Today Richard D. Fisher, Jr. and Bill Sweetman published an online article for Aviation Week titled Sizing Up China's Military Capabilities. Of interest to my readers might be the following:
It is no secret that long-term U.S. Air Force and Navy planning is focused on China...
A decade ago, many U.S. analysts were unimpressed by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)... By 2011, such hubris has given way to palpable concern...
The elements of this capability include:
Information attack. In the mid-2000s, U.S. intelligence agencies identified the Advanced Persistent Threat (APT), a pattern of cyberespionage largely traceable to China and aimed mainly at the U.S. defense industry and armed forces...
I really like to see organizations that are not selling digital security, but who are still defense experts, discuss APT!
Some of you probably think Aviation Week is part of the "create a new bogey man" strategy as we draw down forces in Iraq. Surely APT is just "yellow peril"? Think again:
In the Soviet era, it was commonplace for U.S. intelligence agencies to exaggerate Soviet capabilities and predict that new systems would enter service sooner and in larger numbers than actually happened. A consistent trend in analysis of China’s military capabilities is to do the reverse...
So how does the US military tend to think about the Chinese threat?
U.S. officials have tended to view this increasing A2/AD [“anti-access” or “area denial”] force through the prism of a potential conflict over the future of Taiwan or a contest for dominance in the Western Pacific.
In the event of a conflict, it is assumed the PLA would launch cyberstrikes against regional U.S. and allied military facilities and U.S. political and military leadership, while directing air, naval and special forces strikes against nearby American facilities in Okinawa and Guam.
Should Washington refuse to sue for peace, and deploy forces into the theater, the PLA would fashion joint missile, air and submarine strikes to deter or defeat naval and air forces.
I know the whole US military does not think solely in terms of Taiwan, but clearly the limited characterization of APT as "only" "espionage," and the "prism" of Taiwan show that too many people don't see the big picture.
On a related note, I look forward to reading this document:
China's National Defense in 2010.