Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A New Meaning of Conflicts: Some Lessons for Pakistan

Dr. Syed Farooq Hasnat
Middle East Institute

Increasingly, the perceptions and rules governing post Second World War conflicts, border wars and even total wars have changed. In various situations the era of standing armies and the might of armament have become less relevant. The theorists and futurists of conflict can no longer rely on a raw data of the armed forces as well the destructive capacity of an armament. There are many more factors that must be scrutinized before we can come to an objective prediction. The tactics have changed and so has the focus of a war theater. Urban guerilla combat, hit and run, suicide bombing and more so the battles being fought in front of cameras, with night vision technology are the hard realities that is and will be considered in the future. Furthermore, it has been observed that low intensity conflicts take a heavy toll on the developed economies. Apart from the tactics, the ideological nature of global conflicts, particularly in the Middle East has received a new meaning. The Muslims see the support for westernization of their societies as a reminder of the European colonial onslaught through their “civilizing mission”. They perceive the agenda of “Enlightened Moderation” nothing but a foreign instrument of dominance, especially when the political institutions are made exception to this rule. The West, in turn sees the Muslim agitation as a threat to their “civilization” and “way of living”, as repeatedly presented by the Western politicians and media. In short, the rules of the game have changed.

The United States in Vietnam and again in Iraq, the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and Israel in Lebanon wrestled against much smaller and weak opponents but were unable to pacify their adversaries. This was in spite of the fact that there was no match between the belligerents, in terms of military equipment and usage of defence technology. In such endeavors these otherwise powerful nations also loose their credibility of being invincible. Who could image that Israel would be subdued, when in the past they were able to rout the combined armies of the Arab countries, in just six days. Surely, these setbacks have reduced the capacity of global and regional powers to take or influence any similar endeavors, in the future. The United Sates found itself completely incapacitated in the Lebanon crises and the lingering Palestinian issue, mainly because of its being bogged down in Iraq. In all these situations it is the stronger power that suffered ultimate defeat in a sense that it failed to achieve its goals for which aggression was launched. On the other hand, though weak entities suffered tremendous human loss and misery, but it is the ultimate that counts.

In three out of the four mentioned conflicts the tactics of widespread suicide bombing was and is being used only in Iraq. There is some exception in another war theater in Afghanistan where the conflict still goes on and therefore a final assessment has still to come. The suicide tactics, though deplorable is erroneously being seen by the West as a part of a Muslim ideology and religion. The reality is that basically suicide bombings are a European invention by an anarchist, Joseph Conrad, who introduced it in his novel “Secret Agent” (1907). The concept was used as a battle tactic, by Japanese Kamikaze, during the Second World War and there were some instances from the Germans, as well. Later on, the Tamil Tigers used this method against the government of Sri Lanka. As we understand today, it is primarily a tool of stateless groups, who are otherwise out numbered and outgunned by their adversaries.

The United States under President Bush sees global conflicts in a changed perspective. Well know Bush doctrine points out towards a notion of a “preemptive strike”, meaning that a country can be attacked and even destroyed, if there is a suspicion that in the future it can pose a threat to the American interests. Using the pretext of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction Iraq was attacked in March-April, 2003. Even when it came to be known that there were no weapons of such kind, nor Saddam had any links with al-Qaeda, the justification to continue the conflict got another names like “regime change” and “establishing a democratic system”. The conventional wisdom as established by the U.N. charter is that a country cannot resort to war unless attacked, in actual terms and its national sovereignty threatened.

In another war theater, the Israelis knew no limits when under the pretext of freeing two of its solders devastated Lebanon and killed more than 500 children and an equal number of innocent women. Both these conflicts took a heavy toll on human lives, as thousands were displaced and their homes destroyed. It is estimated that in Iraq more than half a million Iraqi civilians have lost their lives with many more injured, while in Lebanon more than 1000 died in just 30 days of relentless aerial bombing. In spite of all the killings and destruction, both the United States and Israel remained far from victory. The stubbornness and reliance of the small groups send a message that future conflicts and wars will be of different nature – where huge armies, armament and advanced military technology will take a back seat.

MIT professor Noam Chomsky and co-author Professor Gilbert Achcar points towards the new implications of inter-state conflicts in their recent book, “Perilous Power:” The authors observe that first; religion is being used in the recent conflicts, as a vehicle for political and economic interests. Secondly, fundamentalism is not confined to the Muslim combatant groups, alone. It is also very much “a powerful Christian strain as it exists in the US that has enormous influence over right wing Republican-led governments.” The authors acknowledge that fundamentalism has become a global affair, spread over nearly all societies around the globe – a phenomenon that came into focus just over the last two decades. This view is supplemented by Reza Aslan in his book “There is no god but God”. He cites one of many examples where the global conflicts are seen by the fundamentalists, in the West, as between good and evil. He writes, “When the Republican senator from Oklahoma, James Inhofe, stands before the U.S. Congress and insists that the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East are not political or territorial battles but ‘a contest over whether or not the word of God is true,’ he speaks, knowingly or not, the language of the Crusades.”

The changed perspective of conflicts requires that nations like Pakistan with huge defence budget and top-heavy army should reconsider their security options. As the examples of Iraq and Lebanon shows the new wars can be fought successfully, without the shining insignias of the elite class. Genuine requisites to protect a nation include the strength of people through their well build civil institutions as well as the requirement of the involvement by the people in the decision making process.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's that smell of?
[b][url=" "]hydrocodone order[/url][/b]

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... - business health insurance rate small
[url=] business health insurance rate small [/url]

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]eteen art pic[/url]

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]Take care about your health[/url]

2:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi List of hot girls in your area. [url=]ENTER[/url]
[url=]big tit[/url] [url=]soma[/url] [url=]ambien[/url] [url=]hotgirls[/url] [url=]xanax[/url] [url=]sex[/url] [url=]sexcam[/url] [url=]phentermine+cheap[/url] [url=]xanax+online[/url] [url=]phentermine[/url] [url=]sex[/url] [url=]hotbabe[/url] [url=]sexforadult[/url] [url=]sex[/url] [url=]sexygirlsfree[/url] [url=]sexygirls[/url] [url=]sexfree[/url] [url=]adult[/url] [url=]hotgirlsonline[/url]
[url=]freeadult[/url] [url=]soma[/url] [url=]sexvideo[/url] [url=]viagra[/url] [url=]viagra[/url] [url=]valium[/url] [url=]meridia[/url] [url=]adultsexsearch[/url] [url=]ativan[/url] [url=]xanax[/url] [url=]drugs[/url] [url=]valium[/url] [url=]xanax+cheap[/url] [url=]viagra[/url] [url=]drug store[/url] [url=]viagra[/url] [url=]levitra[/url] [url=]cialis[/url]
[url=]sex[/url] [url=]porn anal[/url] Check prices of these useful pills:[url=]tramadol[/url] [url=]pharmacy search[/url] [url=]cialis[/url] [url=]soma[/url] [url=]ambien[/url] [url=]meridia[/url] [url=]ultram[/url] [url=]tramadol[/url] [url=]carisoprodol[/url] [url=]viagra[/url]
for fun

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great site home forclosure beaded bracelet bathroom lighting chicago single silk scarf diet points garden furniture chicago florist tote bag cpa course folding table replica handbag altima nissan gym bag adhd treatment


9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Restaurant "Cingarella".
Sharp at 00.00PM all you was eating at our restaurant will be convert to shet !!!
[url=]ENTER[/url] [url=]sex[/url] [url=]soma[/url] [url=]ambien[/url] [url=]hotgirls[/url] [url=]xanax[/url] [url=]sex[/url] [url=]sexcam[/url] [url=]phentermine+online[/url] [url=]xanax+online[/url] [url=]phentermine[/url] [url=]sex[/url] [url=]hotbabe[/url] [url=]sexforadult[/url] [url=]sex[/url] [url=]sexygirlsfree[/url] [url=]sexygirls[/url]
[url=]sexfree[/url] [url=]adult[/url] [url=]hotgirlsonline[/url] [url=]freeadult[/url] [url=]sex finder[/url] [url=http:/ /]sexvideo[/url] [url=]viagra[/url] [url=]viagra[/url] [url=]valium[/url] [url=]meridia[/url] [url=]adultsexsearch[/url] [url=]ativan[/url] [url=]xanax[/url] [url=]drugs[/url] [url=]valium[/url] [url=]phentermine+buy[/url] [url=]viagra[/url] [url=]drug store[/url]
[url=]viagra[/url] [url=]levitra[/url] [url=]cialis[/url] [url=]sex[/url] [url=]porn anal[/url] Check prices of these pills:[url=]tramadol[/url] [url=]pharmacy search[/url] [url=]cialis[/url] [url=]soma[/url] [url=]ambien[/url] [url=]meridia[/url] [url=]ultram[/url] [url=]tramadol[/url] [url=]carisoprodol[/url] [url=]viagra[/url]

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Propose to join [url=]live chat[/url] & welcome to this useful site:[url=]swingers[/url] Find partner in your area!

2:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]contact lens sales[/url] - [url=]cosmetic contact lens[/url]

4:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi all!. Alone on Valentine's Day? [url=]Adult Chat[/url] & [url=]Love[/url] Try to find partner in your area!

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. Alone on Valentine's Day? [url=]Live adult chat[/url] Find sex partner in your area! Free

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]walmart eyeglasses[/url] : [url=]nike eyeglasses[/url]

2:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi all!


1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]absolutely free pcs ringtones sprint[/url] - [url=]free sprint ringtones site[/url]
[url=]free verizon samsung ringtones[/url]

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]king size mattress[/url]
[url=]mattress discounters[/url] - [url=]serta mattress and serta foam mattress[/url]

12:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello. Use this search engine for best result: [url=]TFOsearch[/url] Find all you need in your area!

5:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]cheap tires[/url]
[url=]kelly tires[/url] - [url=]nitto truck tires[/url]

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]free kyocera ringtones[/url]
[url=]free motorola ringtones[/url]

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]free halloween ringtones[/url]
[url=]free motorola ringtones[/url]

4:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

girl not to date

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]cellular chocolate phone[/url]
[url=]cellular phone comparison[/url] - [url=]cellular phone faceplates[/url] - [url=]cellular phone ring[/url]

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]camera cellular phone[/url]
[url=]cellular one cell phone[/url] - [url=]cellular phone faceplates[/url] - [url=]cellular phone ring[/url]

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]credit card debt consolidation[/url]
[url=]low interest debt consolidation loan[/url]

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]debt consolidation organization[/url]
[url=]low interest debt consolidation loan[/url]

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]download free cingular ringtones[/url]
[url=]free virgin mobile ringtones[/url]

1:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]100 free ringtones[/url]
[url=]free funny voice ringtones[/url] - [url=]free motorola ringtones[/url] - [url=]free nokia ringtones[/url]

3:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

adult free media

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]buy viagra on line[/url]
[url=]purchase viagra online and[/url] - [url=]viagra pharmacy[/url]

2:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]order tramadol[/url]
[url=]tramadol cod[/url] - [url=]tramadol used for.[/url]

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]buy cod tramadol[/url]
[url=]tramadol apap[/url] - [url=]tramadol hydrochloride[/url]

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]preowned rolex watch[/url]
[url=]rolex daytona gmt[/url] - [url=]rolex watch preowned[/url]

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]replica presidential rolex[/url]
[url=]rolex daytona gmt[/url] - [url=]swiss replica rolex daytona[/url]

1:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]airline cheap florida tickets[/url]
[url=]cheap hawaii ticket[/url] - [url=]cheap student airline tickets[/url]

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]airline cheap flight tickets[/url]
[url=]cheap hawaii ticket[/url] - [url=]cheap last minute airline tickets[/url]

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]asia cheap flights[/url]
[url=]cheap flight manila[/url] - [url=]cheap flight sydney[/url] - [url=]cheap flight thailand[/url]

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]asia cheap flights[/url]
[url=]cheap flight international ticket[/url] - [url=]cheap flight tenerife[/url] - [url=]cheap flight uk[/url]

4:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a real show............ Try to find sexy partner in your area !
- [url=]JOIN FREE[/url] - After free registration you can have unlimited access to the huge adult source.
ATTANTION ! Adult only !......

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]twin mattress[/url]
[url=]latex mattress[/url] - [url=]simmons mattress[/url]

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, great **adult** blog site! I am impressed. I am bookmarking your site right now so I can come back later when I have more time.
I also have an **adult site**. My site has an **adult community**,** galleries**,** erotic stories**, **erotic store** and **hot girls** on** web cams** waiting for you to chat to them and more…I hope that you will come over and check out my site. Thanks!

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]black contact lenses[/url]
[url=]contact lenses care[/url]

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]black contact lenses[/url]
[url=]contact lenses care[/url]

5:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]fioricet withdrawal[/url]
[url=]carisoprodol side effects[/url]

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]tramadol hcl[/url]
[url=]fioricet withdrawal[/url] | [url
=]carisoprodol online[/url]

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]rolex cellini[/url]
[url=]rolex explorer[/url]

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]lady rolex watch[/url]
[url=]swiss rolex and fake swiss rolex[/url]

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]free boost ringtones[/url]
[url=]free real ringtones[/url] * [url=]get free ringtones[/url]

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]buy fioricet[/url]
[url=]carisoprodol 350mg[/url]

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]effects of viagra[/url]
[url=]where to buy viagra[/url]

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]discount viagra online[/url]
[url=]viagra online[/url]

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]cheap air flights continental airlines tickets[/url]
[url=]continental airlines jobs[/url]

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]american airlines flight schedules[/url]
[url=]american eagle airlines[/url]

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]buy generic viagra[/url]
[url=]viagra sales[/url]

3:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]ecco shoes[/url]
[url=]womens shoes[/url]

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]cialis vs viagra[/url]
[url=]viagra price[/url]

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]cingular 8125[/url]
[url=]cingular 8525[/url] | [url=]cingular prepaid[/url]

1:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]amico auto insurance[/url]
[url=]auto insurance search[/url] | [url=]online auto insurance[/url]

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]crank ringtone[/url]
[url=]free kyocera ringtones[/url] | [url=]free mobile ringtones[/url]

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]airfare cheap tickets[/url] ~ [url=]canada cheap tickets[/url]
[url=]cheap tickets[/url]

2:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=]airplane cheap tickets[/url] ~ [url=]cheap air flight tickets[/url]
[url=]cheap tickets[/url]

9:58 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home