by Nasser Kandil
Real psychological warfare is the truest expression of the balance of power between two opponents. Real psychological warfare is the one which goes through the minds and hearts of soldiers and officers on opposing sides of a conflict, and not the one which aims at influencing minds and hearts. A moment of confrontation of a different kind circulating in the hearts and minds of the opponents comes at the end of both opponents’ exertion of the utmost of their power to influence hearts and minds, and before the firing of arms.
It is this moment which provides a true sampling of the balance of power, which becomes even more evident at the moment of reciprocal fire exchange, and not at the firing from the sense of isolation and terror overtaking one of the opponents, as had occurred in Mazarih Shibaa and recurred in Sahl Al Khiyyam and Aita Al Shaa’b in the very few recent days.
The balance of deterrence based on the balance of terror, namely the terror of a bloody and costly war feared by both opponents, is greater than the balance of firepower. What
Al Mukawama established in the 2006 war, after having succeeded as a resistance force against an occupying army and forcing it to a humiliating retreat in 2000, was an equivalence in an equation consisting on one side of a higher ratio of elevated morale to a lower ratio of fire power, and a higher ratio of firepower to a lower ratio of morale.
In the current confrontation, Al Mukawama, following its achievement of a significant increase in its firepower capacity which has become equivalent to that of its opponent, is heading towards make a big change. The former equivalence it had established has now the possibility of transformation into superiority when the destruction accomplished by air strikes in a confrontation is compared to the destruction precision missiles are capable of achieving. In parallel, the chasm in morale has deepened with the big surplus in high morale on one side, and the profoundly defeated morale on the other. This means a transition from the balance of deterrence based on the balance of terror, to terror on one side and deterrence on the other.
A comparison between what has been consistently reflected in the Occupation’s state of being which includes its settlers, political leaders, and its army: officers, commanders, and soldiers, and Al Mukawama, her milieu, and surrounding interior, tells of an equivalence in the negative consequences of COVID-19 and of political and economic fragmentation. It tells of the Occupation’s desire for war, a desire in opposition to its internal conditions and unaccompanied by determination and capability, in absence of which “wear out” will be the leading descriptor, and everything will deteriorate and fall apart. It also reveals that on the opposite side,
Al Mukawama, who is considerate of its surroundings, and despite of what she possesses in terms of capability, morale, and cohesiveness in her supportive environment, decides that she does not want a war.
The absence of capability puts a restraint on the materialization of the desire for war, because all calculations reveal a fear of war by the Occupation at its popular, political, and military levels. Its counterpart, Al Mukawama, is confident that all will be in her favor, and that she will prevail, should matters slip into a war. In view of her capabilities, she is confident about her readiness to engage in a war and her ability to impose her will on its all fronts, when war becomes an inevitable certainty. For those reasons, she does not fear war.
The outcome of what we are witnessing by the minute, hour, and day of this rapidly developing scene is the real psychological warfare taking place in the hearts and minds of commanders, elites, and soldiers of an Occupation strongly desirous of a war but fearing it even more strongly, and its opponent totally undesirous of war and yet totally unafraid of it. A graph depicting battlefield conditions drawn through these points will reveal one section on the graph living a reality of terror, confusion, and hallucination, in juxtaposition to the other section living a state of confidence, security, and steadfastness.