The situation on the ground in Libya is growing worse by the second. The House of Representatives (HOR) and their military the LNA have been embattled with the Turkish backed internationally recognized GNA for months. This has created a split within NATO as France has joined the Egypt-led alliance against Turkey in Eastern Mediterranean, while the United States and the UK have been providing military and political support, initially against ISIS and Al Qaeda, to Misrata militias affiliated with the GNA.
The problem is, GNA is now home to assorted Islamists, terrorists, and criminal gangs, with Al Qaeda-affiliated former Guantanamo detainees holding military positions. Furthermore, most of Libya’s vast territories and oil, so much desired by the resource-scarce Turkey, is under Khalifa Haftar’s control. Most of the Libyan population, even some of the tribes once affiliated with Ghaddafi, supports Hafter, notably after GNA refused to enter into a power-sharing agreement that would give the pro-LNA population any share in the financial profits from the oil extraction, which, despite lack of physical access, are going straight into GNA pockets at the moment. No doubt, the Al-Sarraj-led Islamist government is getting some feathers ruffled in more ways than one. A leaked conversation with Erdogan has Al-Sarraj saying: “the Libyans serve for the good of the Turkish people,” because it was Turkey that played a crucial role in the Libyan confrontation.
Despite Hafter’s recent military losses, which forced LNA to abandon one of the most populated areas in the country, Tripoli, most of these tribes are resentful of the gloating domination by urban elites and their alliances with Islamists. They will not abandon ship because of a few setbacks. Even the losses by the Russian mercenaries pursuing their own agenda but for the moment supporting Haftar have not put an end to LNA’s intent to advance. The Russians, after losing 9 Pantsir missile defense systems and being outplayed by Turkey in the fourth generation warfare skills, escalated by bringing in fighter jets.
Egypt, after hearing no response from GNA concerning its proposed Cairo peace initiative, which would put an end to hostilities and set the country back on the path to reintegration, moved its forces to the Libya border. IF Egypt gets involved, that will likely spells much greater trouble for the GNA and its backers. While the battle of lobbyists for both sides is rocking Washington, and the pro-GNA Turkish and Qatari lobbyists have so far prevailed to keep the US anchored to Erdogan, recent evidence shows that under GNA control, ISIS and Al Qaeda seem to be back and flourishing, with Al Qaeda making its way into Libya through the porous Tunisian borders, along with the logistical and humanitarian support delivered from Qatar through the South of Tunisia. As if this isn’t bad enough, here comes Iran.
Fresh pictures from the ground show Saraya Ansar, the Shia Iran-backed Iraqi militia, entering Libya to support Turkey. This information, provided by the Libyan Human Rights Center, confirms reports of a recently concluded security cooperation agreement between Iran and Turkey, as well as rumors of close cooperation between the two countries on security and defense issues and follows information about an IRGC-affiliated ship delivering weapons to Misrata on April 23.
While the world is caught up in high profile international incidents, this may be the focal point for the next major conflict. Turkish aggression in the region has been growing. This is bolstered by recent developments with Iran. True to form, the regime in Tehran won’t send their own troops because that would force them to accept responsibility. Here come the militias.
Mere hours after substantiated rumors resurfaced about a cooperation agreement between Turkey and Iran, Saraya Ansar fighters began pouring into the country through Misrata. The soldiers gained entry to the country through Tunisia via a ship. The simple fact that they are all of a sudden on the ground in a country that they have no business being in lends credence to the fact that foreign actors are being brought in to decimate the country. Turkey’s importation of Syrian mercenaries is just a start.
These developments contradict the US foreign policy predicated on maintaining a close relationship with Turkey to offset Iranian influence in Syria and elsewhere in the region. On the contrary, Turkey’s recent moves demonstrate Erdogan’s willingness to work with a diverse array of allies and even forge relationships where ideological battles seem inevitable. The formation of the Islamist bloc initially predicated on Turkey’s relationship with Qatar, Pakistan, and Malaysia, for instance, now includes Libya’s GNA, Tunisia, and even possibly the secularist junta government of Algeria.
Furthermore, putting aside divergent theological paths, Turkey has also signed a series of agreements with the Khomeinist Islamist Iran building a foundation for a joint ideological outreach in Africa and other territories. All of these paradoxical groupings follow Turkey’s self-declared “defense line,” which gives it in Erdogan’s mind jurisdiction over vast areas once controlled by the Ottoman Empire from Qatar to Eastern Mediterranean and Libya – and presumably, all the way to the Gates of Vienna. Iran, for its part, remains dedicated to exporting the Islamic Revolution abroad, seeking opportunities to find recruits and supporters even in such unlikely places as Sunni-dominated Libya.
The question now becomes, where does the United States stand on these issues. We have long-standing diplomatic ties to Turkey and alliances. Turkish leadership always likes to dangle the fact that Incerlick is tactically essential to US strategy in the region. Does this mean that the US will stand with Turkey in these efforts, even after it has been proven that Iran is directly involved?
Foreign policy issues have plagued the current administration. Some would say that there is no foreign policy. US efforts in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya have primarily focused on countering ISIS and Al Qaeda, and where relevant, providing some limited defense to oil fields, and logistical and intelligence support to allies, including the Misrata militias in Libya, the Arab Coalition in Yemen, and the SDF in Syria. Although the US may still be the dominant actor in countering ISIS, that has not stopped ISIS from resurfacing in Iraq, Syria, and now thanks to GNA, in Libya.
If the United States does not handle the situation carefully, they will inadvertently be giving the green light to the same people that they have been fighting for so many years. Adds the national security analyst Irina Tsukerman: “While it is not clear whether the US has any vision, plan, or real preference for the future in Libya, it is clear that the course it has elected to follow thus far will inevitably lead to more conflicts, further splintering of Libya, and US alliances, more bloodshed, more security threats, and more endless Middle Eastern – and other wars – which will weaken US position on the international scene, confuse its allies and its policy options, and ultimately lead to greater hardships which will require greater and costlier involvement to resolve in the long run.”
Iranian backed proxy militias are now on the ground in plain sight along with Al Qaeda and what is left of Isis. The international community must take notice of this and sound the alarm.
Indian Chronicle: Exposing the Indian Hybrid warfare against Pakistan
In recent years Indian hybrid warfare against Pakistan has intensified manifold to malign Pakistan Internationally through disinformation and propaganda tactics. Hybrid warfare has mainly been described as achieving war-like objectives with the help of fake news, disinformation, and propaganda. The Objectives of Hybrid warfare are mostly to secure long term victory against the opponent. Similarly, India has launched massive hybrid warfare against Pakistan, which was uncovered by EU DisinfoLab in its report called “Indian Chronicle”.
EU DisinfoLab is an independent organization working to expose and tackle disinformation campaigns targeting the European Union and its member states. The organization has claimed that the disinformation campaign against Pakistan has been active since 2005, “a massive online and offline 15-year ongoing influence operation supporting Indian interests and discrediting Pakistan internationally”.
In a recent investigation EU DisinfoLab has exposed a malicious Indian campaign against Pakistan. In the report, “Indian Chronicle” EU DisinfoLab has exposed the dubious use of media outlets, NGOs, and fake personnel by India to malign Pakistan. The disinformation campaign mainly targeted the United Nations and the European Union through more than 750 fake media outlets and 10 fake NGOs. According to the report, “uncovered an entire network of coordinated UN-accredited NGOs promoting Indian interests and criticizing Pakistan repeatedly. We could tie at least 10 of them directly to the Srivastava family, with several other dubious NGOs pushing the same messages.”
According to the report the disinformation campaign is supported by the Srivastava group. The Srivastava group has helped in “resurrected dead NGOs” to spread fake news. The report says that “Our investigation led to the finding of 10 UN-accredited NGOs directly controlled by the Srivastava Group, which our full report introduces at length. Their common trait? The fact that they all rose from the ashes of real NGOs. Indian Chronicles effectively benefited from the track record of these organizations while pursuing their agenda: discrediting Pakistan and promoting Indian interests at UN conferences and hearings,”.
Moreover, Asian News International (ANI), a major news agency in India has provided a platform for suck fake news campaigns. The aim of the Srivastava group and ANI media outlet is “to reinforce pro-Indian and anti-Pakistan (and anti-Chinese) feelings” in India, and “internationally, to consolidate the power and improve the perception of India, to damage the reputation of other countries and ultimately benefit from more support from international institutions such as the EU and the UN”.
The report claim that the organizations funded by the Srivastava group-sponsored trips for European Parliament members to Kashmir. “The organizations created by the Srivastava Group in Brussels organized trips for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to Kashmir, Bangladesh, and the Maldives. Some of these trips led to much institutional controversy, as the delegations of MEPs were often presented as official EU delegations when they were in fact not traveling on behalf of the Parliament,”. Such sponsored trips aimed to build a positive image of India, while spreading disinformation about the alleged claims of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir.
Moreover, India has been actively involved in portraying Pakistan as a terrorist-sponsored state through its disinformation and fake news technique. For instance, India is lobbying strongly at FATF to put Pakistan on the blacklist.
India has also supported and sponsored Baloch separatist leaders and spread disinformation through their fake media outlets as mentioned in the EU DisinfoLab report.“These UN-accredited NGOs work in coordination with non-accredited think-tanks and minority-rights NGOs in Brussels and Geneva. Several of them – like the European Organization for Pakistani Minorities (EOPM), Baluchistan House, and the South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF) – were directly but opaquely created by the Srivastava group,”one of the examples is Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian spy who was captured in Pakistan.
The Indian Chronicle report has exposed the dubious face of India and the administrative structure of the United Nations and the European Union. Indian involvement in the spread of disinformation and resurrection of dead people and NGOs has exposed its long-standing for Human rights and democracy. Meanwhile, the reports have also exposed the administrative structure of the UN and EU, as they failed to notice the activities of fake UN-accredited NGOs and spread of disinformation through their affiliated NGOs.
Hybrid Warfare: Threats to Pakistani Security
‘Victory smiles upon those who anticipate the changes in the character of war’-Giulio Douhet
Hybrid threats are becoming a norm in Pakistan and if we want to move forward in this age of technological advancements, cybercrimes, and the use of social media, we must have a wholesome response mechanism.
Hybrid warfare is a military strategy that employs not only conventional forms of warfare but irregular with it as well. It involves propaganda, cyber-attacks, state-sponsored terrorism, electoral intervention, and many more means of multi-dimensional approaches towards war which are used by militarized non-state actors. The term ‘Hybrid’ came into use around 2005-2006 due to the Israel-Hezbollah war (“Lessons from Lebanon: Hezbollah and Hybrid Wars – Foreign Policy Research Institute” 2016) and became a hot-topic in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea. Using non-confrontational means can lead to internal struggles and crumbling of the target. What direct force won’t get you can be easily achieved by infiltration and multi-faceted resources. It’s neither character of war nor its outcome that defines it as a hybrid war, but the changing tactics (“State and Non-State Hybrid Warfare” 2018). In a world where everyone, from wealthy states to those caught in throes of hunger, is armed to the teeth, there are ways to achieve socio-political objectives through the use of violent and non-violent non-state actors.
Pakistan – A Target
Pakistan has risen to incredible heights despite it being a relatively young nation and this is only proved further by the interest international players have in its internal workings. Several factors contribute to the important stature Pakistan holds in the international community such as the Pak-China alliance, its geostrategic location, military aptitude, Russian interests in the Indian Ocean, Deep Sea Gwadar Port (One Belt One Road Project), neighbor to Afghanistan (a country existing as a battleground for proxies), etc. All these reasons make sure to keep Pakistan on the radar.
Though it may be secure militarily, Pakistan is still vulnerable to hybrid threats due to internal dynamics, numerous conflicting interests of nations in state-affairs, and increasing non-state actors. South Asian nuclearization has all but guaranteed that a full-fledged war between Pakistan and India is unlikely therefore the latter uses hybrid warfare to weaken Pakistan from within.
Evolutionary Nature of War
There was truth to Heraclites’s words when he claimed that change is the only constant in our world. The social theory of evolutionary change tells us that individuals, communities, societies, and states are always in a state of motion, continuously evolving according to the era. War is born from man, it is only fair that if a man changes, so shall war. It has become more complex; the stakes have raised from territorial boundaries to the maintenance of world order and preservation of state sovereignty. Wars are no longer fought on the borders, skirmishes aside, the real destruction takes place within. Due to the paradigm shift after the Cold War (Ball 2018), there rose a need for legal, economical, socio-political, and informational means of warfare. It is used as a way to undermine other nation-states in pursuit of national power; the international system is not only a race but also a way to tear others down.
Threats to Pakistani Security
To secure Pakistan from all sides, we must first analyze the threats it faces from all sides. Conventional Warfare used to be seen as one dimensional and it only perceived assault to be done through the land, air, or sea channels. However, now it is fought in various intangible zones.
India is a budding regional hegemon due to its political and economic growth including hidden agendas. Pakistan is perceived to be a direct threat to India especially after the launch of the CPEC project, perceived to be undermining its hold over the region, which is why it is employing stratagems of hybrid warfare to internally weaken Pakistan. Till now India has used State-Sponsored terrorism, funded insurgencies, operated terror cells, and even sent fighter jets into Pakistani Airspace as an attempt to ruin its reputation in the international community.
There has been growing instability in Afghanistan which has led to mass migrations across the porous border into Pakistan, with around 1.4 million registered Afghans (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 2018) and 1 million unregistered (“Amnesty International” 2019). India has its claws in Afghan matters as well and will use it to exploit Pakistan’s weaknesses even after US forces leave the arena. Afghan Government’s poor administrative capability especially after the return of DAESH (Tribune 2020) and Tehrik-e-Taliban Afghanistan are threats to Pakistan as well as regional peace and are a major cause of lawlessness in the country and has a spillover effect for its neighbors.
Ideologically speaking, Iran is a sectarian threat to Pakistan and its Port Chahbahar stands to lose active traffic once CPEC is fully functional which means it stands as an instigator of hybrid warfare and it would be a risk to overlook it based on past good relations.
Even after the Cold War, strategic rivalry and animosity between the powers including Russia, America, and China still exist. The emergence of China as an economic superpower is perceived as a threat to the US due to which there is a major shift in its defensive posture towards the region.
The US has shown significant interest in Pakistan due to its geo-strategic location but not all interest has yielded positive results. They carried out a surgical strike for the capture and assassination of Osama-Bin-Laden. Such a breach of sovereignty and security is a hybrid threat.
There are several lobbies in Pakistan all vying for their own cause. The Iranian lobby has sectarian undercurrents. Sectarianism has always been one of the leading factors of the divide in the Muslim civilization and is the rising trend of terrorism.Such conflict itself is volatile and is deepening the rift between different sects(Shia-Sunni) of Pakistan, causing unrest.
Rising prices of commodities such as flour and sugar can lead to social unrest and discord. Such industries and their stocks are under the thumb of a select few, the elites. With the right bribes and conditions, even they would agree to sell out society.
Non-state actors are groups or organizations that have influence in the state but work independently and have their socio-political agendas (“Towards a Typology of Non-State Actors in ‘Hybrid Warfare’: Proxy, Auxiliary, Surrogate and Affiliated Forces” 2019). They work on political opportunities and mobilized grievances. Groups like BLA (Balochistan Liberation Army), TTP (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan), and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) are some of the major actors. Pakistan needs to focus on curbing Jihadist Terrorism as it is keeping it from leaving the grey list of FATF.
It refers to the spread of miscommunication. Propaganda and circulation of false news through social media are a relatively common way to cause turmoil in a community. Once a rumor is circling, there is no way to erase it. India claims that Pakistan is spreading the false narrative of ‘Islam being in danger’ to justify its actions, although untrue, is something that the Indians fully believe now. That Pakistani Intelligentsia is made solely to create narratives under which to attack India. Such beliefs further antagonize the states against each other.
Indian Chronicles are a prime example of information warfare being waged against Pakistan.
Channels such as Cyber-Jihad and Dark Web come under the purview of cyber warfare and are a threat to the fabric of society and its security in Pakistan.
Given the above discussed bleak prevailing internal security situation, Pakistan needs to formulate a short to mid and long-term response that curbs all external and internal parties alongside proxies from infiltrating and influencing the working of the state and affecting the masses.
For a full-spectrum approach, all domains should be covered such as diplomacy, defense, internal and external security, economic, informational, cyber, and media security.
There are steps to be followed through for active and effective quelling of hybrid threats. First, a strategy must be put for, then tactical action should be taken and lastly, the implementation process should be supervised and fully followed through.
The main focus of the state should be on deterrence towards, protection from, and prevention of hybrid threats to the state.
One must not forget that Hybrid war is a mix of both unconventional and conventional warfare, therefore a nation-wide response should include the intertwined operational capabilities of armed forces alongside political actors. Pakistan sees its security being threatened both by internal factors and external hostile/proxy elements. This is hampering state development. State-building and nation-building must go hand in hand if counter and deter such threats effectively.
The Impact of Management in Information Security
Authors: Sajad Abedi and Mahdi Mohammadi
Due to the increasing role of information security in the management of any society, public and private organizations and institutions are inevitably required to provide the necessary infrastructure to achieve this. In addition to material resources, management techniques also have a great impact on the optimal and successful implementation of information security management systems. The recording of management standards in the field of ICT information security can be designed in a planned way to change the security situation of organizations according to the needs of the organization and ensure security in terms of business continuity and to some extent at other levels (crisis management and soft war). Despite extensive research in this area, unfortunately for various reasons, including the level of security of the issue for governmental and non-governmental institutions or the direct relationship of the field with their interests, clear and useful information on how to implement and prioritize the implementation of a system over the years. The past has not happened until today.
The protection of the organization’s information resources is essential to ensure the successful continuation of business activities. The fact that information and information assets play a key role in the success of organizations has necessitated a new approach to protecting them. Until now, risk analysis and management has been used to identify the information security needs of the organization. After analyzing the risks, security controls were identified and implemented to bring the risks to an acceptable level. But it seems that risk analysis is not enough to identify the information security needs of the organization. Evidence of this claim is that risk analysis does not take into account legal requirements, regulations and other factors that are not considered as risk, but are mandatory for the organization.
Identifying, assessing and managing information security risks is one of the key steps in reducing cyber threats to organizations and also preventing the unfortunate consequences of security incidents that make organizations more prepared to face cyber risks. The risk assessment process, which is the first phase of a set of risk management activities, provides significant assistance to organizations in making the right decision to select security solutions. Risk assessment is actually done to answer the following questions: * If a particular hazard occurs in the organization, how much damage will it cause? * What is the probability of any risk occurring? * Controlling how much each risk costs. Is it affordable or not? The results of risk assessment can help in the correct orientation in choosing solutions (which is to eliminate the main threats) and can also be used in formulating and modifying the security policies of the organization. Risk management is a comprehensive process used to determine, identify, control, and minimize the effects and consequences of potential events. This process allows managers to strike the right balance between operating costs and financial costs, and to achieve relevant benefits by protecting business processes that support the organization’s goals. The risk management process can greatly reduce the number and severity of security incidents that occur in the organization. Risk management has 5 steps, which are: 1. Planning: At this stage, how to manage potential risks in the organization is determined and completed by developing a risk management plan. This plan defines the risk management team, defines the roles and responsibilities of individuals and the criteria for assessing identified risks. Documented. 2. Identification: At this stage, team members gather around each other, identify potential hazards, and record them in the organization’s risk list. Arranging group brainstorming sessions is a good way to identify hazards 3. Assessment: In this step, the assessment of identified risks is performed using the criteria defined in the risk management plan. Risks are assessed based on their probability of occurrence and possible consequences.
Solar power charges pandemic recovery for indigenous farmers in Viet Nam
Overcoming adversity has long been the stock in trade of Do Thi Phuong, a 42-year-old mother of two living in...
‘Reset Earth’: Animation film & mobile game bring Gen Z into protecting ozone layer
‘Reset Earth’ is an innovative educational platform for adolescents about the fundamental role of the ozone layer in protecting the...
Israel continues its air strikes against Syria after Biden’s inauguration: What’s next?
A family of four, including two children, died as a result of an alleged Israeli air strike on Hama in...
Digitalizing the Maritime Sector Set To Boost the Competitiveness of Global Trade
A new report launched today by the World Bank and the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) shows that...
How the West failed to understand contemporary Russia
A few years ago, James G. Stavridis, a retired U.S. admiral and dean of Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law...
Serving up sustainable food
Along with a vow to return to exercise, upping personal intake of fruit and vegetables tops the list of New...
A Most Unusual Inaugural
Sic transit gloria mundi — thus passes worldly glory, which seems an apt phrase for the peaceful transition of power...
South Asia3 days ago
Arnab Goswami’s whatsApp leaks show power of propaganda
Middle East3 days ago
Post Trump Palestine
Arts & Culture1 day ago
Rising Pak-Turk Cultural Diplomacy: “Dirilis Ertugrul”- The Prime Catalyst
Middle East2 days ago
Reigniting Chaos in Syria
Terrorism2 days ago
Global War on Terror: Pakistan’s Role and Evolving Security Architecture for sustainable peace
Americas3 days ago
Latin America and China: The economic and debt situation and the U.S. discomfort
Green Planet2 days ago
Promoting Green Finance in Qatar: Post-Pandemic Opportunities and Challenges
Science & Technology3 days ago
What is a ‘vaccine passport’ and will you need one the next time you travel?