In the current world order, countries no longer wage war by going to the fronts, preferring new warfare techniques that appear humane but yield more brutal results. We can also call them asymmetric wars, in other words unconventional war tactics.
What is Asymmetric Warfare?
Asymmetric warfare, unlike traditional armed conflict, refers to the inequality of power and opportunity between the parties. In asymmetric warfare, one side is much stronger than the other, or has an advantage in conflicts with the forces of the other side.
The balance of power between these parties influences the structure, tactics and results of the war. Asymmetric wars occur in conflicts between multinational forces and local groups, terrorist organizations or non-state actors. Such wars involve the difficulty or inability to employ the tactics traditionally used in armed conflict because of the differences between the parties to the conflict.
Characteristics of asymmetric warfare
Asymmetric wars also have the ability to change the current order of society. Here are the most notable features of asymmetric warfare.
The main characteristic of asymmetric wars is the balance of power between the parties. One side is much stronger than the other side or has an advantage in conflicts with the armed forces owned by the other side.
Asymmetric wars involve the difficulty or inability to employ the tactics traditionally used in armed conflict, due to the power imbalance between the parties to the conflict. These parties use different tactics, such as acts of terrorism, propaganda, cyber-attacks targeting governments or the private sector.
Asymmetric wars can bring different causal riches between the parties in addition to the power imbalance between the parties. One party may have strategic resources that the other does not have or have access to.
Asymmetric wars not only affect each other, but also other countries and peoples around the world. Asymmetric wars can jeopardize international security, economic stability and human rights.
Asymmetric wars can be very complex due to the power imbalance and different causal riches between the parties. This brings challenges in resolving conflicts and predicting their consequences.
The global situation of asymmetric warfare
Asymmetric warfare is common worldwide and can be seen in many countries. Asymmetric wars are generally defined as local or regional conflicts, and these conflicts can cause the deterioration of the balance of power within the country or the deterioration of the international balance of power.
For example, the Taliban’s struggle with the US and other international powers in Afghanistan is an example of asymmetric warfare. Likewise, the fight of terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS) is an example of asymmetric warfare.
Asymmetric wars can also occur when a country fights against other countries or groups. For example, the asymmetric war strategies developed by North Korea against South Korea and the US are one such example.
Asymmetric wars can affect the balance of power between countries and world peace and threaten international security. Therefore, solving and preventing asymmetric wars is a global priority.
Causes of asymmetric warfare
The following reasons, alone or in combination, can lead to asymmetric warfare. It also determines the dimensions and qualities of asymmetric warfare.
- The poverty of the country, the economic superiority of other countries or the lack of domestic resources.
- Reasons such as discrimination, inequality, injustice or human rights violations.
- Reasons such as lack of democracy, corruption, mismanagement or conflicts within the country can lead to asymmetric warfare.
- Their strategic priorities, security needs or international alliances.
- At the same time, cultural differences, religious beliefs or conflicts between cultures are also among the causes of asymmetric warfare.
What is Unconventional Warfare?
Instead of fighting with regular and large units, they are wars fought with smaller and functional units to inflict heavy casualties on the enemy, to demoralize and exhaust the enemy. We can examine it in three main groups as stabilization operations, psychological warfare and unconventional warfare. In military terminology, it is expressed as a low-intensity conflict.
What are examples of asymmetric warfare?
Asymmetric warfare began to manifest itself more intensely with the September 11 attack. The twin towers bombed by the al-Qaeda organization can be cited as an example of this kind of war.
Although this type of war, which is usually chosen by the weak side in fighting against the strong side in wars, is often used by the strong states, it is mostly preferred by the weak powers. Weak states, in particular, resort to asymmetric warfare to justify themselves and put their adversaries in a difficult situation by using human rights and international media influence to justify themselves.
Asymmetric warfare constitutes a psychological operation in its application. Cold war, psychological warfare tactics of that period are used quite often. Psychological operations based on propaganda and information warfare can take place in the blink of an eye without the need for a war environment. It is also possible to perform psychological surgery with an uncertain source. This is usually done by lesser forces.
Why do asymmetric wars happen?
Asymmetric wars can occur when a country is at war with other countries or groups, or when the balance of power within a country is disturbed. At the same time, reasons such as human rights violations, economic inequality and political oppression can also lead to asymmetric wars.
In which countries do asymmetric wars take place?
Asymmetric wars can be seen in many countries around the world. For example, the Taliban’s struggle with the US and other international powers in Afghanistan is an example of asymmetric warfare. Likewise, the fight of terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS) is an example of asymmetric warfare.
What are the consequences of asymmetric wars?
Asymmetric wars can affect the balance of power between countries and world peace and threaten international security. At the same time, it can have a negative impact on people’s daily lives and human rights.
How can asymmetric wars be resolved?
The solution of asymmetric wars is based on the solution of social, economic and political problems. It is also important to resolve conflicts through dialogue and agreement between the parties.