Gone are those days when wars were fought through horses, arrows, swords, javelins, cannons or gun. It’s the 21st century, a new era. Going by the need of the hour, Man has adopted newer means of tackling warlike situations for his protection. Simultaneously, analysts have been forced to conjure different ways of transforming war. It is said that the reason of starting a war is the actual thirst for war. Anything can be the reason behind this thirst; one is hyper nationalism, but whatever the reason, the resulting war would always lead to famine, poverty, disabilities and diseases.
This thirst for war is also nothing less than a fatal illness. This mental illness has devastated thousands of homes, and is gaining momentum. It has reached the point where the horizon of world peace faces a new conflict, a new illness and a new type of warlike passion. This penetrates the human mind like a powerful virus and hijacks one’s thinking and understanding capacity. Defence experts term this virus-like illness controlling the centre of human body, the brain, 5th Generation War also called 5GW. The dangerous clouds of 5GW have darkened the skies. Nuclear states especially the enemies of Third-World countries, are targeted by this danger. 5GW is even more menacing than nuclear war.
You can guess the fatality of this strange strategic warfare by realising that majority of people are not only its victims but are being used by it and even wasted completely by it without the slightest clue. 5GW can be called a silent killer, one so sweet and poisonous that the targeted victim would not even hear a word against it. The world of warfare experiences newer techniques of strategic warfare. Most of us are unaware of these techniques, with time we get to know about them. For instance, when one cannot call a lie a lie, it is called an ‘alternative truth’. Those who could not grasp the complexity of this technique continued thinking that ‘alternative truth’ is the substitute of truth. In reality, it was another issue altogether.
Another war strategy which has gained massive appeal is that of collateral damage. People continued considering this strategy as the loss induced by war, but after delving into its complexity they got to know that common citizens martyred in suicide attacks or bombing as a result of terrorist activities also fall into the ‘collateral damage’ category. 5GW is much the same terminology but first we have to understand the concept of ‘generations’ in warfare. The usage of the word ‘generation’ refers to the introduction of a combination of newer forms of technology and techniques.
The warfare model and its usage started after the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia. This ended the 30 Years’ War between Germany and other countries fought on religious ideologies. Commonly, this is known as first generation warfare (1GW), where the enemies knew the strength of each other’s’ army. The bigger the army, the greater the victory. First generation war lasted from the start of the 17th century to the end of the 19th. When people had exhausted it, they considered bringing innovation in war. Suggestions began of focusing not only on the use of power but also on technological innovations. After first generation warfare, hordes/battalions of soldiers were replaced by advanced ammunition, powerful weaponry and automatic guns. Some of the wars waged since the beginning of 19th century to date fall in the Second Generation Warfare category. Third generation warfare (3GW) is concerned with the changing strategic policy and weaponry in wars. These changes were radical to such an extent that warriors started thinking that wars fought merely with strength of army; newer weaponry or technological innovation is futile, rather, the use of a different strategy is also required. This warfare also included the use of aircraft and helicopters.
If your enemy is twisting your words to make you helpless, then think critically and speak wisely
So if there was this much innovation in wars and weaponry, why fourth and fifth generation warfare? With time the developing and developed nations were being targeted by the vice of terrorism. On one hand the evolution of advanced weaponry was taking place while on the other a silent killer was creeping ever forward. To counter the effects of this looming threat, armies were equipped with the most advanced weapons and launched in populated areas aerially. The act of eradicating the enemy by launching the soldiers in well-populated areas is fourth generation warfare. The use of fourth generation warfare started after 1989. The Pakistan Army’s victory over enemies in North and South Waziristan was the fruit of 4GW.
This is the 21st century, the era of nuclear technology. What better weapon of destruction can mankind have than the nuclear and hydrogen bomb? However, the way technological innovation has occurred, war minds and thinkers have also changed their way of thinking. Although humans managed to accumulate weapons of mass destruction, they also realised how the entire world could be destroyed. Those who introduced 5GW have thought of alternatives of natural war. Now wars are fought at ideological fronts more than on the borders. 5GW is the type of psychological war where the enemy state is robbed inside and outside the state with the help of neighbours and hostile elements. Any type of blockade, setting agendas, bringing the enemy to the front and creating propaganda through media are the elements of fifth generation warfare. Undeclared proxy wars lasting for many years are also considered a part, as are creating a security dilemma, mental confusion and a feeling of inferiority. A developing nation like Pakistan also faces the threat of 5GW. This strangely twisted war strategy is used as a catalyst to turn our own people against us. Anti-state elements residing within the state are being used to create rebellion against the state. In these rating-oriented times, media is being used to stand against the state through unverified and/or fake news. Terrorist activity in any part of the world is automatically blamed on Pakistan and Muslims to create a certain agenda. All these are tools of 5GW and majority of us are affected by this virus. Sixty per cent of our population, which is the youth, which is active on social media is an easy prey for this virus.
This column is written for the awareness of that 60% population. As per weighing your words/thinking before speaking, do speak your mind out but be cautious in the aftereffects of your words. Focus on who might take advantage of your words and who would be affected adversely by them. If your enemy is twisting your words to make you helpless, then think critically and speak wisely. Resist standing against your state. Save yourself from becoming a tool of your enemy. The enemy is extremely clever and the mainstream apps and social media within our reach are nothing less than a bomb. Lest they make us use the same bomb against us, we should be wary of getting tangled in this strategic warfare, this illness and infectious virus deployed at our mental fronts.