Throughout recorded history of both ancient and current warring conflicts, the mention of third party combatants as force multipliers or surrogates has been commonplace. Foreign auxiliaries date back to Old Testament biblical notations of ancient battles citing presence of surrogates among armies and recruited spies acting on behalf of ever-shifting masters. Historical references continue to litter texts with tales of the employment of procured tribal scouts, foreign corps, bodyguards, recruited and slave warriors from abroad, agents of influence, and mercenaries ranging from Pharaoh Ramses’ use of third party combatants to the 20th Century’s use of naïve adventure seeking mercenaries in Africa’s rebel brush wars.
Photo: 2011 Karachi, Pakistan. Attack on Police Station. "It is not difficult to identify the perpetrators of the proxy war, particularly in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, Balochistan and Sindh. The spy network in Afghanistan, created in 2001, under RAW, supported by CIA, Mossad, MI-6 and BND, has been targeting all the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, particularly Pakistan, and succeeded in turning the war against Pakistan, by the year 2005. Since then, our army is engaged in a running battle with our own tribals." http://www.opinion-maker.org/2011/08/proxy-war-and-politics-in-pakistan/#
Proxy and Irregular Warfare in 21st. Century
As third party combatant warfare strategy is examined in the context of today’s conflicts, the broad implementation of proxy warfare can be spotted as a trend, especially where the use of terror tactics are used on behalf of a tasking authority or social movement that wishes to remain unidentifiable. Wars of the 21st century now predominately use irregular warfare practices carried out by proxies to mask intentions and nullify advantages when stronger vs. weaker power status is concerned. More unconventional approaches can successfully blend the use of terrorism with other low-intensity small unit tools where conflicts maximize assaults against civilian populations to denigrate an enemy and damage a more conventional army’s morale and public tolerance causing greater “pull-out” attrition by a weaker force. Those involved in third-party support range from mercenaries hired by multinational companies and ideologically motivated terrorists, to newly developed hyper-sophisticated military-grade malware cyber attacks as the proxy battle space continues to morph and adapt to hide the directing aggressor.