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PLA Drops Defense White Paper on Inauguration Day

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Coincidence?  Perhaps, but the People’s Republic decided to release its “China’s National Defense in 2008″ whitepaper on U.S. Inauguration Day.  To view the entire document click here.  Within the link below are thought processes relating this paper’s release to an overt PRC effort to “guide” the Obama administration’s defense department in a direction more to China’s liking.  There is some interesting analysis wrapped around the topic in this piece from DoD Buzz.

Among the many White Paper takeaways is the stated goal of greater “informationization”  Take this for example: “The focus is to increase the capability of the main battle weapon systems in the areas of rapid detection, target location, friend-or-foe identification and precision strikes. Some tanks, artillery pieces, ships and aircraft in active service have been informationized, new types of highly informationized combat platforms have been successfully developed, and the proportion and number of precision-guided munitions are on the rise.”

This White Paper’s stated intentions are more interesting when connected to recent developments linking active PRC acquisition strategies to ISR and UAV systems from South Africa’s Denel, specifically the Seeker II.  

The proliferation of capable persistent, networked unmanned ISR systems will be difficult to slow given the number of capable systems from Turkey to South Africa to the UAE and elsewhere.  Although not all are yet in service their collective performance parameters (range, comms, sensor suites, etc.) all represent “a great leap forward” in situational awareness.

rstearns @ January 23, 2009

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