Weaknesses of the Chinese People´s Liberation Army (PLA) Military Transformation

Weaknesses of the Chinese People´s Liberation Army (PLA) Military Transformation

A joint report by the "U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission" and RAND Corporation has recently revealed that despite impressive gains in building up its military forces, China´s People´s Liberation Army (PLA) remains weak and is vulnerable to cyber-attack. 
Indeed, one of the sections of this paper provides an overview of Chinese military capabilities and weaknesses related to space, cyber-space, and the electromagnetic spectrum.

From the point of view of cyber-capabilities, the document states that the PLA is working to bolster its cyber-warfare capabilities and defenses, and could already employ them for intelligence collection, to delay an adversary´s response to its actions, or as a "force multiplier" alongside kinetic strikes.
But the PLA also faces some potential weaknesses in the cyber-domain. The Chinese military is unable to protect its interests in cyber-space due to "potentially serious shortcomings" both organizational and technological, the report said. 
Although most attention devoted to Chinese cyber-activities focuses on Chinese cyber-espionage and the theft of intellectual property, PLA analysts actually view China as potentially very vulnerable to enemy cyber-actions.

In the cyber-domain, indeed, the PLA clearly views itself as occupying a relatively disadvantageous position because of its perceived inferiority in the key aspects of "network military struggle" which include cyber-reconnaissance, cyber-attack and defense, and cyber-deterrence. 
This problem may become more pressing as the PLA increases its reliance on systems that will help enable it to become more informatized but that are also a potential weakness. This problem is likely to prove impossible to resolve completely, given that China sees offense as much easier than defense in the cyber-warfare domain. Consequently, as the PLA becomes more and more networked, it will become increasingly dependent on technology that is vulnerable to disruption, thus creating a potential weakness that an adversary could exploit.

Consequently, the PLA is placing a high priority on addressing its perceived weaknesses in cyber-space and can be expected to focus significant resources on continuing to improve its capabilities in this area.

Read the full report here:
http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR800/RR893/RAND_RR893.pdf

martedì 17 febbraio 2015
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