National security - Dr Farrukh Saleem Sunday, March 18, 2012

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For us, national security is nothing more than military security. For us, national security is uni-dimensional. For us, national security is uni-organisational. For us, national security’s only dimension is the military one and GHQ is the only organisation that defines it.

Why are we insecure, vulnerable, uncertain and unsafe? Answer: Because our National Security Strategy (NSS) is uni-dimensional and uni-organisational. The UNDP defines security in terms of security’s seven dimensions – economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, personal security, community security and political security.

In 2006, the US Army War College (USAWC), the Canadian Land Forces Doctrine and Training System along with Queen’s University, Canada’s public research university, co-sponsored an academic conference. The Conference concluded that: “War has changed. New organising principles require a new paradigm that facilitates change from a singular military approach to a multidimensional, multi-organisational ... approach to deal more effectively with the contemporary global security reality.” Furthermore, “Time-honoured concepts of national security and the classical military means to attain it, while still necessary, are no longer sufficient.”

The principal recommendation of the Conference was that in order to guarantee the survival of a nation-state its National Security Strategy (NSS) must be based on the 3-Ds – defence, development, and diplomacy. 3-D is the new “external conflict and internal disaster paradigm” in which a country’s military is one component – albeit an important one – of an overall paradigm that must include development, particularly economic development, and diplomacy.

Pakistan is in the midst of ‘fourth generation warfare’, a doctrine first defined by William Lind the author of the Manoeuvre Warfare Handbook. This is warfare’s return to a ‘decentralised form’ whereby a “nation-state has lost its near-monopoly on combat forces.” There is a major conflict going on within Pakistan but this conflict is “characterised by a blurring of the lines between war and politics, soldier and civilian.” Who is a combatant and who is not? Is it war or is it politics? What is the distinction between a solider and a civilian?

Violent Non-State Actors (VNSA) are acting in informal alliances and have two common objectives – to de-legitimise the state; and to make the state expend manpower. Pakistan’s 4th Generation Warfare is taking place at three different levels: Physical combat; mental combat and moral combat. Pakistan needs a new paradigm, a new military doctrine.

National security is about protection of interests, safety of citizens and survival of the nation-state. Pakistan’s National Security Strategy (NSS) has to be a formalised compilation of all threats and all defences against those threats. Security of Pakistan’s next generation depends on a balanced blend of all of Pakistan’s hard as well as soft power. Survival of the Pakistani state has to be guaranteed through the use of defence, development and diplomacy. Just one ‘D’ cannot guarantee the survival of the Pakistani state.

The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad. Email:

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