections.