FROM REACTIVE TO PROACTIVE MINDSET
The Napoleonic and Bismarkian wars of the nineteenth century had its crescendo in the First World War (1914-1918) and its aftermath unleashed two phenomenal movements of the twentieth century _ the Russian Revolution leading to the creation of the Soviet Union and The German Military _ Industrial genius. Within twenty years (1920-1940) these two movements were to change the world forever. The French Maginot lines of trenches (First World War Fame) and the centuries old white Stallion horses’ cavalry of the Polish army were run over within hours by the German tanks pincer movement. The shock and awe of the German military-industrial genius of the Second World War (1938-1944) shook all the European powers of the past into client states of the German Reich in no time. The Germans had literally walked over Europe, primarily because most of the old European powers were fighting a new war with old tactics and strategies.
While the Europeans were busy in their self-inflicted wars of the 18th and 19th Centuries, the Gora Sahib (British) was bringing transformational changes in their British-Indian Empire through their Red Coats (Lal-Kurtis) and soon we found within our midst (at capital Delhi) the profuse presence of the might of the British Empire. The Royal Indian Army, Air force and Navy with all their juggernauts were to make their presence felt in the length and breadth of the Indo-Pak sub-continent. It goes to the credit of the British Empire and to the dis-credit of the below average military leadership of both India and Pakistan during all these years that most of the policies, doctrines, strategies, tactics, operational directives, conduct of war etc, etc, of both these armies are old relics of the British Indian army.
Let’s leave India alone to have its own change of taste from the British to the Soviet Union and now to our sweet old Uncle Sam along with its ill-legitimate child (Israel) with their strategic alliances and connotations. We, in Pakistan, have now a totally different ground situation and our military strategists who are planning a so called two front war are living in fools’ paradise. We are already engaged in the thick of a three front war (North, East, and West) and the fourth one is marking time in the South from the sea. So we are one of the few countries in the third world who are faced with a four- front war situation. An out of box solution has to be adopted and very soon, regardless of the high imposing walls and large libraries of our National Defense University (NDU) in Islamabad. A donkey with books on its back is not still equal to a horse or prove me wrong. The four fronts classification has to be made clear lest we inter-mingle the donkeys, and the horses and the mules with the elephants. We are fighting an Asymmetrical war in the North, a Classical war in the East, a new 21st Century War with drones and Spy Satellites and what have you in the West and the War of Belligerence from the sea in the South. Get your super computers running and do some simulations oh thy over worked and under nourished (mentally not physically) students of the NDU and do some interesting war gaming exercises. When all the computers will go bonkers, the human minds have then to be applied to get the best solutions out in the field. Yes, the best of us, produced by our motherland have to come to our rescue in this Catch 22 situation. The over-centralization of our war machine in Rawalpindi/Islamabad has to be dis-mantled and de-centralized into five operational commands __ the four commands to match the four-front war and the fifth one __ The Strategic Command at the centre, to have the last hurrah. The Northern Command to have counter-insurgency training and capability, the Eastern Command to match the Indian mind-set, the Western Command with Technology-Savvy capability Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and the Southern Command (Pak Navy) with Maritime and Amphibious capability. Each of these four commands should encompass the full complement of the civil-armed elements integrated at the district level into the ‘District National Guard’s force replacing the dilapidated and over-extended British Scouts / Rangers / FC /Coast-Guards etc, etc,. The defense of each district has to be planned by the respective Commands with a military-civilian mix. We have more than two million retired armed forces personnel, some of whom could be used to train the civilian members of the District National Guards (DNGs). This would also generate job employments for each district and the funds could be re-allocated from the over staffed GHQ/ NHQ /AHQ thru trimming them into slimmer and fitter Operational Commands in place of desk soldiers, a luxury which this nation can ill-afford at this time and space.
A new approach for the defense of our motherland has to be adopted soon within the next year or two, involving the civilian element as well, as the clock is ticking fast. The civil-armed partisan force for each district as part of the DNGs should be vertically integrated with the four respective commands to face the four-front war situation of the twenty-first century in Pakistan. When the survival of a nation is at stake, the best of the best have to come to-getter in a quasi civil-military mix. We should try to diffuse the onslaught on all our four fronts’ in order to protect Mingora/Saidu Sharif and Muzaffarabad in the North; Peshawar and Quetta in the West; Lahore, Rahimyar Khan, Badin & Hyderabad in the East and Karachi, Gwadar in the South through conventional means at our disposal with a civil-military mix at each district level. If we fail at any of these four fronts and the democratically elected government at Islamabad is pressed upon to capitulate by the enemies to be, then the last resort of the Central Strategic Command has to come in play to unleash its power to decimate the threats from all the four fronts. Let us hope and pray that this doomsday scenario is never reached. All those in the East or West, North or South be duly warned that there are limits to our patience and already we may be reaching our threshold point. If we are finally driven to the wall, then not only that wall, but several others along with it would be destroyed and the clock instead of winding forward would unwind to the post- 7th Century Gupta Mauria or Ashoka declining period of the Indian sub-continental history with marauding horse-men straddling to the Delhi Sultanate from the north to capture the Golden Bird and start repeating the history all over again. This time the history may be different as half of the entire Muslim population of the world lives in South and South-West Asia.
Mansoor Malik has been Founding Director General of National University of Science and Technology (NUST) with over 33 year of experience in planning, establishing and managing national level, strategic, high-tech organizations. Versatile with proven skills in promoting technology innovation and commercialization. Through team participation he enjoys challenging the status quo.
Besides being Commandant College of Aeronautical Engineering, he has also been associated with Aeronautical Complex Kamra at senior management level for induction of different weapon systems including F16.