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Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

31st August 2018 13:40:12 Hours

Responsive Military Approaches to Violence Discussed

‘Role of the Military in Response to Violent Non-State Actors in a Destabilized International System’ was the sub topic 3 in the Session 1 on Day - 2 proceedings under the theme, ‘Political Extremism’ at BMICH where the flagship of the Army ‘Colombo Defence Seminar - 2018’ Sessions are continuing.

Major General Roger J. Noble, Deputy Commanding General - North, United States Army Pacific, Australia presented a comprehensive account of observations under the above topic to the Sessions on the Day - 2.

The Real World of 2018 with its complexityis faced with contemporary challenge of violent extremist organizations as we have witnessed in the past and the need has arisen to look to the future for possible futures and the rate and nature of change.

“One of thekey 21st century issues is the implication of the information age with diverse thoughtswhere enduring components of any successful counter suggests strategies. The US regards nothing is simple.Regional &global complexity aretwo major areas of concern.

Allies and partners magnify U.S. power and extend U.S. influence. They share our interests and responsibility for resisting authoritarian trends, contesting radical ideologies, and deterring aggression, Major General Noble added.

Referring to ‘Rogue States’ interested in nuclear proliferation and technological proliferation, he referred to non-state actors who are seasoned with violent extremism.

“It would appear we have reached the limits of what is possible to achieve with computer technology.One should be careful with such statements; they tend to sound pretty silly in five years,” he predicted.

“This merger of man and machine, coupled with the sudden explosion in machine intelligence and rapid innovation in gene research and nanotechnology, will result in a world where there is no distinction between the biological and the mechanical, or between physical and virtual reality”.

“The great fusion of technologies is impelling the domains of politics, economics, the military, culture, diplomacy, and religion to overlap each other. The connection points are ready, and the trend towards the merging of the various domains is very clear. All of these things are rendering more and more obsolete the idea of confining warfare to the military domain. In unrestricted warfare, there is no longer any distinction between what is or is not the battlefield. Spaces in nature including the ground, the seas, the air, and outer space are battlefields, but social spaces such as the military, politics, economics, culture, and the psyche are also battlefields. These characteristics of Unrestricted Warfare mark the watershed between it and traditional warfare, as well as the starting line for new types of warfare,” he explained quoting several world leaders.

In June 2018, IS released its smallest number of official visual propaganda since tracking in January 2015. From the high-point (August 2015) to low-point (June 2018), there was a 94 percent decrease.

Countering violent extremism will continue to require whole-of-government (diplomatic, political, economic, and security) approaches to eradicate evolving threats. Multinational cooperation and collaboration is the key to defeating the transnational threat in a connected world.

The shift in national power may be overshadowed by an even more fundamental shift in the nature of power. Enabled by communication technologies, power will shift toward multifaceted and amorphous networks that will form to influence state and global actions. Those countries with some of the strongest fundamentals GDP, population size, etcwill not be able to punch their weight unless they also learn to operate in networks and coalitions in a multipolar world, he opined.

Indeed, the primacy legacy of the Internet, for all its promise and all its brilliance has been a capacity to give ugly, idiotic and reprehensible views a platform they never had before. Even the Nazis, about whom Rosanne seems to know so much, had to work for years before they could infiltrate mass culture with their poisonous lunacy. Any public figure these days needs only an iPhone and a bottle of Jack, he remarked.

As Secretary of Defense Mattis in January 2018 said “Alliances are key to American success. In my past, I fought many times and never did I fight in a solely American formation. It was always alongside foreign troops,” he concluded with a positive note.