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Chinese: Network-Centric Warfare a Weakness

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By Allan Holmes August 30, 2007

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For about a decade, the Defense Department has pursued the military strategy of network-centric warfare, the idea of using computers to deliver strategic real-time information to the battlefield and commanders in war rooms. The Chinese think this is a soft underbelly that can be exploited to its advantage, according to an article posted yesterday by The International Herald Tribune. From the article:

[U.S. and other foreign military analysts] cite articles and reports in Chinese military journals and magazines that suggest attacks aimed at extracting intelligence from enemy computer networks or disrupting communication and signals processing could deliver a decisive military advantage.

"It is part of China's concept of unlimited war," said Philip Yang, an expert on the Chinese military and professor of international relations at the National Taiwan University.

"The idea of unlimited war means employing all possible means including nontraditional or nonconventional means in the aim of winning the war."

The article goes on to state, "Chinese defense planners also view cyber warfare as a means of undermining the technological edge of American forces," according to a June report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

This may not come as big news to U.S. Defense strategists, but the recent tensions over allegations that the Chinese military hacked into computer systems operated by the German government has increased worldwide interest in China's interest in cyberwarfare and its intentions.

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