In to lay the ground for penetrating its


In the 21st
century, warfare dimensions have changed and warfare is not restricted to the
battlefield alone, rather non-military instruments and a combination of
symmetric and asymmetric methods of combat operations and use of information in
particular is the highlight of the modern security environment.  Sun Tzu once said that “supreme
excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting”. Countries are reapplying those centuries-old
tactics to generate the outcome they desire. This multi-modal or
multi-variant conflict is no longer a simple black or white characterization of
one form of warfare, rather it is a growing array of hybrid war
capabilities—from the use of disinformation and propaganda to sow internal
discord and dissent within a country, to crippling cyber-attacks and
psychological warfare, to conventional military power.


confrontation requires operating with a perpetual competition mindset. Hybrid war starts undeclared and continuously aims
to influence public opinion and narratives, and spread manipulated public
messages that are fabricated and promoted by aggressors. Furthermore, the use of
modern information technologies allows multiplication of the effect that brings
with it dangerous consequences and novel nature of this phenomenon. Media–print, electronic and in particular social media–are
the most used and effective manipulation tools, nevertheless, fake news is only
tip of the iceberg in the psychological warfare arena.

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attacker’s military operations are conducted covertly by irregular forces
against the whole society and, in particular, against its political structures,
state authorities and local government, the economy, the morale of the
population and against the Armed Forces. They target the entire nation when they target our
ethnic diversity, religion and culture.  The confusion being created by the enemy is aimed
at targeting self-belief and Pakistan’s desire to remain sovereign. The aim could be to divide and weaken the target country
so as to lay the ground for penetrating its politics in the future, resultantly
affecting its foreign policy course, and even its strategic orientation.


makes it incumbent upon the academicians, religious figures, politicians, artists
and the entire nation to save our cultural identity by not letting anyone
discredit our culture and substituting it with cultural fragmentation based on
ethnic groups, gender, identity, and class, and by not letting the unconventional approaches, from information and
cyber warfare to political manipulation to take root. The political leaders and
strategic thinkers must keep the nation hopeful and must not let the divisive
elements or hostile identities to strengthen and encourage dissent and


While we
can’t actually stop the enemy from waging this war, we may be able to prevent
it by correctly understanding and responding to the situation and by developing
an operational concept and strategy to address the hybrid threats. An effective
counter-hybrid warfare strategy requires political solidarity and agility along
with well-tailored military capabilities. Our
approach should be a comprehensive one, using a mix of military and civilian
capabilities and institutions, at both the state and grass root level keeping
in mind that the potential opponents are always working towards improving their
methods. We must
respond to the vulnerabilities at all levels to tackle the threats emerging
from multiple angles.


fight against an opponent that wages a hybrid war is a task
for the entire society and the society must remain vigilant and
be prepared for hybrid attacks in all areas including information war and in
cyberspace besides economy and politics and
must remain resistant towards any misinformation campaigns directed by the
opponents. We as a
nation should remain committed to protection of our freedom and stay united
while keeping faith in the viability of the state.