In the old days, wars were fought using armies standing face to face, such as in the first world war. Then came the aeroplanes and the jets, which allowed wars to be fought in the air, and far inland from the front lines, as was seen in the second world war.
Fast forward to the 1980s and the US invented another form of aggression — asymmetric or unconventional war. In this, the attacker brainwashed and trained ‘predisposed individuals’ using ideologies such as religion and nationalism and surreptitiously sent them to attack the enemy’s civilian or military targets.
Pakistan, which was the US’ chosen partner in perfecting the asymmetric war against the USSR, soon became the most successful practitioner of the strategy. It became so successful that it was even able to use it to torment its former mentor using outfits such as the Haqqani Network.
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