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Learning by Doing: The PLA Trains at Home and Abroad

Learning by Doing: The PLA Trains at Home and Abroad - Cover

Edited by Mr. Roy Kamphausen, Dr. David Lai, Mr. Travis Tanner.

November 2012

399 Pages

Brief Synopsis

To better understand the PLA’s ability to employ its developing capabilities in a variety of potential scenarios, this year’s workshop examined how the PLA learns by doing, specifically through its exercises and noncombat operations at home and overseas, and through key logistical and theoretical developments. Key findings are: 1) recent PLAN exercises and operations point to an increasing interest in developing expeditionary naval capabilities and a presence in distant seas, suggesting that a move beyond the current “near seas” focus is both possible and an extension of existing efforts; 2) PLA ground force exercises—rather than aiming to intimidate others by demonstrating the ability to project power beyond China’s borders—focus on moving military power within China, both to defend China’s borders and perhaps as a prelude to military restructuring in which smaller but more mobile formations could replace larger and more static ones; 3) through its participation in international military exercises as well as peacekeeping operations and humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions, the PLA is gaining greater capabilities to deploy outside of China’s borders for a variety of missions; and, 4) PLA operations are increasingly supported by a modern, civilian-integrated military logistics network, though a lack of overseas bases continues to limit the effectiveness of this network as it pertains to overseas power projection capabilities.



1. Introduction: PLA Lessons Learned From Increasingly Realistic Exercises
Roy Kamphausen and Travis Tanner

2. China’s Navy Prepares: Domestic Naval Exercises, 2000-10
Bernard D. Cole

3. PLA Naval Exercises with International Partners
Michael McDevitt

4. “Controlling the Four Quarters”: China Trains, Equips, and Deploys a Modern, Mobile People’s Armed Police Force
Cortez A. Cooper III

5. Clarity of Intentions: People’s Liberation Army Transregional Exercises to Defend China’s Borders
Dennis J. Blasko

6. Looking Good on Paper: PLA Participation in the Peace Mission 2010 Multilateral Military Exercise
Daniel M. Hartnett

7. PLA Engagement with International Partners: PLA Involvement in International Peace- keeping and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief
Chin-Hao Huang

8. PLA Logistics 2004-11: Lessons Learned in the Field
Abraham M. Denmark

9. The Agony of Learning: The PLA’s Transformation in Military Affairs
David Lai

About the Contributors

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