War and Competition. US Government narrowly relies on a platform-centric approach to national defense. Combat systems are the heart of American Super Power “power projection”. US commerce is protected by this. US diplomacy is furthered by it. Somewhere along the way USA lost allegiances. Chinese communist leaders jumped in and “bought them”. Winning is much about counter-competing for allegiances.
Collision of Experiments. China has been a 5000-year experiment in authoritarian hierarchical control of mankind. Europeans have been an experiment in colonialist and neo-colonialist control of the same target. By virtue of the Magna Carta origins of Great Britain, America, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, these have been experiments in the notion that people have the inalienable right to not be at the bottom of authoritarian and colonialist pyramids of power. Globalization then thrust together these three competitive philosophies. War was inevitable. China has been waging it. USA, for its part, has been a passive casualty of it, but not an active participant in it. The West and The Rest must speak for themselves.
One-Sided Warfare. China has deftly aggressed against The Five Eyes just short of a tipping point to retaliation or war. Off-the-radar, no-rules economic competition underlies the ability for the CCP to compete informationally, technologically, diplomatically, and coercively without inviting so much as a rattled saber. Chinese communists implement all possible competitive forms and formations of advantage as components of Total War. US leadership missed the boat with DOD service-driven, platform-centric power projection of combat systems to defeat and destroy things, with US businessmen and diplomats close behind. This mismatch between China full power and USA partial power is significant in terms of who now enjoys strategic advantage, gains, mass, and momentum. Old horses may buck in the saddle at being forced to change.
The Challenge. US Government and American Business leadership has proven it is not expert on China, nor is it expert in the nature of Modern Unrestricted Competition / Warfare. If it were, then we would not be in the mess we are now in. To presume that all that needs to be done is to “Stop China”, would be to cast a blind eye to fatal flaws within our own camp. The true test of America as the Leader of the Free World today, now and in the future rests on its integrity, conviction and diligence in ferreting out and fixing various flaws and failings from coast to coast and border to border. So also, in how America effectively deals with others around the world. At issue here is nothing less than determining what the next phase of the American Revolution will be in the 21st Century. We will have to fight and compete for this in new ways.
- USA and allies will have to catch up to CCP’s advanced concepts of “holistic competition by any and all means short of war”, as well as strategic advantage gained by this approach in the event of kinetic war. There are no short-cuts. The 1991 Chinese treatise, Unrestricted Warfare, needs to be read and inculcated. Link: https://www.oodaloop.com/documents/unrestricted.pdf
- China’s method is “effective war” and also “effective stage setting” for kinetic war.
- It is important to study in detail China’s Belt and Road Initiative as the center-piece of its economic “global reach”. Link: https://www.fdd.org/events/2020/05/19/chinas-global-ambitions-below-the-belt-and-road/#downloads
- Equally important is the use of networked Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as fixed forward bases / aircraft carrier battle groups for launching economic strikes, intelligence, subversion and exploitation operations. Link: https://thediplomat.com/2018/06/vietnam-mass-protests-expose-hanois-china-dilemma/
- This kind of study and analysis can lead to an improved understanding of CCP’s power, maneuver and manipulation methods, formations and indirectness from a US DOD, as well as a US business point of view.
- USA cannot reliably and enduringly get where it needs to go by just working harder along the same old pathways.
- Change is a strategic imperative, as USA is both conceptually and physically well behind where it should be.