Significance of military power in national power potential
IN the international politics, national power of a state is considered as the hallmark. 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 a state is a significant aspect in determining the national power potential, 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 — developing or developed.
Pakistan is bestowed with tremendous geopolitical location which is unmatched. Indeed, it is geopolitical pivot, linking the regions with each other as a junction in the 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. Traditionally, the military of Pakistan faced numerous challenges while defeating the aggressive designs of rival powers at regional and international levels.
In order to demonstrate its desired power potential, the military needs the support of masses of Pakistan.
Traditionally, the masses of Pakistan respected and loved the military for its effective role in all wars and while combating the non-traditional security threats and challenges.
Unfortunately, there has been an undesired and a sudden rise in the campaign of politicization of Pakistani military at the level of various political forces, several non-state actors and social media groups.
These groups make use of mainstream 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: the domestic and external dimensions.
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 draws its strength from the masses of Pakistan. This intimate bond 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 the masses and the military through indirect strategy of defamation while negatively agitating the sentiments of masses and creating abhorrence against the institution of military.
Indeed, no external power can succeed in overpowering Pakistan in the presence of a very strong and highly professional military which enjoys the unswerving, resilient and a dedicated 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 the state and society of Pakistan.
Seeing the intensity of this internationally-sponsored terrorism against Pakistan, it was assumed that Pakistan would meet the fate of Iraq, Libya and Syria.
Nevertheless, the brave defence forces of Pakistan crushed these terrorists and their backers and abettors.
This annoyed the planners and compelled them to diversify their strategies against Pakistan.
Indeed, this all was done while the nation stood at the back of its defence 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 the 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 forces to ruin Pakistan, the way it happened with Iraq and Libya.
Defamation and politicization of Pakistani military is an indirect approach to devastate Pakistan in a future scenario.
It is a strategy of war, used by ancient military strategists like Carl Von Clausewitz (Prussian General and military theorist) and Sun Tzu (Chinese General and military strategist).
These strategists and many others have advised their governments to formulate strategies to defeat your enemy from within.
Defeating the enemies from within have many elucidations; 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 write-up primarily aims at creating a sense of awareness against the global and regional plots which aim to weaken Pakistan through an indirect approach of targeting its military.
Since all other strategies to weaken and defeat the military have failed over the years, the spying networks of rival powers have resorted to invest on those elements who can politicize and defame the military at home.
Politicisation and defamation of military would further lead towards creation of sense of demoralization among the fighting outfits.
It is to be noted that Pakistani military is among the top few militaries of the world from the perspective of professionalism, bravery and dedication.
Therefore, let’s not allow defamation and politicization of Pakistani military. It is hard to imagine the challenges and hardships the military men face while confronting the enemies of various categories; conventional and unconventional, kinetic and non-kinetic and, above all, the threat of hybrid warfare. Indeed, in the list of national power potential, the Pakistani military stands at the top.
— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.