Implications of Emerging Technologies on Intelligence Warfare


The thinking capability of the human mind has been evolving from day one. From the advent of wheel to creating powerful super computers and now moving towards the realm of artificial intelligence, the innovation shown by mankind is simply awe-inspiring. This advancement in technology has not only opened doors to unlimited possibilities but also has made day to day life more sophisticated and smart. Just like all walks of life, the technology enhancements are having a deep impact on the field on military modernization and intelligence warfare.  Traditionally,intelligence agencies have heavily relied on the human intelligence that was generated by on ground assets and moles planted deep in human territory and organizations. Some of the human assets also monitor the digital chatter of their potential targets either by planting listening devices or through the use of technology. The human assets also spend heavily on establishing an  informant’snetwork to further give credibility to their information. Apart from that, intelligence agencies also rely on the information shared by friendly countries. In recent times, through the use of modern technologies, agencies across the globe have been gathering information through open source. Given the importance of technology in national security, it is very important that all the stakeholders of national security align themselves with the evolving technologies that impinge on security and have long lasting impacts on the strategic framework. The use of big data and analysis in policy planning is extremely important. Without numbers crunched together into an algorithm to give future prediction, formulating a policy on national security issues is extremely important. Similarly, apart from future predictions, the emerging technologies can allow the government to monitor real time information from key areas like immigration counters at land, air and sea borders. This can help the government to create a database of individuals who are travelling and subsequently it can filtered under multiple headers like number of visits, number of days spent abroad, number of people travelling. Similarly the technologies can be used to predict cropping pattern or production levels based on historical data and analysis of current data. The core emerging technology used for this purpose is artificial intelligence (AI). AI is regarded as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which also includes the Internet of Things, genetic engineering, quantum computing, and so forth. Russian president Vladimir Putin once said that “artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all mankind. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will be the ruler of the world.” At the strategic front, the emerging technologies can be used to model multiple scenarios for war gamming and attacks on a country. The technologies powered by machine learning can be used with multiple variables to make an evolving scenario that learns from its mistakes and add more depth to strategy and levels of analysis. In short the use of emerging technologies in national security gives a distinctive edge over the capabilities of the adversaries. As we have seen that countries across the globe are investing heavily in emerging technologies. Most of the investments are going in to machine learning and artificial intelligence. This allows the countries to develop technologies that have revolutionized the intelligence warfare. Based on the aforementioned discussion the following implications can be charted: Emerging Technologies have allowed real time monitoring without any delays. The monitoring will impact the illicit trade carried out through internet and will also allow to trace back any illegal activity. Emerging Technologies will eventually reduce the number of on ground assets. The technologies will keep on evolving resulting in a sophisticated intelligence warfare. Countries with the best human resource available will be able to stay ahead of their adversaries.

The deep fake technology coupled with augmented reality is likely to be exploited in intelligence warfare. Pakistan is located in a geostrategic hotbed. Due to this a number of intelligence agencies operate inside Pakistan. This has been proven a number of times and due to this, Pakistan has also established a very strong network of intelligence within its borders and beyond. However, as more and more conflicts erupt across the globe, Pakistan is most likely to be caught up in great power rivalry. This has been witnessed through recent attacks on Chinese installments and personal in Pakistan. Even though the country has been extremely successful when it comes to conducting intelligence based operations against terrorists. However, the following things should be implemented on priority basis: A special emerging technologies authority should be made that is headed by an expert who is well versed with the latest research and development. There should be no shame in expanding intelligence network beyond borders. Pakistan should develop technological capabilities and deploy them in the international network. Pakistan can go for public private partnership for the development of emerging technologies. The use of emerging technologies should be made mandatory in conducting intelligence based operations within Pakistan. Artificial intelligence as a specialized subject should be taught at public sector universities. The top graduates from the program should be recruited into state service with market competitive salaries. All desk officers should be trained about emerging technologies so they can embed them in their analysis. Regular simulation exercises should be held to develop responses to scenarios that may or may not occur. Think Tanks should spearhead research on the global trends of emerging technologies. The current debate revolves on dual use technology items but emphasis needs to be paid on technologies that impact intelligence warfare. It is pertinent that emerging technologies are the future and will change the very nature of intelligence warfare. The number of human assets posted abroad will be reduced significantly as the technology will replace boots on the ground. Countries that are investing heavily in acquiring these technologies will be able to use intelligence to their advantages in years to come. Through the use of these technologies they will also be able to build a narrative that favors them.

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