Chinese Responses to U.S. Military Transformation and Implications for the Department of Defense
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Over the past decade, Chinese military strategists have keenly observed changes in U.S. national strategy and military transformation. The acceleration of its own military modernization suggests that China is not dissuaded by U.S. military prowess but instead is driven by a range of strategic and military motivations to keep pace. This report examines the constraints, facilitators, and potential options for Chinese responses to U.S. transformation efforts, especially with respect to whether Taiwan moves toward or away from formal independence. The authors focus on four areas of counter-transformation options that China may pursue (which most likely would include all or portions of each strategy): Conventional Modernization “Plus”; Subversion, Sabotage, and Information Operations; Missile-Centric Strategies; and Chinese Network-Centric Warfare. The path China takes will depend on its key national security goals and the political and economic context within which these goals are pursued. That said, the authors offer possible U.S. counterresponses to such courses of action (e.g., planning defensive measures, augmentation of network-centric platforms) and emphasize that the ultimate “victor” of transformation will be that nation with the best combination of surprise, error control, fortune, and highly trained people.
Table of Contents
Contextual Factors Shaping China’s Response Options
Chinese Counter-Transformation Options: A Methodological Introduction
Option One: Conventional Modernization “Plus”
Option Two: Subversion, Sabotage, and Information Operations
Option Three: Missile-Centric Strategies
Option Four: Chinese Network-Centric Warfare
Enhancing or Even Transcending Network-Centric Warfare?