Threat Matrix (database)

Last updated

Pakistan's location within Asia. Pakistan in its region (de-facto).svg
Pakistan's location within Asia.

The Threat Matrix is an intelligence-based measure and thorough assessments database program that Pakistani government officials and military science circles use in evaluating perceived external and internal threats that challenge the national security of Pakistan. [1] Development began in 2011 under the government of Prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani. The program identifies the military's operational priorities and goes beyond in comprehensively describing both existential and non-existential threats to the country. The Threat Matrix program is viewed to become a permanent fixture of the national security policy of Pakistan. [2]

Contents

The database's comprehensive existence was revealed by political scientist Dr. Farrukh Saleem in his work published in The News International in 2013, but it was earlier mentioned by the ISPR in a press briefing given to media. In his published thesis Saleem critically opined that the source of all existential threats has always been a state actor(s), not a non-state on, the armed forces. [1]

Program overview

Conventional threats vs. sub-conventional threats

"Sub-conventional threat is a reality and is a part of a threat matrix faced by our country. But it doesn't mean that the conventional threat has receded."

Maj. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa, director-general of the Inter-Services Public Relations ( Express Tribune, January 3, 2013). [3]

The Threat Matrix has two defined dimensions: conventional threats and sub-conventional threats. Conventional threats are external threats to national security from outside the country, and sub-conventional threats refer to internal threats to national security from within the country. [4] [5] In January 2013, Major-General Asif Salim of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) briefed the news media on new recent studies conducted by Pakistan military. [3]

According to the ISPR, the armed forces were programmed for conventional warfare but the current situation necessitated change, as the Forces fighting on the front-line in the tribal regions are now being program according to the requirements of sub-conventional warfare. [3] [6] In an interview military scientist, Talat Masood noted that before the new doctrine, India was viewed as "No. 1 enemy", but for the first time, it has been realised that Pakistan faces the real threat from within, a threat that is concentrated in areas along western borders. [3] The conflict in the northwest is closely tied to the War in Afghanistan, with factors like militant insurgency and future US pullout in Afghanistan having an intertwined effect on the conflict in Pakistan. According to Lieutenant-General Khalid Rabbani, commander of the XI Corps in Peshawar, the withdrawal of foreign combat troops from Afghanistan since 2014 may trigger some challenging ramifications for Pakistan in terms of the threat matrix of Afghanistan: "If they are leaving and giving a notion of success to the Taliban of Afghanistan, this notion of success may have a snowballing effect on to the threat matrix of Afghanistan." [7]

Along with the challenges posed at the western front, India still retains an important focus in threat assessments and Pakistan's civil-military foreign policy doctrine. According to an Express Tribune editorial, the potential threat of arch-rival India in the east has an effect on the state's threat matrix on the western front too: "The dwindling capacity of the state to cope with terrorism is owed to Pakistan's 'vigilance' on the eastern border from where Pakistan's static 'threat matrix' expects India to attack and occupy Pakistan because it never accepted the creation of Pakistan." [8] Harsh V. Pant of Outlook India thinks that Pakistan's fast-growing nuclear arsenal, expanding at a greater rate than India's. during a charged sociopolitical atmosphere in the country is rapidly changing the dynamics of the nuclear matrix of the region and tactically underscores the Pakistani military establishment's "India-centric threat matrix." [9]

In 2016, the Pakistan Navy revealed it was developing a "maritime doctrine" in response to an evolving conventional and subconventional threat matrix in the region of the Indian Ocean. The doctrine would aim to protect Pakistan's maritime interests in the region. [10]

Debates and rational thesis

According to J. Berkshire Miller of The Diplomat , "The military establishment in Pakistan, meanwhile, still views its Threat Matrix through an India-centric lens—Pakistan genuinely believes, rightly or wrongly, that India continues to work aggressively against its strategic interests through bribery and espionage in Afghanistan." [11]

In his comprehensive thesis, Minimum Deterrence: Pakistan's Dilemma, published at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) by the nuclear strategist and theorist Brigadier-General (retired) Feroz Hassan Khan states that "Pakistan's Threat Matrix dramatically changed" after the events of the 1971 war and India's nuclear bomb test in 1974. [12] The country's threat perception became "dominated by the twin threat of India's conventional force superiority and nuclear weapons capability," and "the acquisition of nuclear weapons hence became Pakistan's highest national security objective, with unanimity across all parts of the political spectrum. This was augmented by the strong perception that outside powers could not be relied upon in moments of crisis and war." [12]

The term also has economic connotations. For instance, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlined the downturn of the global financial crisis and its effect on Pakistan, especially in the context of the war against militancy: "this economic crisis, left unresolved, will create massive unemployment. It will upend governments, it will, unfortunately, breed instability.... I appreciated putting that into the context of the Threat Matrix, because look at Pakistan, a country that we know has to be stabilized for the benefit of not only South Asia, but beyond." [13]

Military exercise and programming

In June 2013, the Pakistan Armed Forces started a joint-war game exercise, codenamed Azm-i-Nau IV, in which the aim was to update the military's "readiness strategy for dealing with the complex security threat environment." The objective of the exercise was to assess military tactics, procedures and techniques in the event of an emerging threat environment, and explore joint operations strategies in response to combating the threat with all three branches of the military: the Army, Air Force and Navy. [14]

The exercise took place amid renewed fears of the situation in Afghanistan post-withdrawal of coalition forces in 2014 as well as the "continuing internal threat of terrorism and India's growing regional ambitions." The newspaper Dawn reported: "A senior military official said [the] war games were meant for coming up with a comprehensive response to all threats. He explained that the threat matrix was evolving and transforming. It includes both the internal challenge from terror groups of various shades and the conventional threat of external aggression." [14]

From 2009, the Azm-i-Nau exercises are aimed at preempting India's Cold Start doctrine and improving a joint armed forces response to any conventional threat. [15]

Scope

In a work published by Dr. Farrukh Saleem, the current Threat Matrix has five major elements: military; nuclear; terrorism; cyber and economic. [1] According to Saleem, the first two threats, the military and the nuclear, are existential in nature, as they threaten the "very basis of the state and its physical existence." [1] Existential threats essentially threaten the "unity, demography and integrity" of a nation-state, Pakistan. [1] The last three threats, terrorism, cyber and economic, are non-existential in nature because they are asymmetric in sense between belligerents that possess "unequal military resources and the weaker opponent uses unconventional weapons and tactics to exploit the vulnerabilities of the enemy." [1]

The government and military science officials describing the Threat Matrix program as legally and morally sound when a recent joint military exercises were conducted to rapidly respond to the threat matrix, which falls in the category of low-intensity conflict being confronted in some areas of the country. [16]

Soon after the revelation of the program to international media by the ISPR, the international media quoted the change of policy as in what is being seen as a "paradigm shift" in the country's policy. [17] [18]

However, Pakistani political science scholar, Ghazi Salahuddin, remains uncertain if this can be described as a "paradigm shift." [19]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pakistan Armed Forces</span> Combined military forces of Pakistan

The Pakistan Armed Forces are the military forces of Pakistan. It is the world's sixth-largest military measured by active military personnel and consist of three formally uniformed services—the Army, Navy, and the Air Force, which are backed by several paramilitary forces such as the National Guard and the Civil Armed Forces. According to Global Firepower, the Pakistan Armed Forces are ranked as the 7th most powerful military in the world. A critical component to the armed forces' structure is the Strategic Plans Division Force, which is responsible for the maintenance and safeguarding of Pakistan's tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile and assets. The President of Pakistan is the Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Armed Forces and the chain of command is organized under the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC) alongside the respective Chiefs of staffs of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. All branches are systemically coordinated during joint operations and missions under the Joint Staff Headquarters (JSHQ).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Indo-Pakistani wars and conflicts</span> Overview of the wars and conflicts between India and Pakistan

Since the Partition of British India in 1947 and subsequent creation of the dominions of India and Pakistan, the two countries have been involved in a number of wars, conflicts, and military standoffs. A long-running dispute over Kashmir and cross-border terrorism have been the predominant cause of conflict between the two states, with the exception of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, which occurred as a direct result of hostilities stemming from the Bangladesh Liberation War in erstwhile East Pakistan.

Strategic depth is a term in military literature that broadly refers to the distances between the front lines or battle sectors and the combatants' industrial core areas, capital cities, heartlands, and other key centers of population or military production.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pakistan Army</span> Land service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces

The Pakistan Army is the land service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces. The roots of its modern existence trace back to the British Indian Army that ceased to exist following the Partition of British India, which occurred as a result of the 1947 Indian Independence Act of the United Kingdom. According to statistics provided by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in 2021, the Pakistan Army has approximately 560,000 active duty personnel, supported by the Army Reserve, the National Guard and the Civil Armed Forces. Pakistani citizens can enlist for voluntary military service upon reaching 16 years of age, but cannot be deployed for combat until the age of 18 in accordance with the Constitution of Pakistan.

The Nuclear doctrine of Pakistan is a theoretical concept of military strategy that promotes deterrence by guaranteeing an immediate "massive retaliation" to an aggressive attack against the state.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2001–2002 India–Pakistan standoff</span> Period of military and political tension between India and Pakistan (Dec 2001 – June 2002)

The 2001–2002 India–Pakistan standoff was a military standoff between India and Pakistan that resulted in the massing of troops on both sides of the border and along the Line of Control (LoC) in the region of Kashmir. This was the second major military standoff between India and Pakistan following the successful detonation of nuclear devices by both countries in 1998, the first being the Kargil War of 1999.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tariq Majid</span> Pakistani general

General Tariq MajidNI(M) HI(M) LoH is a retired four-star rank army general in the Pakistan Army who served as the 13th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee from 2007 to 2010, the principal and highest-ranking military adviser in the Pakistan Armed Forces.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shaheen-III</span> Medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM)

The Shaheen-III is a Pakistani land-based surface-to-surface medium range ballistic missile, which was test fired for the first time by military service on 9 March 2015.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Noman Bashir</span> Pakistani admiral

Noman BashirNI(M) HI(M) SI(M) TI(M) LoM was a Pakistan Navy admiral who served as the 18th Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) from 7 October 2008 until retiring on 7 October 2011.

Cold Start is a military doctrine that was developed by the Indian Armed Forces for use in a possible war with Pakistan. It involves the various branches of India's military conducting offensive operations as part of unified battlegroups. The doctrine is intended to allow India's conventional forces to perform holding attacks to prevent a nuclear retaliation from Pakistan in case of a conflict. The first Integrated Battle Group is expected to be structured by the end of August 2019.

Pakistan's role in the War on Terror is a widely discussed topic among policy-makers of various countries, political analysts and international delegates around the world. Pakistan has simultaneously received allegations of harbouring and aiding terrorists and commendation for its anti-terror efforts. Since 2001, the country has also hosted millions of Afghan refugees who fled the war in Afghanistan.

The Hatf IX or Nasr, is a solid fueled tactical ballistic missile system developed by the National Development Complex (NDC) of Pakistan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Naval Strategic Forces Command (Pakistan)</span> Military unit

The Naval Strategic Forces Command, is one of the three major unified commands of the Pakistan Armed Forces responsible for the defence and protection of naval and naval-nuclear assets in the country. The command was commissioned on 24 June 2004, at Naval Headquarters (NHQ) after the concept was approved by then-Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Shahid Karimullah. The Naval Command is responsible for operational planning, directives, and deployment of nuclear weapons on its naval vessels.

Farrukh Saleem is an Islamabad-based Pakistani political scientist, economist, financial analyst, journalist and a television personality.

Minimum Credible Deterrence is the defence and strategic principle on which the atomic weapons programme of Pakistan is based. This doctrine is not a part of the nuclear doctrine, which is designed for the use of the atomic weapons in a full-scale declared war if the conditions of the doctrine are surpassed. Instead, the policy of the Minimum Credible Deterrence falls under minimal deterrence as an inverse to the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), which is widely regarded as designed to dissuade India from taking any military actions against Pakistan, as it did in 1971, when Pakistan started the war. Pakistan refuses to adopt No first use policy, while the other regional powers India and China had adopted the policy. Pakistan's foreign minister Shamshad Ahmad had warned that if Pakistan is ever invaded or attacked, it will use "any weapon in its arsenal" to defend itself.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Operation Zarb-e-Azb</span> Joint-military operation involving Pakistan against armed insurgent groups

Operation Zarb-e-Azb was a joint military offensive conducted by the Pakistan Armed Forces against various militant groups, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, al-Qaeda, Jundallah and the Haqqani network. The operation was launched on 15 June 2014 in North Waziristan along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border as a renewed effort against militancy in the wake of the 8 June attack on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, for which the TTP and the IMU claimed responsibility. As of 14 July 2014, the operation internally displaced about 929,859 people belonging to 80,302 families from North Waziristan.

Military exercises are conducted by the Pakistan Armed Forces to increase combat readiness, and to identify problems in logistics, training, and current military doctrine. They also test the ability of units to work together. Lastly, they act as a visible expression of military might, which acts as a deterrent to potential enemy action. An important component of each exercise is the after-action assessment. Since 1989 the four branches services have increasingly begun coordinated exercises.

On 23 June 2017, a series of terrorist attacks took place in Pakistan resulting in 96 dead and over 200 wounded. They included a suicide bombing in Quetta targeting policemen, followed by a double bombing at a market in Parachinar, and the targeted killing of four policemen in Karachi.

Bleed India with a Thousand Cuts is a military doctrine followed by the Pakistani military against India. It consists of waging covert war against India using insurgents at multiple locations. According to scholar Aparna Pande, this view was put forward in various studies by the Pakistani military, particularly in its Staff College, Quetta. Peter Chalk and Christine Fair cite the former director of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) explicating the strategy.

The New Concept of War Fighting (NCWF) is a military doctrine of the Pakistani armed forces coordinated by the army, air force with additional contribution by the navy. It is based on the Cold Star military doctrine of the Indian Army with uncertain additional concepts, tactics, and practices implemented by the Pakistan army. It was created after the Indian military created CSD doctrine. Likewise the Indian doctrine, NCWF is designed to carry out the operations, mobilization of troops and improving inter-services coordination in Indo–Pakistan related conflicts, the two countries that share the same military culture, tradition, and history based on the British India Army.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Dr. Farrukh Salim (10 February 2013). "Threat Matrix". Dr. Farrukh Salim, The News International. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  2. Shakil Shaikh (5 January 2013). "Corps commanders finalise terror war strategy" . Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 By Our Correspondent (3 January 2013). "New doctrine". Express Tribune, 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  4. Jamil, Mohammad (8 January 2013). "Pak military's operational priorities". Pakistan Observer. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  5. "Future Threat Matrix (National Strategy Paper: Non-Kinetic Challenges to the State of Pakistan)" (PDF). National Defence University, Islamabad . February 2012. p. 24. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  6. Joshua, Anita (3 January 2013). "Terrorists replace India in Pak. 'danger' list". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  7. "Corps commander interview: 'Perceptions of Taliban victory dangerous'". The Express Tribune. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  8. "Nawaz Sharif gets it right on India". The Express Tribune. 15 August 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  9. Pant, Harsh V. (16 February 2011). "The Changing Nuclear Matrix". Outlook India. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  10. "Pakistan developing maritime doctrine". Dawn. 6 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  11. Miller, J. Berkshire (12 April 2011). "The CIA's Pakistan Endgame". The Diplomat. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  12. 1 2 Khan, Feroz Hassan. "Minimum Deterrence: Pakistan's Dilemma (Small Nuclear Forces – Five Perspectives)" (PDF). p. 67.
  13. "Terrorists have found a haven in Pakistan, says US". Rediff. 19 February 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  14. 1 2 "Army opens war games 'Azm-i-Nau IV'". Dawn. Karachi, Pakistan. 4 June 2013. Archived from the original on 10 August 2013.
  15. "Pakistan Army to preempt India's 'Cold Start Doctrine'". The Express Tribune. Karachi, Pakistan. 16 June 2013. Archived from the original on 20 June 2013.
  16. Shakil Shaikh, Shaikh (9 January 2013). "Be ready to deal with any threats". The News International, military desk. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  17. Joshua, Anita (3 January 2013). "Terrorists replace India in Pak. 'danger' list". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  18. Brown, Hayes (4 January 2013). "In Huge Shift, Pakistan Recognizes Militants As Top Threat". Security think. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  19. Ghazi Salahuddin (6 January 2013). "The Heart of the Matter". The News International, Ghazi. Retrieved 8 June 2013.