Military morale: A fundamental of war


Muhammad Usman

FOR Pakistan state to collapse, it is basically Pakistan Army, which has to collapse, for better or worse, I do not see that happening C Christine Fair, a distinguished American female political scientist but a vehement anti-Pakistani. Her statement has two elements. One is centrality of Pakistan Army to existence of Pakistan which in glossary of terms is known, “centre of gravity”. Other element is of its untiring, undiminishing and undying character regardless of magnitude and gravity of threats, it faces. Probably she had to conclude above finding irresistibly because this factor is the linchpin. This has stood test of time and change, not once but repeatedly with no sign of giving in. The Armed Forces of Pakistan have to assume above role inevitably. They have given blood aplenty. They have also travelled the distance and toiled hard which others had to do but they have done it ungrudgingly. No, they have done it willingly with death starring on them constantly because they have taken oath to safeguard ideological and territorial integrity of Pakistan against threats of all types under all circumstances at all costs. To them, their comforts and lives are meaningless in its absence. These comes later. Pakistan comes first.
Over last decade or more, our Armed Forces had to confront internal and external security threats at multiple fronts simultaneously at a time when state apparatus was in total disarray. No institution was in its worthy state rather limping in state of stupor. The judiciary also dragged its feet to dispense with justice to monsters of terrorism who caused havoc to the country. The democratic process was at nascent stage passing through its delicate stages to logical maturity. On top of this, a self-seeking and inept political leadership of dubious credentials was at helm. Under their watch, country could go only downhill. Their performance index in the past and recent stints stands testimony to this stark reality. To cap it all, driven by force of its oath, Armed Forces moved to take on all threats frontally by themselves. Nation saw them on borders on both sides to thwart external aggression. Nation saw them stalking in streets and alleys to banish terrorism from within which no other military could do in the world. Nation also saw them at apex committees and military courts to accelerate the cleansing act while also ensuring that civil dispensation remains on track to regain its composure and maturity. This was a job well done otherwise evil scheme of our adversaries was as grand and mischievous as it was in case of Iraq, Libya and Syria. They also had armies but not as of ours whose men have developed class professionalism, along with unbeatable spirit, steel and steam within their human skeletons. Resultantly, stability is back in the country to move forward positively however, our adversaries remain relentless in their macabre schemes. Now they have subjected us to hybrid war to subvert our Armed Forces with an ultimate purpose to destabilize the country. This is the only method which they deem necessary to achieve the end.
The Armed Forces mainly fight on strength of their morale and resources. It is needless to mention that traditionally our Armed Forces are resource constrained. In present times this has grown even more however, in their case, morale is a big force multiplier. This is intrinsic asset which our soldiers embody. This spurs them to challenge dangers fearlessly. The morale is a positive state of mind to achieve aim even at extreme expense of own self hence, needs to be preserved particularly, when odds are the heaviest materially. The morale of Armed Forces and nation are interlinked and feed on each other. More or less, it is directly proportional to each other. The nation trusts Armed Forces and holds them in high esteem. At present, government and Armed Forces are also on one page and General Bajwa is the moving force. This nexus makes a formidable combination for the country however, this has equally alerted our nemeses. Now their main objective is to break this triangle by making this relationship distant and weak. Possibly game is already on through instruments of 5th generation warfare. Armed Forces were/are being maligned on one pretext or the other however, two events taking place in a series over the last few days carried far more puzzling stuff. These have almost worked as proverbial last straw on camel back particularly, in terms of dignity and self-esteem.
DG ISPR had to tell openly that we know enemy and also have visibility about its facilitators, supervisors and their possible designs. The similar apprehensions also existed widely across the country. One event was of verdict of Supreme Court about settled practice of giving extension to COAS by government by virtually taking suo motu action. Two, decision of Special Court about former President, General Pervez Musharraf, devoid of basic values of religion, humanity and civilization. This caused pain and anguish, not only to men in uniform but also to every sensitive heart. The eminent jurists also called instant decision unconstitutional, unlawful and unethical. In both cases, fair play/justice was not seen, being done. Though there is no doubt that resolve of Armed Forces would remain unhinged for country even in face of extreme provocation as stated by DG ISPR, yet they are also made of human flesh. Their morale could suffer setback if possible adversarial designs succeed as intended to.
— The writer, a retired Lt Col, is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.

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