Global Cyber Arms Race Heating Up?

The United States has launched successful cyber attacks against Iran and North Korea in recent years, according to multiple credible reports. These cyber attacks have caused physical destruction of thousands of Iranian nuclear centrifuges and disrupted North Korean missiles on launchpads or shortly after takeoff. Some of the code and developer tools used in the attacks have leaked out. These leaks are enabling other nations to learn and develop their own offensive cyber weapons. The United States and the United Kingdom have accused Russia of using social media apps like Facebook and Twitter to exploit and deepen divisions during the US presidential elections and the UK's Brexit referendum in 2016. Similar warfare techniques, described by the US RAND Corporation as New Generation or Hybrid Warfare, are probably being deployed by other nations as well. It refers to the use of a broad range of subversive instruments, many of which are nonmilitary, to further a country's national interests. It wouldn't be far-fetched to think that India and Pakistan are learning from New Generation Warfare techniques developed and deployed by technologically advanced nations.

US-Israel Joint Stuxnet Against Iran:

A large number of  Iranian centrifuges suddenly started to blow up around 2008-9 soon after President Barack Obama's inauguration. The mystery was finally resolved in the summer of 2010  when a computer worm later named Stuxnet escaped Iran’s Natanz plant and spread around the world on the Internet.

New York Times' David Sanger reported that the United States and Israel developed Stuxnet and then tested it by building replicas of the Iranian Natanz plant equipped with Pakistani P-1 centrifuge designed in 1980s. Americans obtained P-1 centrifuges from Libyan leader Moammar Ghadafi and dismantled them to learn how it worked. P-1 uses a Siemens controller S7-417. Stuxnet inserted malware in the Siemens controller to suddenly change the centrifuge speed which caused its destruction.  It was designed to attack computers with specific configuration of Siemens S7-417 controller. Here's how New York Times' David Sanger described the test results:

"After several false starts, it worked. One day, toward the end of Mr. Bush’s term, the rubble of a centrifuge was spread out on the conference table in the Situation Room, proof of the potential power of a cyberweapon. The worm was declared ready to test against the real target: Iran’s underground enrichment plant."

US Left-of-Launch Attack Against North Korea:

A very high percentage of North Korean missile launches failed in the period from 2015 to 2017. The missiles either blew up on the launchpads or failed soon after launch. These failures are widely attributed to American cyber attacks.

American strategists see Left-of-Launch cyber weapons as a low-cost extension of their missile defense strategy. Gen. James Dickinson, the chief of Army Space and Missile Defense Command and Army Forces Strategic Command, explains it as follows:

“You’ve probably heard the conversation about how we’re on the wrong side of the cost curve for missile defense many times. We’re utilizing multi-million-dollar interceptors against very inexpensive missiles and those types of threats, So it’s a balance. It has to be a balance between the end game, if you will, where we’re relying on an interceptor to defeat the threat and other approaches."

Russia's Information Warfare in US, UK:

The United States and the United Kingdom have accused Russia of using social media apps like Facebook and Twitter to exploit and deepen divisions during the US presidential elections and the UK's Brexit referendum in 2016.

American and British intelligence officials believe Russia used all major social media platform to spread words, images and videos tailored to voters’ interests to help elect President Trump. Similar allegations have been made by the British government about Russian interference to influence the outcome of the Brexit vote in the U.K.

Facebook, Google and Twitter acknowledged in 2017 that they had identified Russian interference on their sites. The companies have responded to the threat — Facebook, in particular, created a “war room” in 2018 to fight interference around elections — but none has revealed interference around US midterm elections in 2017 on the same scale as in 2016.

Cyber Weapons Code and Tools Leaks:

Stuxnet worm and recently leaked NSA's hacking tools by Shadow Brokers have revealed the extent of US intelligence agencies' cyber spying and hacking operations. Symantec's Liam O'Murchu who was among the first to unravel Stuxnet says it is "by far the most complex piece of code that we've looked at — in a completely different league from anything we’d ever seen before." It is almost certain that the code is being reverse-engineered and repurposed as their weapon by cyber warriors in many countries around the world.

In 2013, a group known as "Shadow Brokers" leaked NSA's sophisticated cyberweapons that have exposed major vulnerabilities in Cisco routers, Microsoft Windows, and Linux mail servers.  Soona after the Shadow Brokers leak, North Korea is believed to have developed and used WannaCry ransomware. It encrypts files on the target PC's hard drive, making them inaccessible, then demands a ransom payment in bitcoin to decrypt them.

Summary:

American agencies have launched successful cyber campaigns against adversaries like  Iran and North Korea in recent years, according to multiple credible reports. These cyber attacks have caused physical destruction of thousands of Iranian nuclear centrifuges and disrupted North Korean missiles on launchpads or shortly after takeoff. Some of the code and developer tools used in the attacks have leaked out. These leaks are enabling other nations to learn and develop their own offensive cyber weapons. The United States and the United Kingdom have accused Russia of using social media apps like Facebook and Twitter to cause and deepen divisions during the US presidential elections and the UK's Brexit referendum in 2016. Similar warfare techniques, described by the US RAND Corporation as New Generation or Hybrid Warfare, are probably being deployed by other nations as well. It refers to the use of a broad range of subversive instruments, many of which are nonmilitary, to further a country's national interests. It wouldn't be far-fetched to think that India and Pakistan are learning from New Generation Warfare techniques developed and deployed by technologically advanced nations.


Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Hybrid warfare
Munir Akram December 09, 2018 Facebook Count


https://www.dawn.com/news/1450346

THE 2018 IDEAS Expo in Karachi featured a high-level seminar on hybrid warfare. This was a timely recognition that threats to national security can and do assume complex forms.

For over 60 years, nuclear weapons have deterred a major conflict between nuclear-armed states, and, because of the global revulsion against the use of nuclear weapons, the nuclear powers have been also unable to realise offensive objectives through nuclear coercion, even against non-nuclear weapon states. Thus, most conflicts are in the form of conventional military interventions against smaller or weaker states, sub-conventional (guerrilla or irregular) conflicts or ‘hybrid warfare’.

Western analysts have termed the comprehensive approach employed by Russia in Ukraine (encompassing narrative control, cyberattacks, use of anonymous militias and irregular forces, clandestine supplies and diplomatic support) as “hybrid warfare”. The Russians refer to it as the ‘Gerasimov Doctrine’ (after the Russian military chief). This form of warfare is also called: asymmetrical, non-conventional, gray zone conflict, ‘new generation warfare’, ‘whole of government’ approach and so on. It is emerging as the preferred modality in today’s contests between the great powers.

Often, hybrid war may not be a war at all. The objective may not be to secure an adversary’s immediate defeat, but to erode its morale; isolate it; ‘soften’ it up before a conflict; deflect it from pursuing unacceptable military or political objectives; disrupt its communications, command and control and/or important infrastructure; impose economic pain to secure adherence to political demands; delegitimise an adversary’s government; compromise its leaders.


The objective may not be to secure an adversary’s immediate defeat, but to erode its morale.

The toolbox of instruments that can be used to wage such ‘hybrid’ warfare is rapidly expanding and becoming more sophisticated: eg autonomous weapons, advanced cyber programmes, social media, data mining, algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI), etc. By 2020, the ‘internet of things’ will reportedly connect 30 billion devices. Power will rest with the people who control these devices.

Technology is progressively blurring the distinction between hybrid and conventional warfare and increasing the incentives, opportunities and compulsions for the preemptive or ‘first-use’ of offensive action by adversaries eg to knock out an enemy’s command and control through a cyber strike. Given the complexities of defence and offence in such complex conflict, it will become increasingly difficult to prevent the escalation of hybrid wars to the conventional and even the nuclear level.

Pakistan was the target of hybrid or indirect ‘war’ in 1971. New Delhi’s hybrid strategy (promotion of Mujib’s six-point plan, the genocide and refugees narrative, training the Mukti Bahini, the Indo-Soviet ‘Friendship Treaty’) all laid the ground for the coup de grĂ¢ce of Indian military intervention in East Pakistan.

Since then, Pakistan has been the target of multiple ‘hybrid’ campaigns. Exaggerated proliferation concerns and coercive diplomacy were utilised to hold back Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programmes. The legitimacy of the Kashmiri freedom struggle was eroded by its projection as terrorism including through false-flag operations, infiltration of militant Kashmiri groups and concerted propaganda. The onus for America’s colossal military and political failure in Afghanistan was ascribed to alleged Afghan Taliban ‘safe havens’ in Pakistan. The Pakistan Army and the ISI remain a special focus of propaganda and fake news.

Today, the hybrid war against Pakistan is focused on Balochistan, the former Fata region, Gilgit-Baltistan and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Riaz Haq said…
Hybrid warfare
Munir Akram December 09, 2018 Facebook Count


https://www.dawn.com/news/1450346


Pakistan has developed credible capabilities to deter nuclear and conventional aggression. However, it remains very vulnerable to hybrid warfare. Pakistan’s adversaries enjoy considerable prowess in IT, cyber, media projection and narrative construction, including ‘fake news’, subversion and sabotage, and sponsorship of terrorism, including ‘false-flag’ operations.

The main modality of this ‘indirect war’ against Pakistan is the media, including social media. Very few Indian media personalities enjoy the ‘freedom’ to be critical of their country or their current government. Meanwhile, Pakistan print and electronic media speaks with many voices. There is little space for pro-Pakistani narratives in the Western media. An army of Indian trolls has been recruited to malign Pakistan on the internet.

There are numerous other ‘agents of influence’ who are used to develop and project an anti-Pakistan narrative. Many foreign funded and directed non-governmental organisations have been ubiquitous in developing negative critiques about Pakistan within Pakistan. Some among our local elite are co-opted by these organisations through jobs, travel and other perks. No wonder there has been such a hue and cry about the long overdue diligence conducted recently by the government and the Foreign Office on these organisations.

The hybrid campaign incorporates some ethnic and religious groups. Foreign sponsorship of the Balochistan Liberation Army and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan is well established. Some others need to be subjected to close scrutiny.

Any foreign funding of any Pakistani organisation ought to be declared and officially approved. Receipt of undeclared foreign payments should be a crime. This is an international norm. (Surely, the Financial Action Task Force will approve.)

Pakistan’s agencies must be equipped with the most advanced surveillance and data collection techniques to detect future Jadhevs or Osamas and neutralise any ‘black ops’, ‘false-flag’ or infiltration operations planned by enemy agencies.

Pakistan must possess the cyber capability to defend its crucial command-and-control systems and its industrial and transport infrastructure against enemy attack. But to deter such attack, Pakistan must also have the capability for offensive cyber action.

The technologies for waging a “comprehensive” conflict and “new generation warfare” are being actively developed by every significant State. Pakistan cannot afford to be left behind. To acquire credible capacity to defend against and repel hybrid wars, Pakistan will need to make dedicated efforts, comparable to those deployed to develop its nuclear and missile programmes.

However, there are certain elements of such warfare (cyberattacks, autonomous weapons, false-flag operations) which pose the threat of systemic and global disruption, destabilisation and military escalation. Pakistan and other responsible nations should take an initiative in relevant international forums to secure a global ban or restrictions on such dangerous elements of hybrid warfare.
Riaz Haq said…
Understanding 5th generation warfare
By Cynthia D Ritchie

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1882213/6-understanding-5th-generation...

More ‘developed’ nations often claim they are more democratic than their developing counterparts and often employ talking heads to push this narrative. Over the years, and certainly more recently, these talking heads can be seen desperately trying to push one version of events while ganging up on others who have a difference of opinion — cyber bullying. Further, these talking troll heads try to muddy waters by falsely labeling people they don’t know and claiming Fifth Generation Warfare (5GW) is nothing more than a silly conspiracy to derail attempts at their free speech. And while many unfounded conspiracies abound, it behooves us to take a closer look at these individuals and their claims. For starters, let’s consider what 5GW is.

Turns out, 5GW is real. Only it doesn’t feature armies or clear ideas. In an article for Wired Magazine, written about 10 years ago, David Axe quoted the US Army Major Shannon Beebe, the top Intel officer for Africa at the time, as describing the “fifth-generation as a vortex of violence, a free-for-all of surprise destruction motivated more by frustration than by any coherent plans for the future.”
Axe writes further, “5GW is what happens when the world’s disaffected direct their desperation at the most obvious symbol of everything they lack.” He quotes Marine Lt Col Stanton Coerr, for Marine Corps Gazette: “5GW is… espoused by [the likes of] al Qaeda… with aspirations of setting up alternative political systems… they’re opportunists, intent only on destruction. But even pointless violence can have a perverse logic, for the sudden, irrational destruction undermines the idea that nations… are viable in the modern world.”


Interestingly, both military officers were quoted by Raashid Wali Janjua in one of his columns for a national daily: “Pakistan is already in the throes of this phenomenon, internally generated and externally abetted. Like the resource curse of countries like Angola and Congo, Pakistan’s geographical location is a curse. Instead of yielding economic dividends it has caused constant meddling by global powers in its internal affairs. Faced with such constant supply of war fuel, the soft state model of governance by an illiberal democracy is a sure recipe for chaos and disorder.” Clearly there are issues that need to be handled by the State.

But when you have cyber bullies attempting to force others to share their narrative, the message gets lost and becomes almost disingenuous. What may be seen as important news by some appears almost as propaganda to others. But with so much propaganda these days, how can one differentiate between what’s authentic and what is completely contrived?

A Forbes article, by Travis Bradberry, who covers emotional intelligence and leadership performance, recently described the ‘12 habits Of Genuine People’. In summary, these individuals: don’t try to make people like them — they “aren’t desperate for attention”, and “speak in a friendly, confident, concise manner;” they don’t “pass judgment” — they are open-minded and approachable, and have the ability to “see the world through other people’s eyes;” they forge their own paths — “genuine people don’t derive their sense of pleasure and satisfaction” from other’s opinions, they have their own “internal compass” and are not swayed by the fact that somebody may not like it; they “treat everyone with respect;” they “aren’t motivated by material things;” they are “thick-skinned”; they “aren’t driven by ego;” they “aren’t hypocrites.”
Riaz Haq said…
Could Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei Put U.S. Cyber-Security At Risk?

Terry Gross of Fresh Air interviews David Sanger of New York Times.

https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=690291785

DAVID SANGER: Well, at its simplest, the 5G network is an increase in speed and range for what you see on your cell phone. So 5G means just fifth generation. But it's actually much more than that. The hope is that when you're using your phone or some other device over Wi-Fi, you'll get no lag time and that you'll get near instantaneous download of data, webpages and so forth. But as 5G was being rolled out, there was a recognition that the Internet had fundamentally changed, that this was a moment to roll out something that could accommodate a world in which the Internet of Things was connecting up to all of these other wireless devices. And so that's autonomous cars, which, of course, need to constantly get data back and forth from the cloud, constant connectivity so that they know where they are in addition to their sensors helping you drive. It's for every other Internet-connected device that you have.

If China is in command of the network itself and has sort of end end control from phones for which it makes its own chips to the software on the switch to all of the other tentacles of the central nervous system, that it, basically, can do whatever it wants. And the chances that you would see it are relatively diminished. Big network operators like AT&T and Verizon, if they bought Huawei equipment - and it's pretty clear the government is not going to allow them to do that - would have some visibility into the system.

But it's also possible that Huawei might be able to reach back from China directly into the equipment and software it's put in to go manipulate data. What could you do with that? Well, in the Worldwide Threat Assessment that came out earlier this week, the nation's intelligence chiefs mentioned, in particular, that China already has the capability to shut down, at least briefly, the natural gas network. They also said the Russians could do the same briefly with the electric grid.

If you had a country that was in full control of your networks, they could shut it down. They could siphon the traffic off to a place you didn't want it to go. They could siphon it back to China. And they would probably have a easier time intercepting it. Now, of course, a lot of that traffic is going to run encrypted. It's not as if the Chinese would be able to look at everything or would want to. But the more network equipment they put in, the more control they would have. And, of course, the Chinese government reserves the right to tell them what to go do with it.

---------------------

In "The Perfect Weapon," I describe a plan the United States had if we went to war with Iran, called Nitro Zeus, to basically unplug Iran's communications and electricity grids. Well, imagine that that's in the Chinese plans for the United States. If they're in control of the communications grid of the U.S. or its allies, you can imagine how much easier that is to do.

Now, there is a concern here that we could get into a world of Red Scare, and the president himself might be fueling that some. And I have concerns that we're blaming too much on the Chinese. But the fact of the matter is, these are all major, complex vulnerabilities that, as Henry Kissinger said to me as I was working on the book, are so much more complex than the issues that came up with China in the Cold War.
Riaz Haq said…
Why #5G, a battleground for US and China, is also a military conflict. Both #UnitedStates and #China suspect each other of installing and using #technology "backdoors" in their #telecom equipment for #espionage and #cyberattacks. https://sc.mp/0omex via @SCMPNews

Whereas existing networks connect people to people, the next generation will connect a vast network of sensors, robots and autonomous vehicles through sophisticated artificial intelligence.

The so-called internet of things will allow objects to “communicate” with each other by exchanging vast volumes of data in real time, and without human intervention.

5G explainer: how new network is different and how it will change the mobile web experience

Autonomous factories, long-distance surgery or robots preparing your breakfast – things that previously existed only in science fiction – will be made possible.

Meanwhile, though, it is being identified by many military experts as the cornerstone of future military technology.

Imagine a group of skirmishers in a jungle. They are moving forward speedily with a distance from one another of a few hundred metres. Each of them wears a wristwatch that displays fellow members’ positions. This is not satellite positioning, because reception in the tropical forest is unstable; it’s machine-to-machine communication.

China could ‘weaponise cities’ if it controlled 5G networks, retired US general says

Suddenly one soldier, ambushed by an enemy combatant, is shot and loses consciousness. His smart wearable device detects his condition via sensors, immediately tightens a belt around his wounded thigh, injects an adrenaline shot and sends an emergency alert to the field hospital as well as the entire team.

Having received the signal on their wristwatches, the team switch to a coordinated combat formation and encircle the enemy. An ambulance helicopter arrives to evacuate the injured soldier while auto-driven armoured vehicles come to reinforce – guided by devices on each soldier and antenna arrays nearby.

Or, imagine a street battle with a group of terrorists in a city. There is a power blackout and terrorists hide in an empty office building. A counterterrorism technician hacks into the building’s audio control system and collects high-sensitivity soundwaves using the microphones on surveillance cameras – the system is still running thanks to the devices’ low power consumption and long endurance.

China says it will fast-track 5G commercial licences amid push back on Huawei’s overseas expansion

After the acoustic data is sent back, artificial intelligence (AI) analysis determines the locations of the terrorists. A drone is called from nearby, enters through a window and fires a mini-gun at them.

These are not movie plots, but technologies already or about to be developed, as the internet of things – built on 5G and AI technologies – reshapes warfare.

“The 5G network and the internet of things enlarge and deepen the cognition of situations in the battlefield by several orders of magnitude and produce gigantic amounts of data, requiring AI to analyse and even issue commands,” said Dr Clark Shu, an AI and telecommunication researcher at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.

With the ability to carry much more data, much lower network latency (network response time) and energy consumption and much better stability than the previous generation of technologies, 5G is expected to transform digital communication.

Using 5G, data can be transmitted at up to 10 gigabytes per second, much faster than using a 4G network, and the latency is reduced to under a millisecond, or 1 per cent that of 4G.

Such features enhance connectivity in remote locations, connect sensors and robots, and will enable vehicles, traffic control, factories and construction to become more autonomous. In particular, 5G will enhance the connectivity of the internet of things (IoT).
Riaz Haq said…
Why #5G is a big deal for militaries around the world. It is a big part of #China's #global #BRI and #CPEC initiative in #Pakistan. Inclusion of #technology 5G and Chinese PNT (Positioning, Navigation, Timing) parallels a trend in US military practice. https://www.c4isrnet.com/opinion/2019/02/05/why-5g-is-a-big-deal-for-militaries-throughout-the-world/

The project has several components, one of which has become known as the “digital road.” It anticipates projecting the deployment of China’s 5G telecommunication infrastructure over the dozens of countries now affiliated with the initiative. The 5G telecommunications network would be integrated with another Chinese project, its Beidou (“Big Dipper”) precision navigation and timing system (now in the latter stage of fielding) to displace the U.S. Global Positioning System enabling China’s telecommunications and PNT system to dominate the future IoT and other in areas affected by China’s belt-and-road project.

5G as an instrument of China’s international security policy

China’s global security ambitions overlap its economic aspirations. The 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China, the belt-and-road initiative and its associated activities were incorporated in the Chinese Constitution at the 19th CPC. In that context belt and road is a project of the Party, and not the State which significantly elevates its security role and importance to its national leadership.

The BRI creates a global economic presence that has become a combination of commercial enablers for its “Maritime Silk Road” and forward air and naval installations for China’s armed forces. These include air and naval facilities in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, Jiwani, Pakistan (~80-km west of its large commercial port at Gwadar, and a naval base in Sri Lanka (Hambantota, which China acquired in a debt-for-sovereignty swap when Sri Lanka could not service its BRI debt to China). China’s switch from a regional to an aspiring global power reflect its aspirations that have shaped the CPC’s rule since Mao: the deconstruction the old-world order in favor of one which gives China its rightful place at the zenith of a new international order.


The incorporation of the technology 5G telecommunication and Chinese controlled PNT parallels a trend in US military practice. DoD military communications, like China’s is moving to a wireless, mobile, and cloud-based IT systems built around 5G technology. China’s convergence of its 5G, BRI presence (military and civil), PNT and dominant role in the BRI member states are aimed at becoming the world’s leading economic and military power by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist State in 2049.

5G is both an enabler and product of China’s remarkable economic growth since 1979 and is likely to become a central element of China’s economic and military power for the 1st half of the 21st century.
Riaz Haq said…
Gerasimov of South AsiaPakistan ISPR’s Asif Ghafoor Pukhraj Singh, APR 02 2019, 22:05PM IST


https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/main-article/gerasimov-of-south-asia-726631.html

If there is a Pakistani inter-services directorate as lethal as the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), it is the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Military strategists may balk at the fact that I am equating a notorious intelligence agency with an innocuous media management department. Since the times I executed cyber operations in the government, I have been obsessed with deconstructing the ev...

Riaz Haq said…
An adversary India has paid little attention to: Pakistan army’s public relations wing
Facebook’s action against Pakistan-based pages spreading disinformation in India show its army’s PR wing headed by Asif Ghafoor is more lethal than ISI.
PUKHRAJ SINGH

https://theprint.in/opinion/an-adversary-india-has-paid-little-attention-to-pakistan-armys-public-relations-wing/215740/

ith Facebook taking down pages linked to Pakistani cyber actors spreading disinformation in India ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it’s becoming increasingly clear that India has been late in spotting the danger: if there is a Pakistani inter-services directorate as lethal as the Inter Services Intelligence, it is, undoubtedly, the Inter-Services Public Relations.

Military strategists may balk at the fact that I am equating a notorious intelligence agency with an innocuous media management department. Since the times I executed cyber operations in the government, I have been obsessed with deconstructing the evolving mandate of this little-known outfit. And I have always held the opinion that the role, or rather the potential, of the ISPR has been severely underestimated in the Indian strategic circles.

Cyber operatives like me have been envisioning this scenario since a decade: how the South Asian flashpoint would manifest itself in the cyber-enabled information battlespace. The Balakot escalation unleashed another invisible playbook of the Pakistani military, and the ISPR was its key orchestrator.

Since 2009, the Pakistani Army has conducted a series of public wargames dubbed as Azm-e-Nau, meant to counter the elusive Indian Cold Start doctrine. With many successful iterations over the years, these exercises simulated massive mobilisations augmented by net-centric warfare, stopping short at the tactical nuclear weapons threshold. Azm-e-Nau (A New Beginning) further chiselled Pakistan’s homebrewed philosophy of hybrid war – fusing together many conventional and unconventional elements of conflict, power and diplomacy.

Interestingly, the said wargames treated the ISPR as the crucial pivot of conflict escalation and de-escalation. It was meant to undertake information operations, military deception and strategic communications – benignly dubbed as perception management in military parlance.

This was a couple of years prior to ‘hybrid war’ becoming all the rage in the media circles, manifesting itself as the wildly successful Russian playbook against Georgia, Ukraine, and the US elections. From leveraging non-uniformed militias to undertaking disruptive cyber operations that seeded widescale paranoia and confusion, the Russians reintroduced the cognitive dimension to this emerging format of war.

There were other classified Pakistani exercises that also hinged at the deftness and dexterity of the ISPR’s information warfare strategy. All of this neatly converged, almost with textbook precision, in the showdown after Pulwama.


DG ISPR

@OfficialDGISPR
In response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF crossed LOC. PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K while other fell inside IOK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area.

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Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the general staff of the armed forces of Russia, is thought to be the key proponent of its hybrid war philosophy, which first found mention in his 2013 article for a journal called Military-Industrial Courier. The contents of his article gained such prominence that the Western media now prefers to call it the Gerasimov Doctrine.

Riaz Haq said…
Pukhraj Singh played an instrumental role in the setting up of the cyber-warfare operations centre of the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO). NTRO gathers technical intelligence for the Indian Government.

Pukhraj was laterally inducted into the agency from the private sector at a very short notice after the 26/11 attacks. It was a multi-disciplinary tenure, ranging from geopolitical doctrine formulation, eventually approved by the Prime Minister, to the very brass tacks of cyber operations.

The inputs from his small but highly disruptive division helped chart the course of some seminal government initiatives on cybersecurity.

Pukhraj also had brief stints with commercial threat intelligence teams and a couple of start-ups.

On a personal note, he runs a small non-profit initiative called Abroo, working for the Dalits of Punjab. Pukhraj admires writers like Joseph Campbell and Hunter S. Thompson.

https://www.huffingtonpost.in/author/pukhraj-singh/
Riaz Haq said…
Korybko To Pakistani Academia: Be Careful How You Counter Hybrid War
Written by Andrew Korybko on 2019-07-09

https://eurasiafuture.com/2019/07/09/korybko-to-pakistani-academia-be-careful-how-you-counter-hybrid-war/

Eurasia Future is publishing the full interview that Andrew Korybko gave to Beaconhouse National University’s Shahryaar Naeem as part of the article that he plans to publish in his university’s magazine about Hybrid War:

Q1: Please tell us something about your research or work regarding this topic.

I’ve been researching Hybrid War since 2013 when I enrolled as a student in the Moscow State Institute of International Relations’ (MGIMO) English-language International Relations master’s program for Governance and Global Affairs. I later published an expanded version of my thesis as a book in 2015 that I also released online. Since then, I’ve expanded my work by conducting Hybrid War risk assessments for close to 50 countries of relevance to China’s Belt & Road Initiative that I published online at Oriental Review and on Amazon as an e-book titled “The Law Of Hybrid Warfare: Eastern Hemisphere”. I also incorporate my developing theories about Hybrid War into most of my analyses whenever applicable in order to raise awareness about the prevalence of these tactics and strategies in practically all facets of contemporary international affairs.

Q2: Why do we call this type of war ‘hybrid’ and how it is different from conventional war?

I understand the “hybrid” in Hybrid War as referring to the interplay of overt and covert destabilization measures that go below the threshold of conventional war against one’s adversaries. Although kinetic means are sometimes applied, these are usually done through proxies and aren’t undertaken by the practitioner’s uniformed conventional forces.

Q3: What is ‘5th generation warfare’? Is it different from hybrid warfare? What were the previous generations of war? Are the theories of William S. Lind accurate on Modern Warfare?

I regard “Fifth Generational Warfare” as being analogous with Hybrid Warfare even though some experts consider them to be different from one another in some respects. In brief, the only thing novel about either of these two is the use of certain technologies in the informational and cyber spheres, as the general principle of weaponizing social processes and clandestinely destabilizing one’s adversaries has been around since time immemorial. As to the relevancy of Lind’s work, it’s still pertinent and forms the basis for better understanding Hybrid Warfare.

Q4: What types of wars are used in Hybrid War?

There are many different forms of Hybrid Warfare, but my book and the bulk of my research focus on the phased transition from Color Revolutions to Unconventional Wars in order to achieve Regime Tweaking (political concessions), Regime Change (self-explanatory), and/or Regime Reboot (constitutional reform) against the practitioner’s target. Information manipulation and NGOs figure prominently in catalyzing Color Revolutions, while Unconventional Wars see terrorist groups playing the main role.

Q5: Is bio warfare (e.g. the deliberate spread of viruses to kill masses) a part of this war?

Whether one chooses to classify it as part of Hybrid War or use some other terminology for describing it, biological warfare in the manner that you described certainly fulfills the purpose of indirectly destabilizing a target and is therefore of relevance to this topic.
Riaz Haq said…
Korybko To Pakistani Academia: Be Careful How You Counter Hybrid War
Written by Andrew Korybko on 2019-07-09

https://eurasiafuture.com/2019/07/09/korybko-to-pakistani-academia-be-careful-how-you-counter-hybrid-war/

Eurasia Future is publishing the full interview that Andrew Korybko gave to Beaconhouse National University’s Shahryaar Naeem as part of the article that he plans to publish in his university’s magazine about Hybrid War:

Q6: Which countries are most active in using this war as a tool and which countries or continents are most affected?


My work specializes on the US’ use of Hybrid Warfare as an instrument for defending its unipolar hegemony and focuses on how it’s applied in various ways to undermine its geopolitical rivals, especially in regards to sabotaging China’s Belt & Road Initiative. Nevertheless, whether one looks at my model of Hybrid Warfare or other experts’, practically every country’s military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) are theoretically capable of employing some of these tactics and strategies, albeit to differing degrees and with different scopes in pursuit of different ends that altogether advance their national interests.

Q7: When did Hybrid War enter Pakistan and which countries used it against us?

Indirect destabilization campaigns, the basis of Hybrid War, have been waged against Pakistan since its inception, first by India and nowadays also by the US, both of which are trying to weaken it from within through proxy means in pursuit of the contemporary objective of stopping CPEC.

Q8: Is our media currently being used against us?

Information manipulation is a key component of Hybrid Warfare, and it’s comparatively easier to pull off in countries like Pakistan where media outlets have proliferated in the past 20 years and a wide diversity of discourse on practically all topics already exists. It can be as simple as indirectly encouraging influential figures and platforms to promote certain narratives or be as complex as literally having people on a foreign intelligence agency’s payroll (whether directly or through an NGO or other proxy) in order to promote the desired agenda.

Q9: What was Operation Hangover?

Operation Hangover wasn’t anything unique because it was just India’s application of the NSA’s secret surveillance tactics and strategies in pursuit of its interests vis-a-vis Pakistan. As the world enters the 5G Revolution and the internet becomes more ubiquitous in all aspects of everyday life, cyber attacks such as that particular one can be expected to increase as well.

Q10: Are the tribal areas in Pakistan most vulnerable to psychological attacks?

All areas and all demographics of every country are vulnerable to psychological attacks, but Pakistan’s tribal ones have been extensively targeted in the past because of their geopolitical significance adjacent to the Afghan border and also nowadays in close proximity to CPEC’s main route.

Q11: How do NGOs operate in this war?

I encourage the reader to review my article about “NGOs And The Mechanics Of Hybrid War” at Oriental Review for more details about this, but in brief, such organizations can oftentimes be exploited as foreign intelligence proxies, both directly in the sense of being created from the get-go as fronts and also indirectly in the sense of their employees, mission, and/or activities being influenced from abroad.

Q12: What are the external and internal threats to Pakistan’s security?

Hybrid Wars, and particularly their informational component that precedes Color Revolutions and other forms of foreign-influenced socially driven destabilization activities, work most successfully when they take advantage of preexisting identity conflicts and especially those that are overtly geopolitical such as the issues pertaining to the Durand Line. Their effectiveness can be improved when other instruments are used in these campaigns, such as targeted sanctions and the employment of various terrorist groups.

Riaz Haq said…
Korybko To Pakistani Academia: Be Careful How You Counter Hybrid War
Written by Andrew Korybko on 2019-07-09

https://eurasiafuture.com/2019/07/09/korybko-to-pakistani-academia-be-careful-how-you-counter-hybrid-war/

Eurasia Future is publishing the full interview that Andrew Korybko gave to Beaconhouse National University’s Shahryaar Naeem as part of the article that he plans to publish in his university’s magazine about Hybrid War:


Q13: Is Pakistan deliberately being pushed towards an economic crisis, and if so, how?


Pakistan has many preexisting socio-economic challenges that its adversaries are capitalizing upon in order to worsen the situation in the country. The intent is to push the country into taking painful austerity measures that could then be exploited by foreign forces to incite a renewed round of Color Revolution unrest. Violence might be deliberately used in order to provoke the security forces into responding with kinetic means to quell the disturbances, which could then be deliberately misportrayed through deceptively decontextualized and/or  edited images and footage in order to catalyze a self-sustaining cycle of destabilization. That’s why the professionalism of the Pakistan Armed Forces is paramount in order to avoid inadvertently escalating the situation in this scenario and playing into the enemies’ hands in the event that disproportionate force is used against civilians who are participating in this campaign through their irresponsible actions of rioting and other such related activities.

Q14: You mentioned ‘Color Revolutions’ in your book. Is there a secret plan to initiate one in Pakistan?

Yes, as I explained in the previous answer. The specific narratives and tactics employed can be flexibly adapted for any scenario, but it’s important to always keep in mind the basic strategy at play of provoking civilian-military clashes that could then be used as the basis upon which foreign forces can then “justify” their employment of terrorist groups and engage in other destabilization measures such as targeted sanctions and the like.

Q15: Is Pakistan only being targeted because of its nuclear program and CPEC project?

Those are both important reasons why it’s become a Hybrid War target, but it’s in India’s enduring national interests as it conceives of them to destabilize Pakistan precisely because of the fact that its existence as a separate state creates a precedent that New Delhi fears could inspire separatist movements within its own borders among its many diverse people.

Q16: Did Pakistan use 4th generation warfare in the Soviet-Afghan war by supporting the Mujahidin? Did India use it against us in the 1971 civil war?

If one simplifies Fourth Generation Warfare as simply being the use of proxies, then yes, both examples meet that criterion.

Q17: How ready is Pakistan to face this threat and how effectively are our intelligence agencies  countering it?

Hybrid War is a fact of life for Pakistan and its intelligence agencies are effectively thwarting it through their numerous proactive measures at home and abroad. The country has no choice but to adapt to this reality, as it has, and to creatively craft solutions for dealing with it without sacrificing the population’s basic freedoms (which could in turn be exploited from abroad to catalyze Color Revolutions and Unconventional Wars per the aforementioned strategy).

Riaz Haq said…
Korybko To Pakistani Academia: Be Careful How You Counter Hybrid War
Written by Andrew Korybko on 2019-07-09

https://eurasiafuture.com/2019/07/09/korybko-to-pakistani-academia-be-careful-how-you-counter-hybrid-war/

Eurasia Future is publishing the full interview that Andrew Korybko gave to Beaconhouse National University’s Shahryaar Naeem as part of the article that he plans to publish in his university’s magazine about Hybrid War:


Q18: What should be the role of Pakistani civilians and media in countering this threat?

It is important that individuals and information outlets anywhere in the world behave responsibly when sharing information. People should learn how to differentiate between various media products (factual news reports, op-eds, analyses, propaganda, fake news, etc.) in order to not be swayed by foreign-backed manipulation campaigns, but they also shouldn’t prematurely accuse their opponents of engaging in them just because they disagree with their views. Governments should educate their populations about how they might inadvertently be guided into participating in these campaigns in order to raise awareness of these modi operandi, especially pointing out the difference between the right to peacefully protest and the illegality of rioting, let alone the inadmissibility of using force against members of the security services. Hybrid War is everywhere and affects everyone, but getting its targets to overreact to this threat is also an objective of its practitioners in and of itself, which is why prudent policies should be put into place and practiced by the state and its people in order to avoid this dangerous pitfall.

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