February 23, 2018


22 FEB 2018 - 10:43




EU and Dutch policy towards Asia for many years revolved around little more than chiefly positive engagement of China. Attempting to manage disrupting transitions in Europe and Asia, the EU and its member states are nowadays seeking to deepen relations with so-called ‘like-minded countries’, such as Japan and India.

This Clingendael Policy Brief discusses the context and key drivers of this shift in strategy and tactics in Brussels and in European capitals. It argues that success in reframing relationships with key partners in Asia requires a practical long-term vision, a reconsideration of political priorities and official language, as well as a willingness to make political trade-offs. European capitals have so far been unwilling to make most of these adjustments. In the months ahead, several test cases will show whether Europe can follow through on its intentions

February 22, 2018

Blue Whales and Tiger Sharks: Politics, Policy, and the Military Operational Artist


G. Stephen Lauer 

 February 20, 2018

"The greatest service they can render is to remain true to themselves, to serve with silence and courage in the military way."
— Samuel Huntington [1]


Iraq and Afghanistan. Korea and Vietnam. The uniquely unhappy political nature of wars of limited policy aims after the Second World War and into the 21st century finds the United States military unable to disengage after intervention without the perception of defeat.[2] Without a committed local and legitimate political stakeholder, military force cannot forge the necessary political outcome. Without the legitimate local political capability to accept and advance U.S. policy objectives, the space and time created by military intervention cannot succeed. and extract itself. This perception of failure lies in an inability to reconcile the different lenses through which the politician as policymaker, and the military operational artist, view their respective roles and responsibilities in intervention. The politician as blue whale, ponderous, inevitable in direction and weight within the American system of government, employs the military as tiger sharks, slow to engage, but deadly, aggressive, and swift when unleashed to apply a violent resolution to policy. The metaphor allows the illumination of not only different species, but different orders, political and military, who, while swimming in the same medium—politics—often find themselves in a fundamental misunderstanding of their respective roles.

It is the responsibility of the politician as the policy maker to determine the political outcome to which the military will apply its nature—in this case, the violent resolution of limited political aims. From initial political expression as a policy aim for the use of military force, there exists a continuing dialogue, a holistic connection, from policymaker to military actor, wherein political aims translate to military aims and actions that reverberate back to politics in perceptions of political success and failure. Describing where and when that interface occurs is the purpose of this article. The intent is to locate the primary points of discourse, the principal influences at each point, and the outcomes at each node. Thus the focus here is on the essential negotiation, the discourse, between the political and the operational. How does a political question translate into a policy for the use of military force in the limited wars of the 21st century?

The type and form of the military response to policy cannot be to simply be brave in the face of the politics that order limited military action. The responsibility for the lives of those tasked to carry out the order leads to a requirement for military engagement in this discourse at the earliest opportunity in the negotiations prior to the policy decision for military employment. There is no operational distinction between shirking or working as Peter Feaver noted in his application of agency theory to U.S. civilian-military relations, but there is a political separation of the spheres of responsibility between the civilian policymaker and the military instrument.[3] The implementation of force falls to the military operational artist—the designated commander of the forces intended to secure a US policy objective. It is this military commander who receives both the authority to assign tasks to the tactical forces, the means, and the ways in which those employed will achieve the aim. The operational artist holds the fundamental responsibility for the accomplishment of the military aim in accordance with an overall policy objective, while recognizing that political oversight and guidance does not end with the order initiating military action.[4]

There is no simply waiting for policy. There is no simply military advice. Carl von Clausewitz noted the reason for the subordination of all military operations to the political point of view was that “the supreme standpoint for the conduct of war, the point of view that determines its main lines of action, can only be that of policy.”[5] In the wars of the 21st century, Huntington’s formulation required an essential military passivity in the face of a policy determination to order military forces into action, and failed to account for the dynamic and holistic relationship that exists between the political aim, its policy formulation, and the execution of that policy by the military.


The wars of the United States with a political object of final victory, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the Second World War as examples, and wars with a limited political objective as in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, have divergent political and military logic and characteristics. An absolute war, fighting for the existence of the state, fought with the entirety of societal, industrial, and political intent to attain final peace by military force has a readily observable logic. As Clausewitz noted in reviewing the history of wars of this kind, one step from the beginning follows upon the next, despite the vicissitudes of temporal changes in perceptions of battlefield success and failure, to arrive at an apparently inevitable conclusion of either victory or defeat.[6] The closer the military aim to the political in wars with an absolute aim, he wrote, the more the aims will seem to coincide, and in wars of lesser political aims, the more will the two aims diverge and the political dominate.[7]

Logic, War, and the Aim Gap in Limited War

Clausewitz noted that wars with a limited political aim do not offer the simple logic of wars with an absolute aim. Wars of limited aim drive a specific and limited military effort. The existence of the state is not at risk. These wars of policy, or wars of choice, change constantly based upon political and policy perceptions of tactical victory and defeat, success and failure. Today these wars are mitigated through a media lens often at odds with the policy itself. These wars are ostensibly to preserve the way of life of the state. There is a continual and often fundamental re-evaluation of the political aims and military effort that does not generally occur in wars with an absolute aim. Thus limited aims demand a consistent and powerful war narrative in substitution of the logic of an absolute aim. The narrative explains the cost to society in terms that allow the policy to go forward when perceptions driven by actions on the battlefield—casualties most powerfully—compel changes to policy that force modifications and the continuous reevaluation and constraint of the military effort.[8]

The misunderstanding of this dynamic in wars of limited aim is fundamental to the failure of policymaker and military operational artist to arrive at a common understanding in operational matters. Feaver and Huntington essentially arrive at the same conclusion: the military must simply follow the political orders and policy of its civilian leadership or be accused of fomenting a coup at worst, or at the least, shirking their duties.[9] While for both authors, as for Clausewitz, the military, as subordinate, is responsible for making the relationship work; if theory demands the simple acquiescence of the military, there can be no creativity nor critical analysis of the military options before the policy is ordered into effect.[10]


The model represents the locations where the political and policy aims interact with, and are affected by, military considerations, constraints, and their interaction in operations where the policy comes into contact with the free will of an adversary. This is the space where politically aware military advice comes to the fore to ensure the likelihood that limited military force can create the physical and temporal space for the execution of the political outcome.[11] This implies that the military professional has an understanding of the politics of the environment under which a policy determination occurs, without the requirement, or fear, of being political.[12] Highlighting the locations and outcomes for this political, policy, and operational dialogue, it does not describe the official or doctrinal decision-making processes that end in military orders to move units to implement a declared policy. Further, while the process appears to move forward from a firm political beginning, its holistic nature means that the interaction between nodes is complex, continuous, and dynamic in perceptions of progress and results.

The Process and Resolution of Politically-Aware Military Advice[13]


The political process begins with a question. The question may be a new development, such as the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, or the sudden attack by the North Korean Army on June 25, 1950. It may be a new administration reviewing an older problem as in the example of Iraq in 2003, or Afghanistan in 2009, with a new military operational artist asking for a review of the current policy direction. In limited wars, the policy review may be a media-driven crisis that challenges the legitimacy of the ongoing narrative and current perceptions of victory and defeat, especially the question of casualties, as in Iraq during 2007. Each case demonstrates the lack of direct logic in these wars. Aims change with perceptions, not necessarily with reality. In this space, the nature of military advice is politically aware. Politically aware military advice does not mean to bend dialogue to a political party perspective, but to understand the political constraints under which a limited aim policy comes into being, and to provide a range of distinct and feasible military options that support the full scope of policy options under discussion.

Knowing how the policymaker views his or her political and policy risk, individual political preferences and those of their supporting political coalitions, guides the self-limitation of military options.[14] The policymaker creates a narrative that drives the public perception of the legitimacy of a proposed policy aim, especially in an intervention.[15] The first, and arguably the most important, location to overcome the misunderstanding between the policymaker and operational artist is the dialogue that requires the engagement of the military prior to the declaration of policy. This discourse includes the whole of government power in the principal institutions of the White House, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the intelligence community and others dependent on the nature of the problem question. Beyond the political leadership of the Department of Defense, other likely participants include the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the service chiefs as appropriate, as well as the regional Combatant Commander or theater commander. While the focus here is on the perceptions of the policymaker, each actor at this node brings personal and institutional biases and goals to create ever greater complexity in this discourse. The outcome of this exchange of ideas is a policy decision that includes the role of military force.[16] What is the political resolution the policy seeks? Upon what local, legitimate political stakeholder does the military solution support and for which its execution of violence will provide temporal and political space—the end that will allow the departure of U.S. military forces upon accomplishment? This is fundamentally and necessarily a political responsibility.

Here the narrative has the potential to confuse or to blind the parties to the essence of the political problem as in the legitimacy of the entity for whom intervention occurs. Daniel Kahneman’s concept of theory-induced blindness may provide a useful lens for analysis of the theory of the narrative which justifies the use of military violence.[17] Containment of communism was the narrative that justified the legitimacy of both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. In each case, the political legitimacy of the local polity was subsumed under the grander vision of the narrative, denying the context of what would follow the intervention. American intervention in Vietnam, for example, created a similar blindness to the powerful constraints to the legitimacy of the South Vietnamese government in the eyes of its own people.[18] The Global War on Terror created the same blindness to local political legitimacy in Iraq and Afghanistan. Simply put, the locals did not appear to matter in the grand scheme of American narrative legitimacy for intervention. Only when it was belatedly discovered that such local legitimacy could not be achieved was the military committed to a never-ending attempt to provide the political solution to the intervention, especially in the especially in the military strategy of counterinsurgency that emerged from these conditions.[19]

The second dialogue location occurs once the policymaker’s decision passes to the designated military operational artist intended to achieve the aim through military action. This officer has the both the authority and responsibility to negotiate for the military means required. Decisions on the military aim and the specific means needed for its accomplishment are the outcomes of this discourse. The U.S. commander in Afghanistan, for example, continues this negotiation for means through the many changes in aims and political and military strategies across the seventeen years of the intervention there.[20] In the major U.S. military interventions after the Second World War, the demonstration of this negotiation for the military aim and means lies in the direct interaction between the operational artist and the policymaker. This relationship appeared between President Harry Truman and General Douglas MacArthur in Korea, Generals William Westmoreland and Creighton Abrams with Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, respectively, General David Petraeus in Iraq and each of the Afghanistan commanders with Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.[21] In all of the above cases, the specific means to achieve the policy aim resulted, often painfully, in an agreed determination of the military aim, and a decision on the size, scope, constraints as rules of engagement, the mission tasks of the means, the ways, and the emergent strategy to achieve the stated policy.[22]

General of the Army MacArthur shakes hands with President Truman at the Wake Island Conference. (Wikimedia)

The current re-negotiation and policy determination of the Trump Administration occurs in this same manner, with General John W. Nicholson. Jr., the Afghanistan theater of war commander, directly involved with the policy determination to add as many as four thousand more U.S. military personnel.[23] As the number of soldiers appears as a simply politically determined number, disconnected from the ongoing military campaign, it serves as an example of the failure to recognize the blurring of roles and responsibility between the blue whale and his tiger sharks. Again, increased U.S. military force in the seventeenth year of the war intends to provide additional space and time for the development of a locally legitimate political entity that can carry forward US policy aims, and allow the withdrawal of the bulk of American and NATO combat forces.

The third location is the fundamental military command relationship established with the component air, naval, and ground forces, and allied organizations that determine the specific tactical forces and roles of each in coordinated action. The campaign plan, the specific expression of the emergent strategy is the outcome of this discourse, and which is in its turn the result of further negotiations between the operational artist and the components (land, air, naval, special operations, cyber, etc.). In Afghanistan today, for example, negotiations for ultimate tactical employment in terms of time, space, force, purpose, and rules of engagement, occur not only with US service components, but also with each of the respective national command authorities committing forces, including the host nation, and in the case of NATO deployed forces, the overall constraints of the NATO collective command.[24] Only once these operational level deployments and roles are decided and coordinated with the emergent strategy as expressed in the campaign plan are combat missions assigned by components to their tactical military formations. Thus, strategy emerges in this process. Strategy is not stated beforehand, and it is not synonymous with policy, but finds its confluence in the military aim.[25]

When these tactical organizations then come into the physical discourse of combat, the contact and resolution of tactical actions with the opposing will of the adversary occurs. In limited war, one important way the outcome of combat action appears is in the perceptions driven by the press and social media of military success and failure against the opponent. Here, asymmetric adversaries against whom the U.S. pits its military forces in intervention benefit “from the progressive attrition of their opponents' political capability to wage war. In such asymmetric conflicts, insurgents may gain political victory from a situation of military stalemate or even defeat.”[26] These perceptions, in confirming the holistic and political nature of all military action down to the tactical outcomes, create a feedback loop that links directly to the political and policy perceptions of risk to the policymaker. These risks manifest themselves in challenges to the legitimacy of the policy narrative, driving public perceptions of limited war aims, especially in regards to casualties. The nature of limited wars and the lack of a consistent logic manifests itself here in the outcome of changing political and policy aims, and leads again to the re-negotiation of the aims, both political and military.


Operations in Panama in 1989 and Kuwait in 1990-91 offer examples of the successful application of military violence to achieve a declared policy aim that allowed for the rapid removal of most U.S. military forces upon completion of operations. In Panama, Manuel Noriega’s nullification of election results provided the United States with a legitimate, local political stakeholder upon restoration, establishing an entity to hand U.S. policy preferences upon completion of the destruction of the Panama Defense Forces in a matter of days.[27]

President George H.W. Bush addresses reporters on Aug. 22, 1990, flanked by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell. (Jerome Delay/AFP/Getty Images)

In the creation of the coalition to first deter and then to remove Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait, the legitimate, local Kuwaiti political elite were prepared to carry forward an alliance and U.S. policy goals upon the destruction of Iraqi forces and restoration of their governance. In both Panama and Kuwait, the presence of a legitimate local political power allowed the limited application of U.S., and in the case of Kuwait, allied military power. With the U.S. and allied policy aim achieved, legitimate government was restored, and, as in Korea in 1953, a post-conflict alliance allowed the bulk of US military forces to depart.[28]

This is not a new insight. In a 1977 analysis, failure of U.S. policy in Vietnam “resulted from trying to substitute military force for effective government.”[29] Former Under Secretary of State George Ball testified before Congress in 1985 that success of U.S. policy in intervention entailed the necessity for such a locally legitimate government capable of carrying forward the weight of US policy objectives in intervention.[30]


Two key thoughts emerge from this discussion. First, it is the responsibility of the policymaker when considering a policy of military intervention to determine the identities of the intended local, legitimate political stakeholders to be supported. Second, it is the military responsibility to advise how its application of violence realistically provides the physical and temporal space for the proposed local political solution, allowing the military to be withdrawn, without the need for a never-ending commitment of forces and casualties. Clausewitz noted that the entire phenomenon of war is embedded in politics. If policy does not provide the political solution, then no military resolution exists.

Since 1945, whenever U.S. policy in intervention confronted a lack of politically legitimate local stakeholders, no violent military solution appeared possible at any level. This is in keeping with the logic of wars of limited aim and their constantly changing goals. Impressions of victory and defeat continuously involve and influence the politics that led to the policy aim. Today’s long wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and increasingly in the U.S. military involvement in and around Syria’s civil war, demonstrate a failure of the political resolution for which the U.S. military acts. Lacking an attainable political end, the blue whales find the need to continually keep the tiger sharks in action. Without this understanding as we confront the many challenges to U.S. policy aims, we may find ourselves, again, in exactly the wrong kind of limited wars, using limited means—wars that have no fundamental or achievable political aim—with the only option a continuing and bleeding military application for which no end appears.

G. Stephen Lauer is an Associate Professor at the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies. He is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Officer and served as the first Chief of Florida Domestic (Homeland) Security from 2001 to 2004. The views expressed are the author's alone and do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

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[1] Samuel P. Huntington, The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1957), 456.

[2] G. Stephen Lauer, “American Discontent: The Unhappy Outcomes of US Military Operations in the Post-Second World War Era,” The Strategy Bridge, 23 May 2017.

[3] Peter D. Feaver, Armed Servants: Agency, Oversight, and Civil-Military Relations(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), 56.

[4] G. Stephen Lauer, “Tao of Doctrine: Contesting an Art of Operations,” Joint Forces Quarterly no. 82, July 2016, 122.

[5] Carl von Clausewitz, On War, trans.by Peter Paret and Michael Howard (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984), 606-07.

[6] Clausewitz, On War, 582.

[7] Ibid., 88.

[8] Jeffrey J. Kubiak, War Narratives and the American National Will in War (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014), 158-61.

[9] Feaver, Armed Servants: Agency, Oversight, and Civil-Military Relations, 302.

[10] Clausewitz, 607. Here Clausewitz makes the broad assumption that “policy knows the instrument it means to use.”

[11] Mikah Zenko, Between Threats and War: US Discrete Military Operations in the Post-Cold War World (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2010), 29; Rapp, William E., “Civil-Military Relations: The Role of Military Leaders in Strategy Making,” Parameters 45, no. 3 (Autumn 2015): 13-26. Zenko credits the term “politically aware military advice” to Dr. Kevin Benson, Colonel, US Army (retired) from a conversation in 2008, ff. no. 58. Dr. Benson noted that he first heard the term used in this context, while the Director of the US Army School of Advanced Military Studies, by British Army Colonel Richard Irons in a conversation during 2004 (Conversation with the author 7 December 2017).

[12] Huntington, The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations, 83.

[13] Created by the author, including input from Major Lynn W. Sullivan, USA, and Dr. Jeffrey J. Kubiak.

[14] Robert Jervis, System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998), 260, 293-94; Robert D. Putnam, “Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two-Level Games,” International Organization 42 No.3 (1988): 432, 459-60; and, Alan C. Lamborn, “Theory and the Politics in World Politics,” International Studies Quarterly 41, No. 2 (1997): 190-197.

[15] Kubiak, War Narratives and the American National Will in War, 17-39.

[16] Eliot Cohen, Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen and Leadership in Wartime (New York: The Free Press, 2001), 247-48; Janine Davidson, “Explaining the Broken Dialogue,” Presidential Studies Quarterly 43, no. 1 (March 2013): 129-145; and Hew Strachan, The Direction of War: Contemporary Strategy in Historical Perspective (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) 22-25. Each author addresses uniquely the condition of an “unequal dialogue” between the military and political leaders and solutions for resolving the nature of military advice in the contemporary context of limited wars in the 21st century.

[17] Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), 279, 287.

[18] Melvyn P. Leffler, A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992), 361-364; and, Fredrik Logevall, Choosing War: The Last Chance for Peace and the Escalation of the War in Vietnam (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), 25.

[19] Hew Strachan, The Direction of War: Contemporary Strategy in Historical Perspective(New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 10-11; and, Terry H. Anderson, “9/11 Bush’s Response,” in Understanding the U.S. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, eds. Beth Bailey and Richard H. Immerman (New York: NYU Press, 2015), 54-55.

[20] Gordon Lubold, Eli Stokols, and Peter Nicholas, “Trump Takes New Tack in Afghanistan Fight,” The Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2017.

[21] Robert Gates, Duty, 38-49, 349-363; Allen R. Millett, The War for Korea, 1950-1951: They Came from the North (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2010), 124-25, 282-83; Gregory A. Daddis, Westmoreland’s War: Reassessing American Strategy in Vietnam (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 69-73, 126.

[22] Henry Mintzberg, The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning (New York: The Free Press, 1994), Figure 1-1, 25.

[23] Lubold, et.al., “Trump Takes New Tack in Afghanistan Fight,” The Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2017.

[24] Gates, Duty, 477-78. For NATO, and U.S. Marine Corps negotiations.

[25] Strachan, The Direction of War, 43; Lawrence Freedman, Strategy: A History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 241-244; and Colin Gray, The Strategy Bridge: Theory for Practice (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 18. All three authors stress the necessity for clear definitions between the terms policy, strategy, operations, and tactics.

[26] Andrew Mack, “Why Big Nations Lose Small Wars: The Politics of Asymmetric Conflict,” World Politics 27, No. 2 (Jan., 1975), 177. [emphasis in original]

[27] Bob Woodward, The Commanders (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), 84, 161-170 (Panama).

[28] Ibid., 260-77 (Kuwait).

[29] Aaron B. O’Connell, “The Lessons and Legacies of the War in Afghanistan,” in Understanding the U.S. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, eds. Beth Bailey and Richard H. Immerman (New York: NYU Press, 2015), 323. Quoted from: W. Scott Thompson and Donaldson D. Frizzell, eds., The Lessons of Vietnam (New York: Crane, Russak, 1977), iv.

[30] Ibid. Quoted from: House of Representatives, Committee on Foreign Affairs, “The Lessons of Vietnam, 99th Congress 1st Session, April 29, 1985” (Washington, DC: GPO, 1986) 26. George Ball noted this requirement as “a well-defined country, a national will to defend it, and a political structure through which that will is expressed, which means, in turn, a government that is neither corrupt nor oppressive … We must be certain there is a solid political base strong enough to support the weight of our support, since for us to create a base by pulling and bribing and cajoling native politicians into building an effective government may well be beyond our means

Cross Domain Concerns: Defeating a Hybrid State's Grand Strategy


Victor Morris 

 February 22, 2018

The operational and strategic dilemmas associated with the contemporary operational environment, multinational alliances, and hybrid threat actors can be overcome. This article offers three recommendations designed to identify, mitigate and eventually overcome dilemmas which prevent NATO’s long-term mission success. Furthermore, this analysis offers a method for understanding a hybrid state’s grand strategy and its implications for NATO.


Hybrid states are states with a mix of autocratic and democratic features. Thisassessment uses the term “hybrid state” to describe a state that blurs the boundaries between organizations and institutions to develop a grand strategy. This type of state also has low competition in elections and low constraints on governmental power. These characteristics facilitate statecraft and unbounded policy to offset perceived disadvantages, deliver key narratives, and shape international norms. Hybrid states emphasize direct and indirect approaches across land, air, sea, space, and cyber domains to achieve geopolitical objectives. The objectives of the hybrid state are unbounded and accelerated policy to deter and influence relevant actors.

To develop resilience to both direct and indirect approaches to such strategies, targeted nations must understand the operational environment, its cross-domain effects, and the evolving character of war. It is imperative this comprehensive understanding of the operational environment encompasses planning considerations that include the adversary’s critical factors. Critical factors are the critical capabilities, requirements, and vulnerabilities associated with interrelated centers of gravity. In U.S. military doctrine, centers of gravity are the “doer,” or the physical entities which possess the ability to achieve objectives like joint force land component commands.


This assessment prioritizes an adversary’s indirect approach using proxy forces as a significant challenge for NATO and key partner nations. A hybrid war campaign means conducting political, lawfare, conventional, unconventional, asymmetric, proxy, and cyber warfare to both, directly and indirectly, influence objectives across all domains and instruments of national power.

The three following recommendations outline a method to conceptualize how a hybrid state builds its grand strategy and which critical factors it considers in offsetting its disadvantages. The recommendations also elucidate countermeasures to enable resilience to multi-domain drivers of conflict and effective methods to employ joint enablers. The goal of the assessment is to identify friendly and adversarial critical vulnerabilities.


The United States and its allies have significant advantages in precision air, ground, and naval fires, and intelligence collection in large-scale combat operations. The adversary’s grand strategy accounts for these advantages and innovative ways to avoid and counter them. Every strategy has ends, ways, and means that mirror critical factors. Because ends, ways, and means have limitations, indirect approaches reduce disadvantages and they allow innovative alternatives in relation to the opposition’s centers of gravity. A peer or near-peer competitor operationalizes a hybrid approach through mixed-threat actors operating across all domains to achieve the desired effects. Dense urban, information and electromagnetic environments are also critical spaces for adversary maneuver to deliver military and non-military impacts. To counter Western conventional dominance in the ground, air, and sea domains, hybrid states seek to flood those domains as well as space and cyberspace with multi-faceted, conventional, and non-conventional actors to overwhelm adversaries across the domain spectrum.

Therefore, shaping campaigns using deep operations with subversive actors prior to, or in concert with, conventional forces are critical strengths for hybrid actors. Deep operations refer to limited or major joint operations and employing multiple forms of warfare or multidimensional coordinationacross all domains to influence objectives. Manipulating national and international policy using fluctuating diplomatic, informational, and economic elements of national power supported by overt, covert and/or unattributable offensive options are also critical factors for deep operations.

Offensive options involve combined arms direct and indirect fires and electronic warfare capabilities. Cyber, electromagnetic, and information environmental effects are technologically accelerated in this type of strategy and are prioritized to affect the depth of the adversary’s operational environment. The threat of nuclear warfare and an adversary’s traditional military force capabilities reinforce deterrence, influence neighboring states, and the international community.

Furthermore, proxy organizations such as non-state paramilitary groups, insurgent networks, convergent terrorists, transnational organized crime, and international hacker organizations present significant dilemmas for joint and multinational alliances when hybrid states use them as a key component of an unbounded grand strategy. Proxy organizations, however, are not limited to asymmetric groups. Multinational companies, political parties, and civic groups also act as proxy organizations with access to high-end technologies and capabilities. These organizations tend to blend and cooperate or compete with other proxy actors based on motivations. Many of these groups may be enabled or incentivized by the hybrid state or local population providing sanctuary for them. Regardless, the need to deliberately expand sanctuaries over time is a critical requirement for hybrid actors and thus a potentially critical vulnerability.

Potential dilemmas for NATO involve asymmetric warfare operations in member states against borderless proxy actors, during or after an Article V territorial restoration campaign. The battlespace may also vary between contiguous and non-contiguous physical terrain. Un-attributable proxy forces with access to emerging and disruptive technologies support the hybrid state’s critical capability to accelerate both indirect and asymmetric campaigns, whilst assessing the effects of long-term lawfare and political warfare activities. Examples of emergent and disruptive technologies are artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, internet of things consisting of low-cost sensors and additive manufacturing (3D printing). Conventional limited military campaigns can also be accelerated under an unbounded policy to leverage vulnerabilities and manipulate non-military settlements.

Several combinations mitigate critical factors not translating across all institutions and levels of policy. For instance, supranational, supra-domain, and supra-means combinations, as well as non-linear dynamic systems behavior, are all effective mitigation methods. Nonlinear systems behavior involves non-linear escalation and unpredictable effects. First, supra-national combinations are a synthesis of national, international, and non-state organizations. Next, supra-domain combinations involve employing or merging combinations beyond the domains of the traditional battlefield. Lastly, supra-means combinations unite aspects of military and non-military means to reach desired objectives.

To summarize, a hybrid state’s critical factors are contained in a “campaign level entitycapable of delivering synchronized attack packages across all domains. Operational and tactical level configurations are like the multi-domain task force concept, while others correlate to specific vulnerabilities. The system of systems are entities that possess distinctive ways to achieve ends. They include 1) conventional joint and irregular forces with integrated air, ground, and sea defense systems, 2) disruptive and emergent technological networks and 3) super-empowered individuals, client states and proxy networks. Subversive and information systems cooperate in all domains to exploit vulnerabilities of targeted states.


Understanding multinational systems is a key aspect of critical factors analysis. Early and recurring collaborative planning is crucial to joint operations and assessment processes that fuel multi-level shaping activities. Equally important for political level operations and contingency planning is understanding an adversary’s strategy associated with indirect approaches and use of asymmetric proxies to reach objectives. These objectives extend beyond the major joint operation plan and hinge on limited warfare activities and frozen conflicts as desired end states. Reaching these objectives within a NATO member state or region presents even more complex dilemmas and lasting effects for the international community and alliance cohesion. An indirect or gray-zone approach is more immune to NATO collective defense and strategic deterrence planning.

The hybrid state’s ultimate objectives are to discredit and degrade the target’s governance and societal cohesion. The objective can be obtained through lawfare and other indirect activities and operations. Lawfare misuses or manipulates the law for political or military objectives, thus effectively using the legal system against an adversary to delegitimize it. Therefore, primary counter hybrid operations and anti-lawfare activities must focus on maintaining and communicating host nation rule of law. Moreover, successful primary countermeasures must also include effective government penetration or the provision of security, infrastructure, and economic capacities. Finally, fortifying legitimacy through phased indirect as well as direct support complete the primary anti-lawfare lines of effort under the counter hybrid war strategy.

Additionally, every citizen needs to be educated and prepared for resistance and role in hybrid defense which includes deliberate planning and cumulative innovation. Citizens must enable inter-organizational resilience across the continuum of government and conflict spectrums.

Next, collective defense treaties and joint security cooperation consist of both foreign internal defense and security force assistance to shape and prevent conflict. Foreign internal defense when approved involves combat operations during a state of war, where offensive or counter attacks enable forces to regain the initiative. Defensive tasks are a counter to the enemy offense, while protection determines which potential threats disrupt operations and then counters or mitigates those threats. Examples of specific threats include explosive hazards, improvised weapons, unmanned aerial and ground systems, and weapons of mass destruction.

Defeating the enemy and consolidating gains inherently involves more forces and is an operational headquarters planning requirement. Specific requirements include joint force assignment, apportionment, contingency, and execution sourcing. Additionally, adversary related anti-access area denial integrated multi-domain defense systems associated with territorial defense and coercive activities are a joint problem. They require joint capabilities to exploit windows of superiority, freedom of action, and gains consolidation to revise, maintain, or cancel the plan.


World-class intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities should not overshadow critical capabilities and requirements for national security services, law enforcement, and indigenous population intelligence development. Sharing intelligence is equally as important and inevitably involves interoperable intelligence functional services and shared databases. To adequately ensure that relevant intelligence disciplines are processed and disseminated in a timely manner, multinational counterintelligence, human intelligence and identity intelligence sharing agreements must be refined and validated down to the tactical level.

Furthermore, mission command through human-machine teaming is inevitable and will undoubtedly leverage human adaptability, automated speed and precision as future critical factors. The global competition for machine intelligencedominance will also become a key element of both the changing character of war and a technical threat to strategic stability.


Scenarios and wargames designed to force multi-national critical factor analysis, decision making, and assessments are essential to understanding human and technologically enabled 21st-century conflict. The joint operational area must be assessed as one interconnected domain. It also must be put in the correct context to assess the level of military effort and, where required, service targets in domains that enable the land component to reach mission objectives. The interconnected domain is where conventional, asymmetric, criminal, and cyber activities occur at the same time in the same spaces with predictable and unpredictable effects. An unconventional, indirect, and proxy-led military approach within the hybrid state’s grand strategy offers innovative, inexpensive, and unbounded opportunities to reach geopolitical objectives below the threshold of armed conflict.

Victor R. Morris is a former military officer, irregular warfare, and counter-IED instructor at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Germany. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government

“Can China Innovate? ”: A Conversation

A Conversation 

Prof. Krishna G Palepu, Senior Advisor to the President on Global Strategy, Ross Graham Walker Professor, Harvard University, USA

“Can China Innovate? ”



Tuesday, February 27, 2018


5:00 PM  - 6:30 PM (Registration: 4:30 PM )

 WWF Auditorium, 172-B, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi- 110003
 Mr. Shivshankar MenonFormer National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India
 Prof. Krishna G Palepu, Senior Advisor to the President on Global Strategy, Ross Graham Walker Professor, Harvard University, USA
In 2006, the Chinese government declared its intention to transform China into “an innovative society” by 2020 and a world leader in science and technology by 2050. With its Made in China 2025 strategy, China is preparing to graduate from becoming the factory of the world to becoming to a “manufacturing superpower” by 2049. 

The ambitious industrial plan has the potential to move Chinese industry up the value and technology ladder and modernize its older production facilities to become a centre of smart manufacturing. The strategy is backed by immense funding and there is huge enthusiasm among local governments for promoting industries such as robotics, big data, and electric vehicles. China's advances in technology have been supplemented by the emergence of large tech firms such as Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu. A combination of the world’s largest consumer base and strong government support are helping push this new wave of innovation and entrepreneurship. 
Ambitious Chinese startups have been expanding, even across borders, with increasing success. The session will focus on the transition that China is trying to make from a heavy industry-dependent, export led economy to an innovation and domestic consumption-oriented economy. Is China ready to blaze a new path of innovation for the rest of the world to follow? 

Please respond by clicking one of the buttons below

Mr.  Shivshankar Menon, Former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India

Shivshankar Menon, Chairman of the Advisory board of Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) and Former National Security Adviser to Prime Minister of India Mr. Shivshankar Menon is a distinguished fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. Prior to joining Brookings, Mr. Menon served as national security advisor to the Indian Prime Minister from January 2010 to May 2014 and as India’s foreign secretary from October 2006 to August 2009.

Prof. Krishna G Palepu, Senior Advisor to the President on Global Strategy, Ross Graham Walker Professor, Harvard University, USA

KRISHNA G. PALEPU joined the faculty of the Harvard Business School in 1983. He is the Ross Graham Walker Professor of Business Administration, and Senior Advisor to the President of Harvard University. Professor Palepu was a Senior Associate Dean at the Harvard Business School for several years, overseeing the school's research, and its global initiative. 
Professor Palepu's current research and teaching activities focus on strategy and governance. Professor Palepu has published numerous academic and practitioner-oriented articles and case studies on these issues. In the area of strategy, his recent focus has been on the globalization of emerging markets, particularly India and China, and the resulting opportunities and challenges for western investors and multinationals, and for local companies with global aspirations. He is a coauthor of the book on this topic, Winning in Emerging Markets: A Road Map for Strategy and Execution. Professor Palepu Chairs the HBS executive education programs, "Global CEO Program for China" (3 weeks), "Leading Global Businesses" (1 week), and "Senior Executive Leadership Program—India" (7 weeks).
In the area of corporate governance, Professor Palepu's work focuses on board engagement with strategy. Professor Palepu teaches in several HBS executive education programs aimed at members of corporate boards: "Making Corporate Boards More Effective," "Audit Committees in a New Era of Governance," and "Compensation Committees: New Challenges, New Solutions."  In his prior work, Professor Palepu worked on mergers and acquisitions and corporate disclosure. Based on this work, he coauthored the book, Business Analysis and Valuation Using Financial Statements: Text and Cases, which won the American Accounting Association's Wildman Award for its impact on management practice, as well as the Notable Contribution to the Accounting Literature Award for its impact on academic research. This book, translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish, is widely used in leading MBA programs all over the world. It is accompanied by a business analysis and valuation software model published by the Harvard Business School Publishing Company. Professor Palepu has served on a number of public company and non-profit Boards. He has also been on the Editorial Boards of leading academic journals, and has served as a consultant to a wide variety of businesses. Krishna Palepu is a researcher at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a fellow of the International Academy of Management. Professor Palepu has a masters degree in physics from Andhra University, a post-graduate diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, a doctorate in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an honorary doctorate from the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration

February 21, 2018


A Conversation with the Playwright

Tony Award® winner David Henry Hwang(Yellow FaceM. Butterfly) joins CPD and Center Theatre Group to discuss the inspiration behind his upcoming World premiere of Soft Power, which begins at the Ahmanson Theatre May 3, 2018. Discover how Hwang collaborated with Tony Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home) to translate China’s interests in achieving soft power into a new piece of theatre for Los Angeles audiences.

Co-sponsored by Center Theatre Group.

About David Henry Hwang

David Henry Hwang is a playwright, screenwriter, television writer and librettist, whose stage works includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. Hwang is a Tony Award® winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner, and a two-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. He is also America’s most-produced living opera librettist, whose works have been honored with two Grammy Awards, and he co-wrote the Gold Record "Solo" with the late pop star Prince. Hwang is currently a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair, and his screenplays include Possession, M. Butterfly, and Golden Gate.

He serves as Head of Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts, and was recently named Chair of the American Theatre Wing, which founded and co-presents the Tony Awards. A Broadway revival of M. Butterfly, directed by Julie Taymor, is slated for next season, and his newest play with music, Soft Power, with composer Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home), to be directed by frequent collaborator Leigh Silverman, will premiere in early 2018 at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre.

In 2016, The David Henry Hwang Society was founded by William C. Boles (Rollins College), Martha Johnson (University of Minnesota), and Esther Kim Lee (University of Maryland). The DHH Society is devoted to the scholarly examination of plays by David Henry Hwang. 


On-campus parking can be purchased for $12, and the closest parking structure to the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism is the McCarthy Way structure located on 34th Street and S. Figueroa Blvd.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018 -

6:00pm to 7:30pm



USC; Wallis Annenberg Hall Forum



Feb 20, 2018



CPD has a long-standing tradition of working with leading UK partners to provide content on all things public diplomacy. With the recent opening of USC's office in London, CPD compiled some of this shared content, from our upcoming event with the former head of BBC television news to a look back at the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Britain is known for international broadcasting through its premier service, the BBC. CPD has partnered with the BBC on a forum about soft power, and many CPD affiliates have written about the importance of this news agency.

CPD-BBC: Does Soft Power Really Matter? Read the abridged transcript from the CPD-BBC forum on October 2, 2014.Britain's International Broadcasting by Rajesh Mirchandani and Abdullahi Tasiu Abubakar. This issue of CPD Perspectives looked at the past and present of the BBC as well as a case study of the BBC Hausa Service.How to Make the News Better. On March 28, 2018, CPD will co-sponsor an event with BAFTA-Los Angeles and Selwyn College, Cambridge University to bring speaker Roger Mosey, former head of BBC television news, to USC.BBC Russian Wants to Expand, But It's Not So Easy by Kim Andrew Elliott. A look at an international broadcasting Cold War throwback.No, The BBC's Credibility Is Not in Jeopardy by David S. Jackson. A response to Gary D. Rawnsley's blog post about the BBC's credibility.The BBC at a Credibility Crossroads by Gary D. Rawnsley. In 2015, this author offered some words of caution for the British international broadcaster.



Although the official Brexit referendum happened in 2016, academics and scholars are still analyzing its potential effects for British public diplomacy.

Britain at a Diplomatic Crossroads with Brexit Blues by Nicholas J. Cull. A look at Brexit in a PD context.Brexit Britain: What Future for UK's Soft Power by Victoria Dean. The UK ranked 2nd in last year's Soft Power 30, but Brexit may change that in coming years.Brexit: Learning from China by Shaun Riordan. What can Theresa May learn from Mao Zedong?Boris Diplomacy, Or What Does Brexit Mean for British PD? by James Pamment. On Boris Johnson and Britain's post-Brexit soft power.The UK's EU Referendum and Its Lessons by Yukari Easton. Part I of a two-part analysis of the Brexit vote. Read Part II.


British Council

The British Council is one of the UK's most recognizable public diplomacy agencies, and CPD features content on their evaluation methods and more in order to bring you a trans-Atlantic perspective on public diplomacy. 

British Council on Evaluating Arts & Soft Power Programming by Ian Thomas. Learn how to measure the impact of soft power programming with the Head of Evaluation for the British Council.Distinguishing Cultural Relations from Cultural Diplomacy: The British Council's Relationship with Her Majesty's Government by Tim Rivera. This issue of CPD Perspectives emphasized that even though they both have "cultural" in their title, cultural relations and cultural diplomacy are not one in the same.Q&A with CPD: Sir Martin Davidson. A special interview with Sir Martin Davidson, KCMG, then CEO of the British Council.


Cultural Institutions: The British Museum and the V&A Museum

Museums have been important practitioners of cultural diplomacy, as was seen with the Cyrus Cylinder on display at the British Museum. Learn more about how CPD has worked with both the British Museum and the V&A Museum to bring you unique content.

Q&A with CPD: Martin Roth. A frank discussion with Martin Roth, the late director of London's V&A Museum, about the future of cultural diplomacy.Around the World with the Cyrus Cylinder: An Interview with John CurtisJohn Curtis, Keeper of the Middle East Collections at the British Museum, spoke to CPD about the role of cultural institutions in showing iconic objects.A Cultural Diplomacy Catalyst? The Cyrus Cylinder by Andrew Wulf. Inspired by Jay Wang and Naomi Leight-Give'on's blogs on the subject of the Cylinder, Andrew Wulf offered his own take.Can an Ancient Artifact Promote Contemporary Dialogue? Naomi Leight-Give'on. After CPD's event with Timothy Potts of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Naomi Leight-Give'on explored the Cyrus Cylinder in a modern context.Branding the Cyrus Cylinder by Jay Wang. According to CPD's Director, "While the Cylinder show underscores the enduring significance of the role cultural institutions, such as museums, play in fostering international dialogue through historical artifacts, it is also a story of successful branding."The Hajj Comes to London: A Step Forward for Cultural Diplomacy by Philip Seib. A look at why the exhibit "Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam" at the British Museum was feat of cross-cultural cooperation between Muslim nations and the UK.


UK Government Public Diplomacy

In addition to working with the British Prime Minister's Office, CPD has worked closely with the FCO agencies such as the British Embassy in Rome and Wilton Park, both in the creation of the Soft Power 30 report and for other events.

How to Become a Soft Power Superpowerby Tom Fletcher. Ambassador Tom Fletcher looked at how soft power resources can contribute to a nation's brand.Ambassador Tom Fletcher Speaks About Soft PowerWatch a discussion of the Soft Power 30 report and listen to which countries Amb. Tom Fletcher thinks will be important soft power players in the future.International Advocacy in the Digital Age, Workshop #2. Speakers at this CPD event included Danny Andrews, the Prosperity Counsellor at the British Embassy in Rome, Andrew Pike representing the GREAT campaign and Hugh Elliott, then director of communication at the Foreign Commonwealth Office.William Hague's Top 7 Contributions to British Public Diplomacy by James Pamment. A review of the British Foreign Secretary's PD legacy.Debating Soft Power at Wilton Park. At this CPD event, Chief Executive Richard Burge discussed soft power in action at Wilton Park, a global forum for strategic discussion.Public Diplomacy in Action at Wilton Park by Nicholas J. Cull. A recap of the third Wilton Park conference on public diplomacy in the UK.A New Era in Cultural Diplomacy: Rising Soft Power in Emerging Markets. A summative report of the proceedings at 2014 conference.


London 2012 Summer Olympics 

Learn how the Summer Olympic Games in London helped contribute to the UK's nation image in the following blog posts.

London 2012: Everyone's a Winner by John Worne. According to the author, "Before the Olympics, if you'd asked me where the UK would rank in Monocle’s annual 'Soft Power' Survey this year, I'd have hoped for a podium finish. After the Olympics...I am proud to find us carrying off the Gold."Culture Posts: Olympic Pageantry of Symbolism by R.S. Zaharna. This CPD Blogger warned that a pageantry of cultural symbolism would be on display at the 2012 London Olympics and noted that "[s]ometimes the most important messages in public diplomacy are the unspoken, symbolic ones."


Public Diplomacy in Northern Ireland

CPD's report on track two diplomacy, as well as Alison Holmes' piece on the U.S.' attempted role in the peace process, provide insights for anyone interested in the public diplomacy of Northern Ireland.

Gary Hart and Northern Irish Diplomacy: Public vs. Private by Alison Holmes. CPD Blogger Alison Holmes examines the U.S.' interest in Northern Irish politics.Public Diplomacy, Cultural Interventions & the Peace Process in Northern Ireland: Track Two to Peace? by Joseph J. Popiolkowski and Nicholas J. Cull, eds. Scholars, practitioners and witnesses to the peace process in Northern Ireland capture the transition in a series of essays.


Public Diplomacy in Scotland

From partnering with the Edinburgh International Culture Summit in 2016 to publishing content on Scotland's PD practices, CPD has had a keen interest in fostering relationships with this nation.

Cultural Relations: Moderating a Volatile World by Jay Wang. In the wake of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, how can we think about cultural diplomacy?CPD Is Knowledge Partner for Edinburgh International Culture Summit '16CPD went to Scotland from August 24-26, 2016.Independence Movements in Scotland and California by Markos Kounalakis. CPD Advisory Board Member Kounalakis on what gets lost when independence is gained.The National Theatre of Scotland's Black Watch: Theatre as Cultural Diplomacy by Nicholas J. Cull. In a report for CPD, Faculty Fellow Nicholas J. Cull explored this important aspect of Scottish public diplomacy.


Other Important Partnerships

Thanks to partnerships with BAFTA Los Angeles and the University of Oxford, CPD has been able to make a splash both at home and abroad. 

How Soft Power Is Transforming Statecraft. Chantal Rickards, CEO of BAFTA Los Angeles, was one of the panelists at our event co-sponsored by Town Hall Los Angeles.Digital Diplomacy in the City of Dreaming Spires. On June 2, 2017, CPD joined forces with the University of Oxford to bring together 16 doctoral students for a spirited discussion on digital and public diplomacy.


Images (from top to bottom):  Photo by Free-Photos I CC0Image via Wikimedia CommonsPhoto by MIH83 I CC0Photo by Biswarup Ganguly I CC BY 3.0Photo by Eric Pouhier I CC BY-SA 3.0Photo by Colin CC-BY SA 4.0 (Image was cropped & resized), Photoby Paul Hudson I CC BY 2.0Photo by Number 10 I Public DomainPhoto by Ben_Kerckx I CC0Photo by lino9999 I CC0Photo by Hraybould CC BY-SA 4.0 (Image was c



Feb 14, 2018


Corneliu Bjola

, Ilan Manor

On the 1st and 2nd of February 2017, the Oxford Digital Diplomacy Research Group (DigDiploRox) took part in The Hague Digital Diplomacy Camp. Organized by the Dutch Foreign Ministry, the Camp sought to explore the continuous influence of digitalization on diplomacy. The Camp brought together scholars and practitioners of diplomacy alongside representatives of social media companies, representatives from the technology sector, non-state actors, entrepreneurs and thought leaders. During the Camp, the Oxford Group held an open discussion on the practice of digital public diplomacy. The discussion emphasized MFAs’ need to transition from digital tactics to digital strategies.

Digital tactics may be understood as diplomats’ attempts to wield digital tools so as to reach large online audiences, to author online content that may go viral and to amass a sizable online following. Digital tactics are evaluated through simple engagement parameters such as the number of visitors to a website, the number of likes and shares on social media and one’s overall number of followers. Conversely, digital strategies use digital platforms to achieve a specific diplomatic objective. Digital strategies therefore aim to achieve a pre-defined and measurable goal. The goal determines the target audience while the target audience determines the platform to be used (i.e., social media, messaging application, augmented reality).

Within the realm of public diplomacy, digital strategies rest on a systematic utilization of digital tools and a transition from simple trial and error to campaign-based outreach. Importantly, digital strategies employ specific measurement tools and parameters to evaluate the efficacy of each digital public diplomacy campaign.

As discussed in the DigDiploRox session at the Digital Camp session, transitioning from digital tactics to digital strategies rests on four elements. The first is greater collaboration between MFAs and non-state actors. Digital environments are inherently competitive ones in which multiple actors aim to shape online discussions. To be effective amid such a competitive arena, MFAs must collaborate with non-state actors. Joint online campaigns with non-state actors can increase the reach of an MFA, make it more competitive in relation to other actors and enable it to reach specific audience groups. For instance, through non-state actors, MFAs can interact with and mobilize audiences that are passionate about a specific policy area (e.g., drilling in the Arctic, internet freedom).

Second, transitioning towards digital strategies necessitates a clear demarcation between public diplomacy activities and nation branding campaigns. While nation branding campaigns often focus on a country’s reputation, public diplomacy activities focus on engaging with specific audiences toward specific diplomatic goals. By conflating nation branding and public diplomacy activities, MFAs risk confusing vanity metrics (e.g., likes, shares, re-tweets) with achieving actual policy goals.      

Like traditional public diplomacy, digital public diplomacy also rests on two-way interactions between messengers and recipients.     

Digital strategies also use online activities to complement offline ones. For instance, online tools may be used to identify online advocacy networks. These can then be approached offline with the intent of coalition building. Next, coalition members can launch an online campaign aimed at shaping the conversation surrounding a policy area thereby achieving an offline policy goal. In this manner, the loop between online and offline diplomacy is complete. It should be noted that MFAs’ social media obsession often leads them to neglect other digital technologies that can be leveraged in public diplomacy campaigns, ranging from dedicated WhatsApp groups to crowdsourcing platforms where individuals can collaborate with state and non-state actors.    

During digital diplomacy campaigns, data analytics can be used to evaluate one’s ability to reach target audiences, to frame and shape online conversations, and the extent to which one’s messages resonate among core audiences. This requires a combination of both quantitative and qualitative metrics (e.g., number of comments elicited by online content, sentiment of online comments and the identity of audiences commenting online).

However, metrics are merely a proxy for evaluating the ultimate goal of any public diplomacy campaign—opinion and behavior change among the target audience. Notably, opinion and behavior change can only occur through meaningful online conversations between digital diplomats and digital audiences. Thus, like traditional public diplomacy, digital public diplomacy also rests on two-way interactions between messengers and recipients.     

Finally, digital strategies require a link between the MFA’s “front end” and its “back end”. The front end is comprised of those individuals authoring and disseminating online messages. The back end is comprised of those evaluating the efficacy of messaging through quantitative and qualitative metrics.

In summary, transitioning from digital tactics to digital strategies can improve MFAs’ public diplomacy activities in three ways. First, a reliance on digital campaigns, instead of random digital messaging, can enable MFAs to make the most of their limited resources. In any campaign, the majority of online content can be pre-authored and pre-scheduled. This frees up digital diplomats who can focus on the core activity of digital public diplomacy-relationship building through conversations. Second, digital strategies can help MFAs fine tune their digital priorities and abandon their social media obsession. The logic of digital strategies states that the quality of one’s online following is more important than the quantity of followers. Indeed, an MFA’s digital outreach should be measured by its ability to shape online discussions and obtain offline policy goals. Lastly, digital strategies rely heavily on the logic of networks which should be viewed as force amplifiers of digital public diplomacy activities

February 20, 2018

FATF Week from 18-23 February 2018

FATF Week from 18-23 February 2018




The FATF will meet for six days of meetings to discuss important issues to protect the integrity of the global financial system and contribute to safety and security.  The meetings will involve over 700 delegates from the 203 jurisdictions of the FATF Global Network, as well as the UN, IMF, World Bank and other partners.

The week’s meetings will conclude with the second Plenary meeting under the Argentinean Presidency of  Santiago Otamendi, on 21-23 February.  Among many other issues, the discussions during the Plenary will focus on:

Counter-terrorist financing: We will discuss a new counter-terrorist financing operational plan that will set out the actions the FATF will be taking in response to the changing terrorist financing threats. The new operational plan will provide a forward looking and comprehensive plan of action for FATF in tackling terrorist financing, which continues to be the FATF’s top priority.

Proliferation financing: We will discuss FATF’s efforts to help prevent UN-sanctioned entities from using the financial system to support their programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction. We will discuss new guidance to help public and private sector understand and implement the obligations of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions so that proliferation-related assets are frozen.

Iceland, Norway and Spain:  We will review the mutual evaluation of Iceland and the effectiveness of the country’s efforts to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing. We will review the actions that Norway and Spainhave taken to address the deficiencies identified in their 2014 assessments. We will discuss and update our statements identifying high-risk and other monitored jurisdictions.

FATF will discuss its engagement with the FinTech and RegTech sectors and future steps to support responsible innovationFATF Heads of Financial Intelligence Units  will discuss the issue of FIU independence and autonomy, and how to improve the quality of financial intelligence, including through the use of IT solutions

Jane’s Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Masterclasses

18 December 2017

Jane’s Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Masterclass. Register Now.

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is changing rapidly, with the exponential growth in the quantity and variety of publicly available information requiring OSINT analysts and teams to develop new skills, abilities, and knowledge, particularly in collating and analyzing the mass of information.

In a world of increasing misinformation and the weaponisation of open source information, OSINT analysts need to ensure they keep up with the changing environment without leaving themselves vulnerable to surprise and deception.

The Jane’s OSINT Masterclass provides participants with an understanding of the uses, limitations, opportunities and risks associated with the exploitation of open source information by teaching a structured approach that draws on Jane’s OSINT expertise. The Masterclass provides OSINT professionals with a comprehensive set of practical skills covering collection, monitoring, collation, and analysis of open source information, as well as production of effective OSINT reports and briefings.

OSINT Masterclass: Objectives

The OSINT Masterclass provides participants with an understanding of the uses, limitations, opportunities and risks associated with the use of open source information by demonstrating a tried and tested approach to gathering and analysing relevant and useful information. The Masterclass equips analysts and researchers with a structured OSINT workflow and the necessary practical skills to efficiently collect, monitor, collate, and analyse open source information – enabling them to produce high quality OSINT reports and briefings.

Key learning outcomes:

Masterclass participants will be able to:

Adopt a planned approach to conducting OSINT to ensure the outputs address the specific needs of the intended audience;Make the most of open source information research tools to locate, filter, and collect information and data more efficiently and effectively;Assess open source information for reliability, accuracy and potential biases;Search social media platforms and use appropriate social media tools for monitoring and analysing open source information;Derive meaning from disparate pieces of information, while mitigating the potential effect of common analytical pitfalls;Craft effective OSINT reports and briefings.

OSINT Masterclass Training Dates & Location:

24-26 January - Seoul20-22 February - London2–4 May - Canberra7-9 May - Wellington26-28 June - London10-12 July - Singapore9-11 October - Hong Kong23-25 October - London14-16 November - Singapore19-21 November - Mumbai

Pricing (per person)


(Discounts available for group bookings)

Course Delivery

The course is intended to be engaging, interactive, and practitioner-focused, leveraging case studies that are relevant to participants’ professions to explain the uses and limitations of social media as an intelligence source. Participant engagement is encouraged throughout, with regular short exercises and Q+A sessions. Course tutors have extensive professional backgrounds in the development and delivery of open-source information collection, collation, and analysis solutions, and provision of consultancy and thought leadership to customers on how to maximise the use of open source and social media information for investigative and intelligence analysis purposes.


Contact the Jane’s OSINT Training Team

E: Janes@ihsmarkit.com

T: EMEA +44 203 253 2300 APAC +60 42913735 AMER +1 303-858-6400

Please read the OSINT Training Cancellation, Postponement and Substitutions Policy. (PDF, 39 KB)

Balochistan: The Strategic Pearl

Dr. Khalil Ur Rehman,
Assistant Professor,
Department of Politics and International Relations
Qurtuba University of Science & IT, Peshawar Campus
Balochistan in the post-Columbian Age is central to the New Great Game because Central Asia is once more the Historical Pivot and a Heartland to the World Island i.e., Eurasia & Africa. It remains inaccessible to sea powers. The new transportation technology is decisive in reassertion by land powers in the Asia-Pacific region. The struggles in Eastern Europe (missile shield) and South Asia (Balochistan) are two indicators amongst many. Both regions are part of the Inner Crescent (Europe & Asia) to the Historical Pivot at the Gestalt level and are strategic routes to the Heartland whereas the Outer Crescent originates from North America goes through Atlantic, Africa, and the Indian Ocean and culminates in the Pacific Ocean. The coast lines of Pakistan, India and Iran are part of the Inner Crescent i.e., Rimland. In the Eurasian context, the Rimland is yet again critical for America. Moreover, the most prosperous and the largest democracies could have assisted the case of economic and human development; instead the two have added a neo-imperialist Raag Bhairvi to the Eurasian struggle for world domination. An aspect is the interference in Pakistani Balochistan.
Keywords: Balochistan, Gwadar Port, New Great Game, Eurasia,
Balochistan is the heart of Eurasian power struggle. It straddles Persian Gulf and Caspian Basin in time and space dimensions. It is an economic and strategic magnet. The struggle over it involving Great Powers is yet to conclude. The U.S. attraction for Balochistan is due to its virgin coast line, vast hinterland with nominal population, secular culture, untapped natural resources, Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, the naval base in American perception, failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, rising China, revanchist Russia, Iranian nuclear issue cum regime change and the ongoing covert operations against Iran. However, what is more dangerous, an attack on Iran or the nuclear Iran? It is all about the New Great Game, the New Cold War and Eurasia as a sphere of influence. Americans have a hypothesis, but are looking for a deduction—a dangerous assumption.
Balochistan’s tribal political economy is twofold. Resentment is its critical core. Other than contrabands owing to hardships of life, an important aspect of Balochi political economy is trade in narcotics, weapons and ammunition. Sub-surface dumping is dotted all over. The same is true for Afghanistan because during Soviet occupation drugs flourished whereas under Americans are bumper opium crops. Despite abundance, the prices have skyrocketed. The connection is the ongoing insurgencies. Success in an insurgency, flow of money and the availability of manpower are linked. An insurgency attracts weapons and ammunition like a magnet. Enough guns and suicide bombers are around. It is now beyond butter and ideas. In the post 9/11 world, an attractive and lucrative addition to Balochistan’s political economy is the operational human cargo. The logistics of Islamist insurgents stretching from Afghanistan to Iraq to Turkey and to East Africa is a reality.
The arrests in the border areas of Taftan Balochistan and Iraq indicated the trail of Islamists more than once. The smuggling of weapons and cigarettes went up in Kut and Nasiriya, and clashes between drug runners have increased near the Iranian border.1 In addition to others in Africa and Middle East, Balochi tribesmen in the border areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran are ideal for the transportation of human cargo. They made good money during the Iranian Revolution and so is the case in the post 9/11 world. The unwritten rules are made of something stronger than paper, may be even stronger than steel.2 The trans-geographic Balochi tribal bond is a linguistic, cultural and an ethnic fact. An ethnicity is like a centuries old tree. The branches may be all around but the trunk has a specific location. The trunk of Balochi ethnicity is Pakistani Balochistan. Branches are into Afghanistan and Iran. And demographics always mix like milk and water e.g., astride Durand Line. Balochistan is an epicenter of the regional and global power struggle. The discontent in Balochistan adds fuel to the fire. If not handled properly, it has the potential to lead Pakistan towards war. Pakistan’s domestic political situation is critical to that, as it was in 1971. Pakistan’s dissonance based pursuits have historically violated the rights of the smaller provinces as well. This history has come to haunt Pakistan once again. The cognitive dissonance has both domestic and foreign policy implications.
Both internally and externally, Pakistan is in for a long haul. Its claim to be the front line state in America’s “long war” has proved disastrous. It has generally been acknowledged to be madness to go to war for an idea, but if anything is more unsatisfactory, it is to go to war against a nightmare.3 And the new strategic naval postures of “from sea to land” suggest that the geopolitical themes of Mahan and Mackinder are still relevant to understanding the international politics of the post-Cold War era.4
The Caravan World
The Real world of Balochistan is that of armed tribal caravans carrying narcotics, weapons, ammunition and sometimes aristocratic Persian carpets and cigarettes as well. The security parameter of these caravans is in tens of kilometers. The number of vehicles and armed escorts could be in dozens, perhaps more. Secrecy, suspicion, deceit, treachery and distrust works. They come from hard school of life with a capacity to improvise. A world within themselves, they are secret cells. The combat psychology is unconventional. It is extremely violent. High intensity drugs are used to enhance fighting efficiency. They want to be like that. The application of force and violence generated is decisive. They know their land and withdraw at will to protect the consignments. In addition to the time and space dimensions, liberty of movement and action, correlation of forces and weapon systems; scouts and screens protect the load carrying main body.
Expensive cruisers with studded tires, satellite phones, hi-tech communication, telescopic assault rifles and mounted heavy weapons including long range have replaced camels, 7mms and 303s. Mobility is in their blood and culture. It is demonstrated in the employment of weapon systems. There are no good boys and men. They are hard edged tribesmen from the dangerous end of the Real World. On encountering, both objective and phenomenal experience is harsh, but sustainable. Against them, irrationality carries the day. Rationality has no role in the scheme of things. And integrity is irrationality (more precisely non-rationality). Pakistan provides the shortest possible route for the transportation of drugs to Europe and UK. The transactions are in pure gold and U.S. dollars. The financial benefits are more to the middlemen and transporters as opposed to the growers. The pick and drop is in tons and transgeographic  or the connection is trans-national. It is rather global. Much to the relief of the world’s richest and most militarily adept heroin traffickers, Afghanistan today is the largest heroin manufacturer in the history of mankind.5 And the Afghan mafia in southern Afghanistan has ethnic, family and business connections with the trans-national Balochi mafia. The linkages are centuries old.
Balochis in the Iranian province of Seistan are fighting Tehran since long whereas the strife among the Arabs and Kurds of Ahwaz and Iranian Kurdistan is a reality aided from Iraq. Iranians blamed the Anglo- Saxons and Balochi Jundallah with an Israeli connection for the suicide attacks in Seistan killing many soldiers and Revolutionary Guard Generals. Subsequently, the leader of Jundallah was captured and hanged by the Iranians. Historically, Balochistan is water logged and part of the conduit and a perceived geo-strategic and geo-political bridgehead as well. Merchants have joined hands. Balochi pride can not be understated. It has an impact on sociology, politics, economics and now on geo-strategy and geo-politics. The Balochi worldview is also that of a great gravitas and patience in the face of socio-economic and political reductionism. Given chance, the phenomenon speaks for itself. And tribesmen instead of protests and speeches pick up guns and go to the mountains.
The Strategic Environment
Whenever you approach a big event, the prelude to that in geo-strategy, geo-politics and geo-economics is the Strategic Environment made up of facts creating a climate. The detailed information is not needed because a situation is always a mixture of psychological, perceptual, strategic, political, economic and cultural facts in which any given policy or an event unfolds. Before going into specifics, the strategist should ask himself of the ambiance in the zone in which reality will disentangle. It is a Strategic Environment which one can cut with the sword. The richer the analysis, the more rational one would be. The strategic conception should always be logical and rational as opposed to the one based on instincts or intuitions.
The State of Pakistan has enough knowledge to infer, if it wishes to, that the misconduct in Balochistan is a threat to the federation of Pakistan. The quality has to be raised both in and out of colors. There are enough grounds for the enemies of Pakistan to exploit. The people of Balochistan understand the lifestyle across the gulf. One knows it and that is the reality. The facets are many and one is enough to bring the state down. The prevailing Geo-political and Geo-Strategic Environment in the region makes it more sensitive, and a threat to be reckoned with. Since the toppling of Shah of Iran, dissidents from Seistan-Iran sit all along Pak-Iran, Pak-Afghan and Iran-Afghan borders with trans-cis tribal and family connections.
Pakistan condemned the hearing and the subsequent resolution on Balochistan in the U.S. Congress. American perception is that Balochistan offers an alternative to contest Eurasia. The queen bee intends to sit in Balochistan, whether as part or not part of Pakistan. The move has to be quick due to increasing Chinese influence. The competition has intensified. It is an expensive affair. So far China has shown no sign of flogging. It is rather flexing its space, stealth and naval muscles. America is also courting India to increase its strategic space for the Indo-U.S. Entente has Eurasia in view as a sphere of influence. Resultantly, the 26/11 was an assault on the Indian consciousness. India should not complain while playing High Politics. Blaming Pakistan is being deductive as opposed to inductive. The Indianness of India is India’s cognitive dissonance.
Some high circles in New Delhi have questioned the wisdom of the dual faced policy of engaging Islamabad in peace dialogue while at the same time supporting insurgent activity in Balochistan.6 The closest thing to a major power supporting terrorism is India, because of what it may be doing in Pakistan in reprisal for Pakistani-supported activity in Kashmir.7 However, despite steps by Pakistan since 9/11, the Indian interference in Balochistan continues. The fact is that India has infiltrated significant number of agents into Pakistan.8 Balochistan is a Strategic Pearl because it is central to the New Great Game and the New Cold War. It is complex. There are many cooks in the broth. The political indecisiveness is dangerous. And common denominator is always weak. The late political move makes it irrelevant. The use of force turns local into regional, global and geo-political. It is a dilemma. All types of chickens are coming home to roost. Pakistan has become an attractive idea. The clash persists. It is yet to be resolved. Black gold, ethnic conflict, Islamic fundamentalism, civil war, Russian irredentism—the Great Game is back on for sure.9 It is all about minerals, metals, oil and gas. The struggle and the game go on. The New Cold War is fought with cash, natural resources, diplomacy, propaganda and Russia is building up its clout as an energy supplier, while diversifying its customer base.10
Americans wanted to bypass Russia in Eastern Europe but the Russian geo-economic and geo-strategic moves are a blow to American interests in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. However in South Asia, the Strategic Environment has exposed Pakistan to the Strategic Games of the Big League. It is to its disadvantage, that the location has become a burden. It is no more an asset or an aid. The U.S. efforts revolve around changing Strategic Environment in South, South West and Central Asia. It has ramifications. Afghanistan is a Big Game, Iraq never was. The game has become too deadly and has attracted too many players; it now resembles less a chess match than the Afghan game of buzkashi, with Afghanistan playing the role of the goat carcass fought over by innumerable teams.11 And Iranians are not neutral. It is a small world and the number of lords is on the rise. It will be found out as to who is the Big Dog. There is this shifting in the Westphalian systemic landscape. The sovereignty of nation-state is under attack in the context of intended post-Westphalian New World Order.
Will Pakistan knuckle under global and regional hegemony? The razorsharp strategic focus with a grip over details is needed. The suicidal instinct is part of Pakistani concealed wiring. It is micro of the macro e.g., Pakistan’s nuclear policy and logic is suicidal. The development of nuclear weapons and delivery systems reflects it. Pakistan’s enemies are superior conventionally and in depth. Pakistan is all length and no breadth. The strategic equilibrium is tilted in others favor. Yet, Pakistan will not simply go down fighting. The thesis is that if others do not pull back, then the nuclear catastrophe will take over. Only wisdom and restraint can deter such a possibility.
The Gwadar Port
In the early 1950s, Pakistan’s intelligence set up was located at capital Karachi. A Military Attaché (read: CIA) at the American Embassy contacted Pakistan’s Military Intelligence Directorate for permission and security cover to travel from Karachi to Gwadar. The embassy was informed about the absence of roads and related infrastructure but the CIA officer did not recoil and opted to travel on camels along with the security cover. Of course the technical information gathered about the coast line was shared with Pakistan’s Military Intelligence Directorate. The record reveals that the Military Attaché surveyed the area for three months. American interest in Gwadar dates back to the creation of Pakistan. The awareness has increased. Some realists and of course the neo-cons in U.S. have raised concerns about the range of Chinese connection in Balochistan with particular reference to Gwadar and its impact on the Persian Gulf and Central Asia. Along with ever-present Russians, new powers such as China, Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan have entered the arena, and transnational corporations (whose budgets far exceed those of many Central Asian countries) are also pursuing their own interests and strategies.12
The cancellation of the opening of Gwadar Port by the Chinese premier was meaningful. The conditions of Dubai Port had implications whereas other than the Hupchon Company of Hong Kong, China had lobbied for a Chinese firm, but Singapore Port Authority won the contract.
The forty year tax relief makes it a tax free port. The port was inaugurated by Pakistan’s President in March 2007. It became operational in December 2008. Pakistani decision makers are indecisive about the status of Gwadar Port. The unanswered question is whether it will be a feeder port or handling trans-national trade. The understating of trans-shipment gives advantage to Chahbahar, Salalah and Dubai ports endangered by the futuristic potential of Gwadar. Consequently, the houbara bustard is now a pan on the geo-political chess board.13
It synthesizes the Strategic Environment. The Sino-U.S. clash of interests over trade routes is risky. At stake is the trade corridor centred on Central Asia. And in Anglo-Saxon perception, what is China doing building roads, ports in Myanmar and Pakistan, connecting west and south west China with the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.14 The pincers are understood. The Eurasian power struggle involves Persian Gulf and the arc of Balochi territory stretching through Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. And some unrest is going on in Balochistan.15 The situation demands to be in harmony with time. Let’s not make it the failing of pride and honor. The honor and arms are linked in a tribal society. Balochistan is a pyramid like tribal society. The forlorn funerals become part of conscious and sub-conscious. The Balochi consciousness now carries yet another millstone of antecedents. It was a deliberate attack and a trial of strength. The belief was that the problem would be solved. It did not. A genuine politico-economic move is awaited. The insurgents are not responding to the overtures. Even the battered Jundallah is not willing to lay down arms, let alone the groups led by Baramdagh Bugti, Harbayar Marri, Javed Mengal and Dr. Allah Nazar.
The mind has to open up. The commitment is to be demonstrated. The thinking has to be critical. Lack of moderation is to be avoided.How could a multiple combination of weaknesses become so glaring? Everything over time has mixed up. The problems will keep recurring, but it is possible to arrange affairs within means and live honorably. Since perceptions remain critical, the statements emanating are not reliable in an unpleasant region. Military solution has costs, especially in domestic affairs. There is a failure to recognize the environment that exists. What mixture of domestic and foreign policy should Pakistan follow in relation to Balochistan? The art and alchemy is the right combination of politics and strategy. For Iran too, like Afghanistan, became a strategic rear base for India against Pakistan,16 since Iran helped India in Afghanistan. And India is a blunt geographic wedge in China’s zone of influence in Asia.17
Across the Indus, two militant salients of FATA and Balochistan have emerged to the dismay of Islamabad. It is all very fragile. Something extra ordinary is afoot. An inestimable storm is gathering. It is now diffusion and not confusion. Friction is inefficiency. Entropy is the wasting away of time. The winds are only friendly when one knows where one is going and how one is going. The uncertain domestic and external game can go up to a point and for limited time and not after that. That is why the ultimate task of statesmanship is to shape the future.18 Moreover, the prophet of realism holds his heart, whenever there are elections in Pakistan.
The question always was how to fill the gap? The thirst to fill the gap remains. It is a constant struggle. The disparity took Pakistan in different directions. And becoming a prisoner of rent is the heart and kernel of the problem. A bit of achievement led to more than one adventures. The denial accelerates the desire. The organizing principles of Pakistan’s domestic and foreign policies will have to be reoriented. For it has foundered in its orientation. The perception needs to be debated. An adjustment is required. One has to adapt to the reality. The pretending will have to be replaced. The situation is complicated and is not going to go away. It is unpredictable. It will not precipitate easily. And a dilemma is a stage where if you do you are dammed and if you don’t you are still dammed. If experience in Balochistan is anything to go by, the situation over the decades has been forced into local, regional and global dilemmas by those at the helm of affairs.
Furthermore, the vicious failure of political system haunts Pakistan. It remains unstable. It has become a suffering. There is an up swell of feeling of resentment. The dispensation is exposed. The political movie makers are equally bewildered. Nothing makes sense any more. The understanding of law is lacking. The breaking of law and its sanctity by government after government can go up to a point. It is difficult to reconcile. It has not sunk into some. Mind takes time to catch up. How should one see the Gestalt of whole tragedy in Pakistan? And there is no end in sight to the suffering.
Likewise a cascaded, made up and a close mind is blind to the passage of time. It refuses to be confused with the facts, be those phenomenal or otherwise. There is a stage when ones mind is beyond insight. It is a terrible state. The capacity to mislead one self is always there. One becomes victim too willingly. The situation is going to a stage where it will be muddy. The murkiness remains. To try to see a degree of clarity in a situation that is murky and to claim it is not is the denial of reality. The way events are shaping the things is touchy. The nemeses have caught up. The strategic equilibrium has limits. And the leadership does not have the capacity to realize that the world takes a round to come around, and the world has changed.
What is more the make-belief world is out of touch with the reality. Like in case of a sleep walker, a sense of unreality prevails. Why doesn’t the Pakistani mind turn to ask, how in a society time and again they repeat the same mistakes? The occurrences are same irrespective of leaders. What is the fault common to all? The growth, development and maturation that should accompany the rise are missing. Do they have in them to be leaders? Some qualities must be valued e.g., germs of leadership. To enter into their minds is not a problem, but the spell and hunger of power is sickening. The zone of proximal development perhaps lacks the systematicity and logic of adults. Everyone is part of the narrative. Everyone is discredited. An original leadership is required.
There is this difference between boys and men in the context of a call of a Higher Order. There is also this difference between rule and statesmanship. The latter does not come from rationalization, but stems from consciousness. An average mind suffers from insecurity, and makes a grab for power. And the problem with pathology is that it has no upper limits. There is no remorse. With eruptions in an unsettled Strategic Environment, assessment and determination is a difficult task including decision making. The numbers of crisis over the decades were numerous. What we see is the result of that build-up. Did they hold it in bag for some time? The present situation in Pakistan is bathos and bathos has anger. The slide is from sublime to triviality.
Similarly, the ancestral spirit has failed. The disintegration is not only philosophic and historic, but administrative as well. It is a failure at bottom and is fundamental. It is failure of mind and instincts at establishing linkages and connections. Any orchestration is based on composer’s capacity to see connections and linkages. And the capacity to see exclusive linkages in an apple garden is the essence. This failing is whether generalized or individual is the failure of a measure to see connection between unrelated things. It is always the ability to see connection that is vital. The failure to connect pits one against the reality itself.
The razor edge relationship is far from being clear e.g., the strikes on Salala Post or the curtain-raiser hearing and resolution in the U.S. Congress on Balochistan. It is an escalating Eurasian struggle and the rest are premises of the New Great Game. The championship is becoming interesting. The players are into finale. Like a Wagner’s High Drama, it is being played at the world stage. But the law of the unexpected continues to govern. What else one can do except letting it evolve. The savants understand. How can the Concert Master with its honorable consultant, allies, institutions, intellectuals, scholars, values and ideals commit errors of such historic proportions? How can one attribute brains? The ideas would be left out like scain. The capacity to convey is more effective if it is cold and logical.
Central Asia is up for a grab and Balochistan is critical to that. Other than the direct Indian, Iranian and European interests, America wants control of Gwadar Port and bases for the promotion of its trade and strategic interests while asking Pakistan to strategically distance itself from China. The strategic encirclement of China is part of perception. However, notwithstanding the continuing drone strikes, getting the Shamsi Base vacated sent the message in the reverse direction. No wonder, given the political will, Pakistan can be a Game Changer e.g., Pak-Iran-Afghan Summit or Pak-Iran gas pipeline.
Nonetheless, these are the times when this becomes that, therefore, integration is the name of the game. The passage of time is of essence because it can be greatest of all allies for it exerts control by conspiring in favor of one and against others. Pakistanis may define it anyway they like, but there is a situation. The issue is not law and order. It is lack of political participation and foreign intervention. And since there is a snowballing Luna Caprice connection to it, Islamabad can hope for the best, but it must plan for the worst. Moreover, there exists only one region in which all Great Powers are present i.e., Eurasia, particularly the sub-region of Central Asia; the first meeting place of China, India, Russia, the U.S. and the EU in history and here the gaps between Great Power rhetoric and the reality of their policy approaches are all too evident.19
Lastly, keeping in view the American perception of Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapon Capability and Terrorism, the New Great Game, the New Cold War, the revanchist Russia, the ascending China, Eurasia as a sphere of influence, and the elusive Strategic Pearl; the time has come not only to forge a new relationship with China but also to further the vindicated spirit of the architect of Sino-Pak relationship. This is Pakistan’s Defining Moment. If true potential is channelized, Pakistan will be a Great Nation. And justice is an ever fresh centre of gravity for it is Divine. Dispense justice and everything will fall into place. One should always tell the truth, but truth need not to be told, because, it is a jewel that shines by its own light.
Notes & References
1 Dehghanpisheh Babak, “Iraq’s New Guns for Hire”, Newsweek, 07 May, 2007, 31.
2 Robert Cooper, The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the Twenty-First Century, (London: Atlantic Books, 2004), 179.
3 Robert Jervis, American Foreign Policy in a New Era, (New York: Routledge, 2005), 51.
4 Dalby Dalby, “Political Geography and International Relations after the Cold War” in Globalization: Theory and Practice (ed.) by Eleonore Kofman & Gillian Youngs, (London: PINTER. 1996), 72.
5 Michael Scheuer, Marching toward Hell: America and Islam after Iraq, (New York: Free Press, 2008), 105.
6 Sergi Pyatakov & Mark Davidson, “Kishangarh linked to camps for sabotage in Pakistan”, Weekly Independent, March 03-09, 2005, 6-7.
7 Paul R. Pillar, Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy, (Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2001), 51.
8 James Farwell, The Pakistan Cauldron: Conspiracy, Assassination & Instability, (New Delhi: Pentagon Press, 2012), 229.
9 Robert Baer, Sleeping with the Devil, (New York: Crown Publishers, 2003), 136.
10 Edward Lucas, The New Cold War, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), pp.10-11.
11 Barnett R. Rubin, Ahmed Rashid, “From Great Game to Grand Bargain: Ending Chaos in Afghanistan and Pakistan”, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 87, No.6.
November/December, 2008.
12 Lutz Kleveman, The New Great Game: Blood and Oil in Central Asia, (London: Atlantic Books, 2003), 3.
13 Mary Anne Weaver, Pakistan: Pakistan in the shadow of jihad and Afghanistan, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002), 142.
14 “Heavenly Dynasty”, The Economist, March 31st to April 6th 2007.
15 Zbigniew Brzezinski, & Brent Scowcroft, America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy, (New York: Basic Books, 2008), 60.
16 Robert D. Kaplan, “Centre Stage for the Twenty-First Century: Power Plays in the Indian Ocean”, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 88, No.2, March/April, 2009.
17 Robert D. Kaplan, “The Geography of Chinese Power: How far Beijing can Reach on Land and at Sea”, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 89, No 3, May/June, 2010.
18 Henry Kissinger, On China, (Canada: Allen Lane: 2011), 13
19 Graeme P. Herd, (ed.). Great Powers and Strategic Stability in the 21st Century: Competing visions of world order, (London and New York: Routledge, 2010), 204.
COURTESY By: The Dialogue Volume  VI Number 1