April 2020This book is an attempt to look at 21st century warfare as if Sun Tzu were alive today and guided by the concept of information dominance (zhixinxiquan) in keeping with China's grand strategy: winning without fighting.
"Informationized operations (??? or xinxi hua zuozhan)" add a dimension that Sun Tzu never anticipated, but much of the thinking he demonstrated can be applied in a very practical sense to modern conflicts. This is not just a discussion of hacking into an adversary's computer systems to determine capability and intent, but the opponent's ability to use information strategically to shape the battle-space in a manner that increases the likelihood of victory with the least risk of discovery. Mastery of "integrated network electronic warfare (INEW)" is important because the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has not engaged in a major conflict since 1979, and its combat experience in high-tech war under informationized conditions is virtually nil.
The Strategic Support Force (SSF), is the branch of the PLA with primary responsibility for space, electronic, and cyber warfare. The Informatization Department in the PLA's General Staff Department (GSD) is responsible for developing, constructing, operating, and maintaining the PLA's nation-wide command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4ISR) system. The Technical Department (also known as the 3rd Department) oversees a vast infrastructure for monitoring communications traffic from collection sites inside China, possibly from embassies and other facilities abroad, and perhaps from space-based assets in the future. This is roughly the equivalent of the United States' National Security Agency (NSA). The Electronic Countermeasures and Radar Department (also known as the 4th Department) is responsible for radar-related joint operational requirements development and electronic countermeasures (ECM). Its priorities appear to include satellite jamming, counter-stealth radar systems and disrupting adversary communications, navigation, synthetic aperture radar, and other satellites.
The Strategic Planning Department is also a new addition to the GSD, having been created in 2011. It is believed that it signifies a serious PLA effort to envelop traditional and cyber-related war fighting capabilities, plans, and policies into a unified effort. Recent changes in the GSD's structure certainly suggest that the PLA is making organizational adjustments aimed at integrating C4, ISR, ELINT, SIGINT, ECM, cyber, etc. into an organic whole with the goal of developing a robust capability for integrated network electronic warfare (INEW) tailored to exploiting U.S. weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The wartime use of the GSD elements most directly involved in INEW would be orchestrated by the Operations Department (also known as the 1st Department in terms of protocol order). This department is responsible for current military operations, including management of the PLA's Joint Operations Command Center (in the Xishan suburb of western Beijing), airspace surveillance and air traffic control (ATC), border defense, and survey and mapping, hydrological, and meteorological support to current operations. (Its American counterpart is the Joint Staff J-3.)
The Training Department is engaged in the building of new types of combat forces. It optimizes the size and structure of the various services and arms, reforms the organization of the troops so as to make operational forces lean, joint, multi-functional and efficient. The PLA works to improve the training mechanism for military personnel of a new type, adjust policies and rules regarding military human resources and logistics, and strengthen the development of new- and high-technology weaponry and equipment to build a modern military force structure with Chinese characteristics.

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  • Publication Date: April 7, 2020
  • Text-to-Speech: Disabled
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  • File Size: 2,537 KB

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