Many a time we lose out on self belief and original thinking, due to the dimensions of a belief that society has forced upon us, of right and wrong, truth and untruth, of should be and shouldn’t be. We cull our hope and the multiple possibilities and castrate our endeavours to stay within the scope of being an example of idealism.
Today the role with humane values our elders played in mentoring and grooming us, has been taken over by social media. The exposure to a theme, a game play of perceptions, changing matrices of thought processes, leading the youth towards orchestrated achievable behaviours and patterns. Moulding them, placing them in a category of information warriors.
Embedding the virus towards a distinct desired thinking process. That helps an organisation or a movement. The reach is global, micro seconds in time, visuals and audio, can be manipulated, presented as truth and above all the best in the world have been incorporated to spread the agenda. Film stars, political entities, military leaders, technology giants, esteemed people of society etc.
Let’s look at the recent global events of manipulation. The biggest and silent propagator is Turkey, slowly radicalism and a strain of Ottoman type Islam (rule of the sword) taking over from the (heading towards modernisation) Saudi Arabia. Turkey is soon emerging as what Pakistan wanted to be, the premium Islamic state, the alpha of the Arab world. They have the military technology and the might, the political will, the exposure to war fighting and above all almost failed nations surrounding it.
They have taken over the mantle of being modern yet with Islamic beliefs. Even the strong secular military could not take on the mighty Erdogan who negated the military coup by addressing the people of turkey on facetime. The entire population was on the roads fighting the military for Erdogan. To appease the 95% Muslim population he resorted to religion, and used it to his advantage, the weakness of the masses.
Next is Israel, the war between Israel and Palestinians is nothing but a show of abusive strength in retaliation to fools with no agenda except harassment and inflicting huge losses on their own people in the form of Hamas. How many Palestinians actually empathise with Hamas is a question that needs to be asked. A few rockets calls for Israeli retribution that hits civilians and shelves the Palestinian economy. Asymmetrical application of means of war. Even survival is a humongous task.
The Israelis are more than willing to indulge, the present political situation of changing governments and the need for testing new weapon systems is met. Who needs a firing range and a test site, when Hamas is more than willing to play a target. The entire Jasmine revolution took away the focus from Israel and its centrality to being the Arab world's primary target. It gave them time to rethink strategy, build technology and means of war, draw out alliances.
The entire revolution ensured dissipated neighbourhoods. A win win. The complete war being broadcast, Israel actually claiming to have warned the people of Gaza before striking, giving them ample time to get away. TV Top War.
India is another boiling pot, too many events that have just cropped up simultaneously to hit at the very foundations of perceived good governance. The present incumbent being hit by the same media they used to get into power intelligently. It’s all about who uses this power of perception well. Events can exist, but their values can be manipulated. To suit the propagation, what you need to believe is what you show repeatedly, that tweaks the human mind into the easy way out, negating analytical skills and logical thinking, the agenda wins.
Why use your senses when you have readymade feeding. Conspiracy theories, blame it on China syndrome, opposition anti-nationalists, it’s a dirty game being played. COVID-19 doing more than killing people. It is killing the nation by diversifying ideologies. Used carelessly by the media.
Look at China the masters of Wuhan, no one blames them anymore for anything, in fact they offered help to India to fight COVID-19. They have seemingly fought the strain and have measures in place to deal with any wave. Even all their military assertions are not meeting headlines, whether it be Taiwan, Hongkong, Xin- jiang or Galwan. They have systematically crushed all opposition and no one is allowed an insight into their fortresses. Media control, strong rules on broadcast and above all fear of punishment.
The United States is in a confused state right now, it is all over the place. Retraction from Afghanistan, sorting out the Israel-Palestinian conflict, South China Sea, rejuvenating Russia, Covid 19 and a Biden who seems to be awkward and misplaced for presidency. The biggest problem in the US is that they actually want to believe that they are number one in the world, but then the political class for local appeasement have to look internally at unemployment, radicalism, fall of industry, natural disasters and above all the rise of racism. The free media isn’t helping, democracy is the prick.
People and their homes are now the target, perception management is the tool. Creating a hypoxia, forcing the human mind to look at information influxes to negate confusion, or a perceived reality through a make believe world being the game plan. Victory therefore is not going to be anymore in the military domain but in belief systems. You will win or lose the war even before it starts. Because the overflow of information of permutations and combinations and a predicted end state, with analytical applications of equipment, manpower and leadership set skills would be played on your screens.
Tantamount to you seeing the virtual picture of the most likely end state. Gruesome scenes of possibilities and eventualities, body bags, destruction of infrastructure, economical inviability. Just like the exit polls, the futility or the advantages of war being fed to you on your breakfast table. The prognosis of eco disasters, humanity and emotion. Extinction of resources, races, cultures, history and a probability of nuclear exchanges.
Winning the war even before the first bullet is fired. Show them what it will be like, help them decide, don’t blame us we didn't warn you, war is gruesome, destruction inevitable. Now you choose whether you want to fight, collaborate, compromise or mitigate. Huge armies won’t win wars, intelligent ones with the right mix of technology, systems and leadership will ensure deterrence at all levels. Are we there yet? Do we have a plan to get there? Are we encouraging and nurturing the skill sets desired? Is our training still focused on warfare of yore? Are we even thinking?
About the Author
The author is a military analyst and commentator on national security issues. Views expressed are the author's own and do not reflect the editorial policy of Mission Victory India