By Umar Waqar
December 4, 2011
Perhaps, November 26 will become historic, though infamous, for the tragic loss of Pakistan soldiers in the cold and chilly dawn at the Salalah post of Mohmand Agency; coming within 12 hours of touch down of General Allen Jones’ helicopter at the Bagram Airbase after his cordial and frank discussion with Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to discuss measures of enhancing border control on both sides; coincidently, the attack follows the conclusion of Pak-China military exercise in Pakistan and happens on the last day of Islamic year 1432AH. One would rather get perplexed and confused. This, probably, is the start of the decisive phase of the long war in the AfPak region - this time directly targeted against Pakistan, the ally of the allies. Welcome to the Third World War, in which you can be part of the war without even noticing it; there are no formal declarations of the war and where the fourth generation war is order of the day.
Wikipedia describes it as, “Fourth generation warfare (4GW) is a conflict characterised by a blurring of the lines between war and politics, soldier and civilian. The term was first used in 1989 by a team of United States analysts, including William S. Lind, to describe warfare's return to a decentralised form. In terms of generational modern warfare, the fourth generation signifies the nation States' loss of their near-monopoly on combat forces, returning to modes of conflict common in pre-modern times. The simplest definition includes any war in which one of the major participants is not a State, but rather a violent non-State actor. As such, fourth generation warfare uses classical tactics - tactics deemed unacceptable by traditional modern thinking - to weaken the advantaged opponent's will to win.”
However, Lind (due to his bias against Islam) puts the entire blame of the start of fourth generation war on Islam, that is clever tactics; you develop an idea of destroying the entire Islamic world, then you create definitions, churn up scenarios and finally assault a whole region to keep it destabilised till doomsday. And then very conveniently blame it on Islam. He describes this new form of war as ‘fourth generation war’, marked by a return to a world of cultures, not merely States, in conflict. “We now find ourselves facing the Christian West's oldest and most steadfast opponent, Islam. After about three centuries on the strategic defensive, following the failure of the second Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683, Islam has resumed the strategic offensive, expanding outward in every direction. In this war, invasion by immigration can be at least as dangerous as invasion by a State army.”
I had argued in a number of articles, related to the long war, that Pakistan was at the centre stage of this war and that the US-led coalition was hell-bent in creating divisions and cleavages in the West Asian region to find a space for its (the war’s) success. Fortunately, the West has miserably failed on many accounts, people of the AfPak region have proved to be more resilient than expected, they have adapted themselves to these pressing and hard times, and the mighty power of the US-led coalition has been diluted in time (more than a decade now) to suffer a humiliating defeat. The West’s own historians will not judge it that it was defeated because of resilience of the people of the AfPak region, but by mathematical parameters, the equation here is between the most prosperous and high-tech superpower verses the poorest and low-tech nation of the Afghans; it is between the richest and burger gobbling nations of the MacWorld on one side and the poorest Chappal wearing and corncob eating nation on the other side; it is between the nations with total dominance of media (from Al-Jazeera to CNN-Fox-BBC-Star-Zee-Times-Newsweek-Guardian-Afghan government channels-Pakistani channels) verses people with virtually no voice to celebrate their historic victory.
As I said earlier, November 26 marks a turning point in the final phase of this long war against the AfPak region; now the war has been directly and officially brought into Pakistan. Why I say, “directly and officially” is because of the fact that it was already being indirectly and unofficially fought within Pakistan for almost a decade. The “blurring of the lines between war and politics, soldier and civilian” makes it very difficult to feel that you are right at the centre stage and within the middle of a World War. You are made so much immune and apathetic to the loss of human life that you daily see it on your TV screens in your cushy drawing rooms, over a cup of hot coffee, or if you are not that privileged from the footpath on the TV screen of a barber shop, and exclaim within your heart…….Oh! It is the Libyans, not my business; Oh! It is the Bahrainis, not my business; Oh! It is the Afghans, not my business; Oh! It is FATA, not Lahore, not my business; Oh! It is not from my muhallah, not my business; and finally, Oh! It is my younger brother not me…….till the time you will be dragged and slaughtered like Colonel Gaddafi…….It is none of your business!
The aim of my discourse here is not to demoralise the common Pakistanis, but to make them aware that you have successfully weathered this storm of the fourth generation war for a decade now. You are now entering the last and most decisive phase of the war, remain united and clear any doubts that you had in your mind about the sincerity of the West - no one is there to help you, everyone is here for his own interest.
Pakistan is not only the linchpin in this war, but also the jugular vein of the NATO and entire Afghanistan. If our leadership can take a firm stand and lead the nation to the path of unity, there is no way that the West can ask you to do more. We are 170 million strong nation destined to find a place in the sun, the vacuum created by the war in the AfPak region can only be filled up by people of the AfPak; Pakistan and Afghanistan are not only physical twins, but also twins of history and posterity. Time has come to call a spade a spade, let us start a simple and descent celebration of our victory.
The writer is a freelance columnist.
Source: The Nation