Has anyone read the DOD’s 2007 report on China? Chapter Four begins with the following quote:
China pursues a three-step development strategy in modernizing its national defense . . . . The first step is to lay a solid foundation by 2010, the second is to make major progress around 2020, and the third is to basically reach the strategic goal of building informatized armed forces and being capable of winning informatized wars by the mid-21st century.
Six pages later and the subsection "Information Warfare" has four paragraphs, including a long quote (p21). Granted, C4ISR is at times discussed within those six pages, but three discursive paragraphs on Chinese IW.
This seems to indicate the Chinese do not truly grasp asymmetric warfare, contrary to the report’s assertion (p13). Secrecy and Deception (p14) gets about the same number of words as IW.
Some find the report interesting for what it says. I find it more interesting in what it does not say.
First, does this report really reflect the extent of China’s grasp of "informatized" war? Is informatized code for computer network operations and attack? I just don’t buy it.
Second, its odd that "unrestricted warfare" doesn’t appear once in this report? Have the Chinese moved beyond Unrestricted Warfare? I hope China doesn’t come up at next week’s Unrestricted Warfare symposium at JHU/APL. That could be awkward…
Third, is the exclusion of increased Chinese U.N. peacekeeping in the report (done, as stated publicly, including by the PM, as a tool of public diplomacy (links below) an oversight? Chinese PKO participation is an expeditionary education for China that is otherwise unavailable to them. Seems to be a significant element in expanding Chinese military reach, capabilities, relationships, etc.
Fourth, the absence of the first three don’t jive with one of the two pillars on which the report says Chinese strategy is based: Comprehensive National Power (CNP). CNP is much like the American concept of DIME (or MIDLIFE/DIMEFIL,etc, pick your anagram) with the significant exception that each element is measured in the Chinese model.
This report says more about our mirroring the enemy than a real examination of a future adversary who actively examines our mistakes. This is a good Cold War analysis, but this isn’t the Cold War.
See previous posts: