Chinese Responses to U.S. Military Transformation and Implications for the Department of Defense

Chinese Responses to U.S. Military Transformation and Implications for the Department of Defense

James C. Mulvenon
Murray Scot Tanner
Michael S. Chase
David Frelinger
David C. Gompert
Martin C. Libicki
Kevin L. Pollpeter
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 186
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  • Book Info
    Chinese Responses to U.S. Military Transformation and Implications for the Department of Defense
    Book Description:

    For the past decade, Chinese military strategists have keenly observed the changes in U.S. national strategy and military transformation. This report examines the constraints, facilitators, and potential options for Chinese responses to U.S. transformation efforts and offers possible U.S. counterresponses (particularly in light of whether Taiwan moves toward or away from formal independence).

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4081-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures and Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Summary
    (pp. xi-xviii)
  6. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  7. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    Chinese strategists have avidly consumed U.S. defense writings over the past 10 years and have keenly observed the changing nature of U.S. military strategy and force transformation. They have followed the emergence of networking concepts and corresponding investments. Commentary by Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) experts on Operation Iraqi Freedom suggests that Beijing believes the Pentagon’s efforts to transform toward network-centric warfare (NCW) are not just succeeding, but accelerating. Yet the concomitant acceleration of Chinese military modernization also suggests that the Chinese are not discouraged by U.S. transformation and military victories. Although military capabilities are not China’s highest priority, the...

  8. CHAPTER TWO Contextual Factors Shaping China’s Response Options
    (pp. 5-38)

    China’s choice of responses to DoD transformation over the next decade will be shaped and constrained by an interplay among China’s strategic goals and the political and economic context within which it pursues those goals. In this report, the termcontextrefers to the most important international, political, and economic challenges that China’s leaders will have to confront during the period when they are crafting their response. “Context” also includes the package of resources on which Beijing can draw in addressing these problems. This chapter focuses in particular on China’s available budgetary and financial resources, as well as its technological...

  9. CHAPTER THREE Chinese Counter-Transformation Options: A Methodological Introduction
    (pp. 39-44)

    To start, network-centric warfare rose up in contrast to platform-centric warfare, a tendency to design all equipment and operations around warfighting platforms: ships, aircraft, armor, and mobile guns. Every time a new capability was mooted it was evaluated by how it would enhance the warfighting power of the individual platform. Platforms were the pieces that were brought into battle; by counting who brought how many of which, one could calculate the correlation of forces, and get a sense of who would win.

    NCW shifts the focus from the individual platform to the overall network, or more specifically, to the information...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR Option One: Conventional Modernization ″Plus″
    (pp. 45-76)

    China’s military strategy has gone through an evolution since the PLA was founded in 1927. While People’s War still remains an important tenet in PLA warfighting, it has been supplanted by other strategies more suitable to waging war with high-technology weapons. As a result, China’s military strategy is no longer focused on luring an enemy in deep to overwhelm it with mass human wave attacks. Rather, the ability of modern militaries to conduct highly mobile operations and long-range precision strikes coupled with the recognition that China must meet the enemy away from its border to protect its vital economic and...

  11. CHAPTER FIVE Option Two: Subversion, Sabotage, and Information Operations
    (pp. 77-94)

    In the minds of the Chinese leadership, the available evidence suggests that the most important political-military challenge and the most likely flashpoint for Sino-U.S. conflict is Taiwan. In seeking to reunify the island with the mainland, however, it is important to note that China has a political strategy with a military component, not a military strategy with a political component. China would prefer to win without fighting, since its worst-case outcome is a failed operation that would result in de facto independence for Taiwan. Also, the leadership realizes that attacking Taiwan with kinetic weapons would result in significant international opprobrium...

  12. CHAPTER SIX Option Three: Missile-Centric Strategies
    (pp. 95-132)

    A possible strategy that China might pursue to counter U.S. military transformation would be a missile-centric one that seeks to present an overwhelming short-range missile threat to Taiwan, improve China’s offensive capabilities against U.S. bases in the Asia-Pacific, and give the PLA the capability to launch conventional strikes against U.S. strategic targets. Such an approach would be based on the calculation that enhanced missile capabilities would allow Beijing to increase its leverage over Taiwan and that U.S. apprehension about escalation might deter U.S. military intervention in defense of Taiwan, or at least limit U.S. intervention by discouraging the United States...

  13. CHAPTER SEVEN Option Four: Chinese Network-Centric Warfare
    (pp. 133-144)

    As previous chapters have argued, China can respond, if it so chooses, to the U.S. adoption of network-centric warfare in many ways. It can accelerate its conventional capabilities, enhance its ability to conduct irregular warfare, bolster its strategic forces, develop methods of countering U.S. networks directly, or adopt NCW itself. These responses are not mutually exclusive. One can buy more irregular and strategic warfare capabilities at the same time—but only if resources permit. Given limits on what China can invest in warfighting, they are competitive options, but not exclusive ones. To be sure, one would expect to see a...

  14. APPENDIX Enhancing or Even Transcending Network-Centric Warfare?
    (pp. 145-156)
  15. References
    (pp. 157-165)