January 27, 2006

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Fear not the red dragon

The armed forces of the United States and Taiwan can breathe a sigh of relief, for the People's Liberation Army has been defeated thanks to a lack of yellow sticky notes. The SCMP reports:

In rare criticism, the People's Liberation Army Daily has criticised the armed forces taking part in a major live-fire exercise for their lack of efficiency and failure to master the skills needed to wage information warfare. The criticism followed poor results from the recent Hanhai Storm exercises on the Kerqin grassland in Tongliao city , Inner Mongolia , according to the paper.

Three divisions, comprising about 50,000 troops, from the Shenyang military region took part in the four-stage exercises, in which the troops representing the PLA were defeated by the enemy Blue Army - believed to have simulated US battle techniques.

In the first stage, the Red Army was ordered to repel the attacking Blue Army. Despite its firepower being strengthened by the availability of six hi-tech aircraft, the Red Army troops were defeated because the army commander forgot to call in air support. The other three stages revealed the PLA officers were slow to respond and did not have a firm grasp of the advanced technologies needed to stage information warfare.

Antony Wong, president of the International Military Association in Macau, thought the exercises simulated a "ground battle" on the Korean Peninsula, with the Blue Army representing the US.

I know about the fog of war and all that, but forgetting to call in air support? Meanwhile, China's top military brass have something far bigger to worry about...they're getting audited:
The People's Liberation Army will audit the finances of more than 4,000 senior officers - including at least 100 generals - over the next five years, as part of its efforts to curb the misappropriation of funds and corruption...The audits were "aimed at improving the military's preparedness, strengthening senior officers' administrative abilities according to law, and [maximising] the military budget", Xinhua said.
Perhaps if the PLA unleashed its auditors on the battlefield, they may have a more effective military.

posted by Simon on 01.27.06 at 08:40 AM in the China military category.


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Seems to me to be a sign that the PLA takes its training seriously. Seems to me that this should worry the ROC armed forces immensely. I've commented more here.

posted by: MeiZhongTai on 01.29.06 at 01:38 PM [permalink]

The fact that the commander forgot to order air support is a sign of seriousness? As opposed to what, forgetting to show up entirely?

The fact the PLA was found to be incompetent in waging information warfare should cause Taiwan to worry? About what, where they will bury all the dead PLA soldiers who wash ashore after the failed invasion?

Of course, had the exercise gone well, MeiZhongTai and the rest of Beijing's amen chorus would be saying that was a sign of PLA's seriousness and formidability.

posted by: Conrad on 01.29.06 at 05:54 PM [permalink]

I think it should be very worrying to Taiwan (and anyone in a position to get in China's way should they choose to flex), do you honestly think a professional army will make such a grave mistake twice ?

All parties concerned will have learned a lot about how their system works when tested and it will now be a better system, i.e. harder to combat.

Moral of the story - start talking because fighting will not end well for anyone.

posted by: Hojuin on 01.30.06 at 09:02 AM [permalink]

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