Summary: Attention swirls around North Korea (the DPRK), capturing the attention of Washington. But the situation might differ from its press clippings. China often leverages the DPRK’s bellicose and deviant behavior to its advantage. While the DPRK persists in its missile-rattling, we should not ignore China pulling its puppet’s strings to create a diversion to distract our attention from its campaign against America’s interests. This is classic 4GW, “war by other means.”
Books discussed in this article.
- Defeating Jihad by Sebastian Gorka (2016).
- Sinoland: The Subversion of Freedom’s Bastion by John Poole (2016).
- War by Other Means: Economic Espionage in America by John J. Fialka (2017). See chapter one.
Dr. Sebastian Gorka (Wikipedia), Deputy Assistant to President Trump, in his book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War categorically states (p 120) “Today no nation or other group poses a direct existential threat to America and the whole of Western civilization except the Islamic State.”
Regrettably Gorka with Clausewitzian fixation dismisses North Korea as being “constrained by demographics, economics, and its far more powerful northerly neighbor China.” Perhaps this is not necessary the case if one takes time to look behind the Chinese curtain, as John Poole suggests in his most recent book, Sinoland: The Subversion of Freedom’s Bastion.
Poole holds that our national security apparatchiks need to be more aware of China’s quest for global influence and the threat it poses to U.S. national security interests. Poole challenges the conventional wisdom of Washington’s ruling elites derived from brindled political expediency and sound-bite gravitas.
To be certain, North Korea has everyone’s attention, signaling the possibility of a destabilized Korean Peninsula. That might be more of a problem for China than for U.S. But, than again maybe not!
Relegating China’s role in the North Korean flap to the attic of our thinking is perhaps exactly what the Chinese want, desire, and have skillfully engineered. Such a problem in Korea might be just the diversion and/or distraction China needs to finally acquire its offshore province. The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) South China Sea protection strategy gives them a strong base from which to project power.
“Anyone who commits the American Army in the Asian mainland should have his head examined.”
— Attributed to General MacArthur.
“Rule 2 of war …: ‘Do not go fighting with your land armies in China’. It is a vast country, with no clearly defined objectives, and an army fighting there would be engulfed by what is known as the Ming Bing, the people’s insurgents.”
— Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery to the House of Lords on 30 May 1962 (Source here).
Poole contends China is indeed a threat characterized by increasing expansionism and a highly deceptive modus operandi. This is a 4th Generation Warfare (4GW) approach (described in Unrestricted Warfare by Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsu) to war which includes some non-martial aspects of a “war by other means” that are just as lethal as conventional and/or nuclear war to the U.S.
John J. Fialka’s prescient book, War by Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft, devotes four chapters to the Chinese threat. Sinoland describes this threat in detail asking the question: How prepared is the U.S. to handle such a hostile Chinese strategy leveraging, economic, political, environmental, information, martial, and non-martial domains?
Sinoland lays out the Chinese revolutionary plan for the U.S. — a grand strategy by China that pretends to help other countries and assist the U.S. The Chinese leadership has literally “hidden” its plan in plain sight. China seeks a dominant global role to facilitate nurturing and expanding the PRC itself. The Economist reveals China’s growing empire of ports around the world. Sinoland uncovers how such Chinese actions though seemingly peaceful are a “war by other means” seriously impacting U.S. national security and interests.
Sinoland presents an unvarnished look at Communist China’s trajectory in an ongoing 4th Generation Warfare (4GW) campaign against the U.S. This campaign has a long-term pathway. We must keep in mind the Asian sense of time is far different than ours.
According to Poole there are over 30 different subcategories of war by other means currently being applied within our borders from what the People’s Liberation Army has been calling “Unrestricted Warfare.” Read Sinoland for a candid perspective rather than the corybantic howling of Washington’s bureaucrats—whose track record at best is abysmal. Read Sinoland for a true understanding of the threat posed by China’s “Unrestricted Warfare” attack on the U.S.
About the author:
Colonel G.I. Wilson retired from the Marine Corps after 30+ years of military service, including several combat tours. Today he teaches for the Administration of Justice Department of Palomar College (San Marcos, CA). Also, he has consulted for ABC-7 Los Angeles, Knowledge and Intelligence Program Professionals KIPP), and the Emergency Response Research Institute (ERRI). See his education and publications here. His posts on the FM website are listed here.
For More Information
Articles about North Korea.
- “The Next Korean War: Conflict With North Korea Could Go Nuclear — But Washington Can Reduce the Risk“, Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press, Foreign Affairs, 1 April 2013.
- See articles about North Korea by various experts at the website of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
- Important: Looking ahead to the final chapter of the North Korea story.
- Should we expect another war in Korea?
- The real reason for America’s hostility to China.
- Stratfor: China builds a new Silk Road for the 21st century.
The books discussed here.