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Right Sizing the People's Liberation Army: Exploring the Contours of China's Military

Right Sizing the People's Liberation Army: Exploring the Contours of China's Military - Cover

Edited by Dr. Andrew Scobell, Mr. Roy Kamphausen.

September 2007

588 Pages

Brief Synopsis

This volume addresses how the leadership of China and the PLA view what size of PLA best meets China’s requirements. Among other things, this analytical process makes important new contributions on the question of PLA transparency, long an issue among PLA watchers. A great deal of emphasis has been put on understanding not only how, but also why a military modernizes itself. Some of the determining factors are national policies and strategy, doctrine, organizational structure, missions, and service cultures. While this list is not exhaustive, it does begin to paint a picture of just how broad and deep military interests run. It is important when we look at the structure and strategy for growth within the Chinese military that we see the world as China sees it. We need to see a world in which the “Taiwan issue” as well as that of North Korea and others are not viewed as short-term concerns, but fit into how China sees itself in a long-term leadership role in the region and in the world.


General John M. Shalikashvili

Part I: Framing the Issue

1. Introduction
Roy Kamphausen and Andrew Scobell

2. Framing the Problem: China’s Threat Environment and International Obligations
Michael R. Chambers

3. China’s National Military Strategy: An Overview of the “Military Strategic Guidelines”
David M. Finkelstein

Part II: PLA Strategic Systems

4. “Minding the Gap”: Assessing the Trajectory of the PLA’s Second Artillery
Evan S. Medeiros

5. PLA Command, Control, and Targeting Architectures: Theory, Doctrine, and Warfighting Applications
Larry M. Wortzel

Part III: The PLA Ground Force

6. “Preserving the State”: Modernizing and Task-Organizing a “Hybrid” Ground Force
Cortez A. Cooper III

7. PLA Ground Force Modernization and Mission Diversification: Underway in All Military Regions
Dennis J. Blasko

Part IV: The PLA Air Force

8. Future Force Structure of the Chinese Air Force
Phillip C. Saunders and Erik Quam

9. Right-Sizing the PLA Air Force: New Operational Concepts Define a Smaller, More Capable Force
Kevin M. Lanzit and Kenneth Allen

Part V: The PLA Navy

10. The Strategic and Operational Context Driving PLA Navy Building
Michael McDevitt

11. Right-Sizing the Navy: How Much Naval Force Will Beijing Deploy?
Bernard D. Cole

Part VI: The Wrap Up

12. The “Right Size” for China’s Military: To What Ends?
Ellis Joffe

About the Contributors

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