Military: Key factor in national power potential | By Dr Muhammad Khan


Military: Key factor in national power potential

IN the international politics, national power of a state is considered as the hallmark while determining the status of a state. The national power of any state relies on the combination of many elements and factors, commonly known as the elements of national power. Among these elements of national power there are some tangible elements while others are intangible. Whereas the geopolitics of as state is a significant aspect in determining the national power potentials, the masses, economic factors and national institutions have the key role in this respect. Military power is an undeniable factor which really matters in the national power potential of all states; under-developed, developing and developed states. Pakistan is bestowed with tremendous geopolitical location which is unparalleled. Indeed, it is geopolitical pivot, linking the regions with each other as a junction in Asian continent. Its pivotal geopolitical location attracts international and regional rivalries which needs a strong security apparatus.

Traditionally, the military of Pakistan has acted as a very strong pillar of national power. In this perspective, the military of Pakistan faced numerous challenges while defeating the aggressive designs of rival powers at regional and international level. In order to demonstrate its desired power potential, the military needs the support of masses of Pakistan. Customarily, the masses of Pakistan respected and loved the military for its effective in ensuring the national security of Pakistan including combating the non-traditional securitychallenges.

Unfortunately, there has been an undesired and a sudden rise in the campaign of politicization of Pakistani Military at the level of various political force, several non-state actors and social media groups. These groups make use of main stream as well as the social media for their disinformation campaigns to defame and politicize the military and its premium intelligence agency in particular. It appears that this politicization of Pakistani Military is part of a larger agenda which may prove very dangerous against this most organized, highly professional and most popular and loved institution of Pakistan. This campaign of defamation and politicization of Pakistani Military has two dimensions; a domestic dimension and an external dimension.

Domestically, the politicization of Pak Army aims at defamation of this institution, since it is the most popular institution of Pakistan, loved by masses ever since Pakistan came into being. In fact, Pakistani military draw its strength from the masses of Pakistan. This intimate bondage and devoted connection is the real area of concern for the rival power (s) of Pakistan. The foes of Pakistan therefore have chosen to target this intimate relationship in phase one of their larger anti-Pakistan agenda. During this phase, the planners would like to create differences between masses and Military through indirect strategy of defamation while negatively agitating the sentiments of masses and creating abhorrence against the institution of Military. This process is going-on unabated since last one year while no one in the country imagine its long-term implications.

Indeed, no external power can succeed in overpowering Pakistan in the presence of a very strong and highly professional military which enjoyed the unswerving, resilient and a dedicate support from people of Pakistan. The enemies of Pakistan had tried it many a time, last being the global war against terrorism. The intimacy and strong association between Pakistani military and the masses enabled the former to combat, defeat and dig-out the roots of this internationally sponsored terrorism against state and society of Pakistan. Nevertheless, the brave men of Pakistani Military actively combated and defeatedterrorism and its abettors which annoyed the planners who decided to change their strategies for a new resurgence of terrorism in Pakistan.

Indeed, this all was done while the nation stood at the back of its armed forces. A critical analysis of war against terrorism would reveal that, it was an internationally sponsored campaign against Pakistan and its highly professional military. At domestic front the Pakistani military had to confront many zones of conflict: the sub-nationalist in the Province of Balochistan, the hardliner and so-called religious groups like TTP in former FATA, KP and rest of the country. There were many other splinter groups that attacked directly and indirectly while supporting the TTP. Besides, the militants from Afghanistan who frequently attack along Pak-Afghan border on military posts. Despite Taliban rule since August 2021, terrorist outfits like TTP, the sub-nationalists are still using Afghan soil for terrorist attacks against Pakistan.

While debating the external dimension of targeting Pakistan and its military, it appears that after having failed in their strategies and efforts of weakening the Pakistani Military through direct approach, the international spying network have adopted indirect strategy to weaken the Pakistani military. They assume that, after weakening the Military, there will be no force to resist the international and regional actors from ruining Pakistan. Defamation and politicization of Pakistani Military is an indirect approach to devastate Pakistan. Such strategies have been used by ancient military strategists like; Carl Von Clausewitz (Prussian General and military theorist) and Sun Tzu (Chinese General and military strategist). The essence of these strategies are; ‘defeat your enemy from within’ through; creating fault lines, causing split, defamation and humiliation, hatching plots and conspiracies, politicization of key institutions and causing hatred against institutions of national security.

This opinion article aims at creating a sense of awareness among masses against the domestic and external conspiracies being used to weaken Pakistan through an indirect approach of targeting its military. Since the previous strategies to weaken the military have failed over the years, therefore, rival forces have resorted to adopt such a defamation campaign.

Indeed, it is hard to imagine the challenges and hardships the military men face while confronting the enemies of various categories during conventional and unconventional warfare. Therefore, let’s stop defamation and exploitation of Military through a system of self-responsibility and national obligation of every Pakistani national. It is a reality that, Military is a key factor in the national power potential of Pakistan. — The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.