THIS refers to the news ‘Security policy sees economy as pivotal to stability’ (Dec 28). Better late than never, one must say. At last, the realisation has dawned upon the civil/military leadership that national security lies in the economic strength of a country, and, that much is clearly stated in the National Security Policy (NSP).
Colonialism, widely despised in the 21st century, still exists in many parts of the world. The only difference is that its façade has changed; rather than advocating physical conquest or occupation of a state, it propounds economic capitulation as the best instrument to weaken the national security of a country.
A large military backed up by a strong arsenal, including nuclear weapons, cannot ensure national security. The collapse of the Soviet Union vindicates the argument. Countries like Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden, etc., possess skeleton military force, but have hugely successful economies. As a result, these nations enjoy enormous clout in the international community. Japan and Germany disbanded their military machine after World War II and have become economic powerhouses and are now driving the global economy.
By having an effective force, more resources can be diverted towards building up the economy, educating the population, developing skills and harnessing technology.
Today, the competition between nations is not in terms of the number of military personnel, or the number of tanks, aircraft or nuclear weapons, but the number, and, indeed, the quality, of professionals.
Eventually, the excellence achieved in technology would determine which nation turns out to be the winner. In that sense, the NSP is a step in the right direction.
Erum A. Baig
Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2022