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Information Warfare: Pakistan Digs A Deeper Hole


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Strategy Page

October 5, 2020:

Pakistan is in trouble again for supporting an organization that carries out attacks on the United States, or tries to. In this case it’s not Islamic terrorists but a detachment of the Chinese SSF (Strategic Support Force). This is a branch of the Chinese military that was created in 2015 to control Cyber War, space-based communications and IW (electronic warfare) activities. To the Chinese all three of these activities are intertwined. Westerners agree but none have an organization like the SSF. In part that’s because much of what SSF supervises is, according to international law, illegal. This includes theft of IP (Intellectual Property) via Internet hacking. China disagrees and sees their information theft as enhanced when these activities are closely integrated with the development of space-based communications and new IW technology and techniques. SSF does have a legitimate purpose, to monitor space, Internet and electronic traffic worldwide to collect and analyze information for Chinese military and political leaders.

To the Americans the SSF is a major player in the Chinese worldwide Internet based espionage effort. Allowing an SSF facility in Pakistan is, to the Americans, another unfriendly act by Pakistan.


The American aid to Pakistan has been declining since 2014 as it became more obvious that Pakistan was actively hosting and directly Islamic terrorist groups that were attacking Americans as well as Afghans and Indians. Pakistan is still receiving some aid, as in $350 million for 2019 and $4.8 billion from 2014-2019 but not much in 2020. Pakistan is now receiving far more cash from China in the form of economic investments. China is the largest foreign supplier of weapons to Pakistan and Pakistan is the largest export customer for Chinese weapons.

Pakistan want so have it both ways but the Americans are no longer cooperating and the SSF base is a major reason why.

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