In the last 100-odd hours, since facing one of the world’s deadliest terrorist attacks against security forces in recent history, India has lost 40 CRPF personnel, two Indian Army Majors, two Indian Army Sepoys and one Indian Army Hawaldar. Also, one DIG of J&K Police and a Brigadier, a Lt. Colonel, a Major and a Captain of the Indian Army are critically injured in the latest encounter with Pakistan-sponsored terrorists. The nation is boiling over with cries of revenge, and the enemy is alert and mobilised at the border expecting precisely that.
India is at war currently.
BUT, you would be excused for believing that the pressing issues of the moment for our besieged nation are stray — and mostly imaginary — attacks against Kashmiri students in some parts of ‘the Indian mainland’, a plebiscite in Kashmir, and, hold your breath, a certain curiously excited male genitalia.
That forced misplaced focus, unfortunately, is merely a continued manifestation of the inimical forces that have been hindering the Indian story.
And it’s time we discuss the issue a little, aloud.
We are not too fond of jargon, but for this particular exercise, we would take refuge in one to keep this note short and sharp.
Though borne out of a marketing slogan, the term ‘fifth-generation warfare’ has become a favourite of ‘strategy analysts’, especially of the types that talk of defence and security.
Dr Peter Layton, the winner of the US Secretary of Defense’s Exceptional Public Service Medal for his work at the Pentagon on force structure matters, defines ‘fifth-generation warfare’ as “a dynamic way of war, constantly evolving as the context changes and new demands arise”.
He says that it involves four approaches viz., ‘networks’, ‘combat cloud’, ‘multi-domain battle’ and ‘fusion warfare’ functioning together as “an integrated, interdependent ‘system of systems’ whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.
What we are seeing right at this moment in India is straight out of that projected theory of ‘fifth generation warfare’.
India, this week, under the siege of a large, interconnected army of ‘network(er)s’ led by, among other minions of the oil and salvation-led deep state, a discredited journalist, a deranged lawyer-activist, a failed dancer-actor, a forever-student religious bigot, a virtue-signalling foreign news company, a fraud-accused ‘human rights group’, and a couple of blatantly biased technology platforms.
Their ‘operational theatre’ involves (spreading (mis))’information’, ‘sensing’ (the mood of the polity), (studying the) ‘effects’ (of facts and their misinformation) and (setting up) ‘command’ (and command structures).
For close to 36 hours now, they are telling you that a slap here or a kick there (at worst, if at all) is a more worrying event than the bodies of our heroes being blown apart (apology).
Following their lead are thousands of such ‘networkers’ telling you that precise thing. At the same time. All the time. And they would not stop till that is the only thing in your subconscious.
That is front #1.
Front #2, the ‘combat cloud’, is ‘shared backroom storage’ (on, for example, Facebook, Twitter and indeed both on local intranets and the wide internet) from which the networkers pull and add data as necessary.
That space is being used by the said nefarious individuals to brainstorm, strategise and execute command control instructions. Instructions like, “the moment someone says ‘We want revenge for the killing of our soldiers’, swarm the timeline, all you 5+ million followers of, say, the discredited journalist, with statements like, ‘Yes, we all want it. But let’s not attack, innocent and peaceful Kashmiri students. Beating up Kashmiris across India (a fictitious scale, if not the event itself) is precisely what Pakistan wants us to do'”.
Front # 3, ‘multi-domain battle’ is self-explanatory. Why, aren’t you forced to read the same lies ad nauseam via social media, print media, television news, WhatsApp, public seminars and, hell, even your neighbourhood uncle who suffers from Stockholm Syndrome.
The final approach, the ‘fusion warfare’, is front # 4 for our tainted ‘networks’. It involves, as per Dr Layton’s study, “command and control concerns arising from additional information flows, software incompatibilities and intrinsic vulnerabilities to attack and deception”.
Something like, “Hey, the report from the ground suggests that the Kashmiri students lie has started going against us (it even got an FIR registered against one of us), so we’ll have to change the narrative. How about us being targetted, harassed, threatened with rape/murder etc? Maybe throw in a picture of a ******sized p****?” And voila, they succeed in getting a grip on the narrative again! Give or take a few plausible versions of it.
When the ‘corrupt forces’ open up all the four fronts simultaneously, as they have done currently, it becomes fifth-generation warfare.
Worryingly, the current ‘networks’, like many before them, might just be the pawns in the hands of, again, the oil and salvation-led deep state; they might just be useful idiots who are excelling in carrying out the tasks mentioned in their pay cheques, but they are useful — mighty useful, for and on behalf of the forces that we are fighting.
On one level, it is a difficult battle. But on the other, we just have to pay back in kind.
We would NOT have the support of platforms like Twitter, Facebook etc that have attained a far-reaching impact on the human psyche. The support we shan’t have, but use them we will, for our advantage. Along with the telephone, paper, and that good old thing called personal interactions.
It is going to be a long battle that requires unpaid services, the formation of many interconnected networks with the same purpose, and, most of all, clarity of action.