Influence of hybrid warfare on security operations in Uganda
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The study explored how the Hybrid Warfare influenced Security Operations in Uganda. Hybrid warfare situations in sectors such as media, diplomatic, medical world have evolved in different perspectives with a thread of security related challenges. In Uganda, the advancing technologies have enhanced hybrid warfare using sophisticated techniques. The study was carried out in Kampala Capital City, Entebbe Municipality, and Luwero District. It covered a period from 2010 to 2021. It used both cross-sectional research and desk-based research to undertake this study. It found that in the era of hybrid warfare, medical aspects had been orchestrated in the guise of rampant outbreaks of different pandemics such as COVID-19. Uganda responded by forming the Inter-Agency Joint Task Force by the National Security Council with the purpose of supporting the State in managing and controlling of the epidemic. The State locked down the country and quarantined whoever was detected or suspected of having the disease. These soft power means of governance that aimed at limiting mobility but also involved heavy security deployment in all parts of the country to avert the spread of the disease. The imposed obligatory vaccination drive was undertaken after discovering various COVID-19 variants. The COVID-19 lockdown and quarantine measures stood out as soft power attributes that were both health-related and security-related. Uganda has adopted a hybrid anti-crime infrastructure using Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) as a core security operation platform to provide full time intelligence on crime across the country. Uganda had to switch off social media platforms during sensitive moments. These include during and after national elections like in 2016 and 2021. This is dubbed security operations. Uganda’s cyber-crime and attack demanded strong cyber-security measures to avert espionage and sabotage through internet. Uganda’s security agencies adopted the use of drones for security operations especially in surveillance. The unstable and volatile economic situation resulting from Western sanctions intensifies the weakening of the local currency against the US dollar and other international currencies. It ended up creating economic insecurity an example were the travel sanctions imposed on UPDF military officials by the United States’ government. This was hybrid warfare against the countries which challenge their unfair policies. The study recommended that the Ministry of Defense and its partners should re-affirm the role of the IAJTF in addressing these problems which affect all the sectors across the country. It should ensure adequate staffing of security personnel such as UPDF, UPF, Uganda Prisons and Local Defense Units (LDUs) and create an anti-crime infrastructure with a wide scope of surveillance using CCTV. Security agencies should work with the Ministry of information and communication technology (ICT), universities and scientific research centres to create secure platforms and systems with stronger firewalls to avoid cyber-attacks. International organizations and governments offering humanitarian aid to Uganda should reduce the stringent conditions.