China introduces us to the future of warfare (asymmetric)

Summary: This series about China’s perspective on geopolitics and strategy begins with an excerpt from one of the most important and most underestimated textbooks about modern warfare, published in 1999. The following posts have excerpts from a recent speech by one of the authors, now a Major General in the People’s Liberation Army. These give a glimpse into the future that the US military, glutted with money from the fantastic growth of the military-industrial complex, refuses to see.

Unrestricted Warfare
Available at Amazon.

 

One of the key texts describing 4th generation warfare is Unrestricted Warfare, published in 1999 by Qiao Liang (乔良) and Wang Xiangsui (王湘穗), both Colonels in the air force of the People’s Liberation Army. They describe the 1997 attack by western hedge funds on the currencies of Southeast Asia as an example of this new generation of warfare.

Not mentioned but fitting in their paradigm is America use of economic sanctions as a weapon, which we have done with increasing frequency: against Iraq, against Burma, against Russia, and especially against Iran — hampering its trade and cutting Iran off from the world’s financial machinery (e.g., the SWIFT interbank money transfer system).

America’s military has largely ignored this book, as hegemons usually do when rivals develop asymmetric tools to circumvent their power. We exult in the superiority of our super-sophisticated (and super-expensive) carriers and  aircraft, while they use their imagination to devise new paths to victory.

Excerpt

When people begin to lean toward and rejoice in the reduced use of military force to resolve conflicts, war will be reborn in another form and in another arena, becoming an instrument of enormous power in the hands of all those who harbor intentions of controlling other countries or regions. In this sense, there is reason for us to maintain that the financial attack by George Soros on East Asia, the terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy by Usama Bin Laden, the gas attack on the Tokyo subway by the disciples of the Aum Shinri Kyo, and the havoc wreaked by the likes of Morris Jr. on the Internet {in 1988 created the first computer “worm”}, in which the degree of destruction is by no means second to that of a war, represent semi-warfare, quasi-warfare, and sub-warfare, that is, the embryonic form of another kind of warfare. …

Economic Warfare

Financial War

Now that Asians have experienced the financial crisis in Southeast Asia, no one could be more affected by “financial war” than they have been. No, they have not just been affected; they have simply been cut to the very quick! A surprise financial war attack that was deliberately planned and initiated by the owners of international mobile capital ultimately served to pin one nation after another to the ground–nations that not long ago were hailed as “little tigers” and “little dragons.”

Economic prosperity that once excited the constant admiration of the Western world changed to a depression, like the leaves of a tree that are blown away in a single night by the autumn wind. After just one round of fighting, the economies of a number of countries had fallen back ten years.

What is more, such a defeat on the economic front precipitates a near collapse of the social and political order. The casualties resulting from the constant chaos are no less than those resulting from a regional war, and the injury done to the living social organism even exceeds the injury inflicted by a regional war. Non-state organizations, in this their first war without the use of military force, are using non-military means to engage sovereign nations.

Thus, financial war is a form of non-military warfare which is just as terribly destructive as a bloody war, but in which no blood is actually shed. Financial warfare has now officially come to war’s center stage — a stage that for thousands of years has been occupied only by soldiers and weapons, with blood and death everywhere. We believe that before long, “financial warfare” will undoubtedly be an entry in the various types of dictionaries of official military jargon.

… Today, when nuclear weapons have already become frightening mantlepiece decorations that are losing their real operational value with each passing day, financial war has become a “hyperstrategic” weapon that is attracting the attention of the world. This is because financial war is easily manipulated and allows for concealed actions, and is also highly destructive.

———————– End Excerpt  ———————– 

Other Posts in this series

Text and analysis of an important speech by Major General Qiao Liang of the PLA.

  1. The American Empire, as seen by a Major General of the PLA.
  2. A Chinese general judges America’s leadership of the world economy.
  3. A Chinese general sees a ruthless America striving to contain his nation’s growth.

Globe and China Flag

For More Information

For more about economics seen from China’s perspective: A new world comes, probably one with no place for our “lords of finance”.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about Russia and about China, especially these…

  1. A China briefing from one of the West’s best-connected experts.
  2. The big question for the world: is China growing, slowing, or in recession?
  3. George Magnus explains events in China: no collapse, but serious problems.
  4. Stratfor describes the growing Russia-China alliance, allies against us.
Advertisements