The PLA’s Modernization Challenge

People's Liberation Army recruits training.

Image via Wikipedia

‘Betting on the come’ – the People’s Liberation Army combined arms gamble for the 21st century. :: School of Advanced Military Studies Monographs.

The U.S. Navy and Air Force have never been shy about naming China as the USA’s “near-peer” competitor, which makes it interesting that the U.S. Army is a little more circumspect.

In an excellent analysis that is a tad old but by no means dated, Michael Hendricks at the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College explains the barriers that bar the way for the modernization of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), not least of which are domestic politics and an ongoing battle over doctrine. Hendricks also makes a forceful case for military-to-military ties that we all need to keep in mind as those relationships wax and wane.

Well worth the read for the sober and reflective look at a highly politicized topic.

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3 thoughts on “The PLA’s Modernization Challenge

  1. Agreed, and an excellent point, Nick.

    However, given the lack of transparency in China’s military budgets and the galling wastefulness in US military spending, using expenditures as a means of comparison can oversimplify the balance. What we need are better metrics by which to compare capabilities, evaluate doctrine, and judge all of that against current and foreseeable commitments.

  2. Pingback: Can China Stop U.S. Airpower? « The Peking Review

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