Fighting an actual war is a good way to know the shortcomings of own’s military strength identifying areas of weakness and formulating battle strategies for future. What should Chinese military do to improve their battle preparedness?
Ben Kelley Strong interest in geopolitics and defence
Written Oct 13
Firstly fighting a war can be useful for learning but its a hard way to get lessons. It is touching the stove to find out its hot. War also means many many different things there are even different types of wars and as the US is finding having experience in one type may mean you are completely unprepared for another type and you shouldn’t have to go to war to find that out.
Spectrum of Military Ops - This isn’t the best graph the Marines have a much better one with literally maybe 100 different types of operations (and they leave off the nuclear stuff). But it illustrates the concept. Also ignore the slogans they are of no importance.
军事行动的图表 - 这不是最恰当的图表----海军陆战队的图表会好的多，因为他们可能有100种行动(不包括关于核武器的)----但它能表明这种概念。忽略掉上面的标语，它们不重要。
Training and exercises is only one aspect. Domestic and international humanitarian assistance is another. Environmental operations are another. Peace keeping is another. As the US knows winning a war can be easy and done in days. Keeping the peace can be nearly impossible and take decades with no effect.
One thing China is quickly learning is solving problems is hard and peace keeping is hard. China is currently up to their eyeballs in the Sudan. Depending on who you talk to there could be a few thousand Chinese troops to around a million (China puts '700000 troops' on Sudan alx). That may sound like a lot but the Sudan is in all sorts of trouble and its quite likely that a million personell are not enough.
Why China is South Sudan’s best hope
Why the Stakes Are So High for China in South Sudan
China reacts to the death of two peacekeepers in South Sudan with grief and rage
The Sudan is a warzone/genocide park/hell hole. China has invested a lot in the Sudan and the Sudan has a lot of oil. But not even the amount of Oil the Sudan has could tempt the US to getting involved it literally ran away from that.
So China has invested billions into a place that may very well continue to be a mess. The US actually is very positive in supporting China in the Sudan and would love to see China take leadership and try to solve some of the issues.
What China hopes to achieve with first peacekeeping mission - BBC News
So its through missions like this through join military exercises such as the joint USMC Australian Army and PLA exercise held in Australia. While its small steps activities like this help build direct connections solve communication issues help all sides understand command and common codes of conduct etc.
From these type of activities you could easy see how all three nations might work together or alongside for a humanitarian mission in the future within the region.
China has also got into RIMPAC in a big way this year (as it did in 2014).
With 5 Ships and 1200 Personnel China Expands RIMPAC 2016 Naval Delegation
So China does appear to be taking serious steps in improving its military readiness. While this is still different from war experience it is far more relevant as its highly likely Chinese forces will meet and have to work alongside US and Australian and other allied forces in the future.
Timothy Soh Interrupted
upxed Aug 19
Okay I'm going to say this. Information is scarce on the north western front but the Chinese-Myanmar border has online sources.
The Chinese security forces (the People's Armed Police not the territorial army) have frequent clashes at the border with illegal immigrants or insurgents. There are scant details on this but I heard about this talking to Hui Chinese travellers in Thailand.
Apparently the border between the -stan countries and China often see trespassers entering into China (yes it's fenced up). Some of them are herders crossing boundaries somehow. Others are Islamist militants entering China.
The Men and Women Who Fight China's 'Anti-Terrorist' War <- Read this.
From another Foreign Policy report Chinese security forces see an increase in militants despite arresting many. Apparently they stream in through broken fences. Every now and then they will cause trouble China uses flamethrower to hunt Xinjiang 'terrorists' | The Japan Times
The People's Armed Police is responsible for border security. Because of the border fights many of these police officers have more combat experience than your regular PLA soldiers.
I am not sure if the PLA is capitalising on this opportunity to have regimental volunteers rotate on such border details in order to gain operational experience.
Some may think that mere border bandits or insurgents may not be equal to a conventional foe. But an insurgency can test logistics as we found out.
How do you move logistics towards an area of conflict that is constantly shifting? It isn't like a frontline that moves back and forth in a single direction. Insurgents (small units) can appear from different directions.
Don't forget how much blood the Chechnyan rebels cost the Russians or how Boko Haram could drive Nigeria's military away. Recall that he US itself has been fighting a Low Intensity Conflict for a while now.
Yes there isn't space for the PLA navy to play a role in the north west. However the air force has a pretty vital role especially the use of helicopters to move troops to checkmate insurgents.
Insurgency isn't a small matter and as we learned it can push your army's operational ability to the brink.
Cheng Cheng Chinese
Written Aug 1
They can’t that’s a very expensive experience to acquire.
Here’s a joke in China:
Question: Why we still do this Soviet style military parade on Tian’anmen square every tens years while United States did none?
Answer: As a matter of fact they do but not on the square not every ten years instead they do it every single year on the battlefield all over the world.
I mean no offense to U.S armed force and veterans I respect their sacrifice to their country as I respect ours. US armed forces have enormous realistic combat experience over PLA on every level but the real question is how much does it cost to obtain “actual combat experience” and how much experience is enough to prepare the next war.
U.S. armed force has been proven to be very effective in limited warfares and regional conflicts since first gulf war but never contested in a major maritime warfare. No one knows what a modern maritime warfare looks like how anti-ship missiles electronics satellites plays when contested by comparable counterparts what’s the dogfight of stealth fighter jets looks like (or will there be dogfights?) etc.
Laurance Kenneth Robinson British Army (TA) 2003-2007
Written Jul 31
Laurance Kenneth Robinson英国陆军（TA）2003-2007
Actual combat experience is only gained during actual combat.
Even realistic exercises have that element of 'fakeness' to it that will blunt the training. Whilst rigorous exercises using live ammo laser systems etc. will help show up faults in your organization they will never replace the complete chaos that ensues during actual combat.
Also China has been taking part in UN peacekeeping operations. These operations help especially when deploying larger numbers like the 700-strong battalion recently deployed to South Sudan. These operations help show up flaws in logistics and in organizations or certain formations. They can also be invaluable in creating a well versed cadre of NCOs and Officers.
I hope this helps.
Mark Oakley US Army Engineer Officer with enlisted experience.
Written Jul 31
Mark Oakley 具有丰富经验的美国陆军工程师。
To gain combat experience you must be in combat. It’s that simple. While you can work to make training as realistic as possible it is impossible to recreate the chaos and visceral response that comes with combat.