January 28, 2008:
While the details of Chinese military plans
are secret, the general strategy isn't. The weapons, equipment and techniques
the military uses, as well as discussions in professional journals, makes it
clear how the Chinese plan to fight the United States in the next war. That's
how many Chinese military experts describe it. The U.S. is the principal foe,
and some kind of conflict is inevitable. All that may seem strange to
Americans, but for most Chinese, it's just the way it is.
China plans to disrupt the American
military, not destroy it. China takes for granted that they will be on the
defensive, and forced to deal mainly with American air and naval forces.
Methods discussed include attacks via the Internet (hacking and such) and
electronic warfare (jamming and deceptions). China has been very active in
controlling its domestic Internet users, and an increasing number of hacker
attacks on U.S. military targets are being traced back to China. There, the
government denies everything. Yet their professional journals talk about all
the opportunities in this area. There are similar discussions of electronic
warfare opportunities. In addition, the professional journals are full of
exhortations to develop insights into the details of how the American armed
forces operates, and adapt Chinese tactics to take care of any U.S. weaknesses.
This sort of thing is nothing new in
the history of warfare, and that's where the Chinese are coming from. The
Chinese are big on learning from the past. It has, so to speak, often worked in
the past. Chinese troops achieved some success with these traditional methods
during the Korean War (1950-53), but their eagerness for outthinking the enemy
has not resulted in any major battlefield successes for quite a while. Chinese
military commanders are eager to change that. Only an actual war, or another
revolution (that reveals their current secrets), will determine if the new
methods might work.