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Chinese Military Forum. Perspective on the development of future wars. Liminal Warfare officially enters the CCP and PLA warfare manuals. The West will have to respond!

"Future wars will enter an era supported by intelligent technology. The fields of confrontation will involve politics, economy, diplomacy, society and many other fields. The combat space will expand from traditional physical space to virtual cognitive space. Combat force formation will evolve from human-machine hybrid formation to wireless. Human combat clusters are changing".


Source: China Military Network - People's Liberation Army Daily Author: Li Yuyan and Liu Heshan




The People's Liberation Army Daily Author published today an important military paper entitled "Perspective on the Development of Future Wars." Authors Li Yuyan and Liu Heshan "officially" introduce Liminal Warfare into warfare and policy manuals.

Drawing on the millennia-old culture of the art of deception also developed in the field of warfare, China has been pursuing its Liminal Warfare for years where the spectrum of competition and confrontation with the West is so wide that the battlefield is everywhere and the war is total; control of technological assets, 5G systems, strategic real estate purchases, the construction or management of bridges, highways and ports around the world, and much more, are considered "trans-military" and "non-military" warfare operations extensively laid out in a 1999 book written by two Chinese colonels of the People's Liberation Army.

The authors of that paper talk about combination strategies that mix lethal and nonlethal, military and non-military means (including criminal networks and civilian organizations) bringing into play a whole variety of competitions, combining them into a seamless architecture.

The Chinese way of warfare is thus about "conceptual envelopment," expanding the concept of war to the point of being able to maneuver in a space that is outside our definition of conflict.

This warfare is about riding the edge of observability, not crossing the threshold of detectability.

Beijing's "Liminal Warfare" involves the integration of economic, legal, military, intelligence, and cyber policies into a single, seamless mix of activity and maneuver, focused on defining operations with the adversary before launching an actual military operation: if necessary.

We reproduce in full the PLA document published in fata today.


"Insight into future changes in the development of war"

"You cannot understand war without understanding the times. As society enters the era of intelligence, the form of war has also undergone profound evolution. In the same way that humans produce, they fight in the same way. In the era of intelligence, intelligent production methods will inevitably shape intelligent warfare. With the development of science and technology, the presentation of war, decision-making methods, organizational styles and support models will undergo subversive changes.

Changes in the presentation of war. The form of war is the historical coordinate of the development process of war. It determines the era of human war activities in each period. Since the 1960s and 1970s, with the new military revolution unfolding magnificently around the world, the form of war has also begun a continuously accelerating process of transformation from mechanized warfare to information-based warfare, and finally to the advanced stage of information-based warfare - —The transformation of intelligent warfare. Future wars will enter an era supported by intelligent technology. The fields of confrontation will involve politics, economy, diplomacy, society and many other fields. The combat space will expand from traditional physical space to virtual cognitive space. Combat force formation will evolve from human-machine hybrid formation to wireless. Human combat clusters are changing. Combat operations will develop from human-machine collaboration and human-centered operations to unmanned autonomous operations. On the surface, it may seem calm, but the confrontation in the invisible space is turbulent. The strategic game of hybrid warfare will become increasingly clear, and the war will fully enter the stage of "wisdom and victory". "era.

Changes in the way war is made. All along, war decision-making methods have been comprehensively restricted by various factors such as battlefield reconnaissance, command, communications, and support. With the development and progress of technologies such as intelligent unmanned aerial vehicles and network information, war decision-making methods will undergo an intelligent transformation, showing the characteristics of data support, algorithm leadership, human-machine collusion, and distributed autonomy. Before initiating actions in the physical battlefield space, all parties in wars and confrontations calculate first and then fight. They use cloud brain fusion to process massive intelligence data obtained from multiple sources, and use digital twins, virtual reality and holographic projection imaging technologies to launch intelligent confrontations in the network virtual space. Deduction, complete comparative analysis of the comprehensive strength of the enemy and ourselves, and use the deduction results to serve war decisions. When making decisions in war, the "human-in-the-loop" brain-computer cooperation decision-making method is adopted, using the perceptual divergent thinking of the human brain and the powerful computing and statistical capabilities of computers to quickly judge the situation, plan tasks, issue instructions, and autonomously control, to realize the art of decision-making and The perfect combination of decision science.

Changes in the organization of war. In recent years, whether it is concepts such as "autonomous warfare", "shadow warfare" and "sixth generation warfare", or the US military's "Joint Concept", or the Russian army's "Armed Forces Construction Plan", they are all future plans based on the development trend of science and technology. Combat style, war shape and force building concepts. Mechanized warfare is a platform-centered entity destruction strike, information warfare is a network-centered system confrontation operation, and intelligent warfare is a comprehensive strength contest centered on cognitive decision-making. The main support for the combat system is the insurgency. Disruptive technologies such as human control, artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, quantum communications, and blockchain emphasize distributed real-time killing centered on cognitive decision-making. In the near future, the continued development of intelligent technologies such as deep neural networks, brain-computer interaction, automated processing, 3D printing, and the Internet of Things will inevitably continue to improve the scientific and technological content of the military field, making the war organization style more manned and unmanned. It has the characteristics of "integration, unmanned autonomy at the front, and human control at the rear".

Changes in the war support model. Outstanding military strategists at home and abroad in ancient and modern times have all attached great importance to support work in war. As the saying goes, "before the troops and horses are moved, food and grass go first." For example, in the ancient Battle of Guandu, Cao's army attacked Wuchao at night, destroying the grain and grass of Yuan Shao's army, and the entire army was defeated. In modern warfare, due to insufficient logistical supplies, there are numerous examples of aggressive troops on the battlefield having to stop and wait for supplies of military supplies, thus missing fighter planes. Therefore, war support determines the outcome of a war to a certain extent, and its status and role have always been very important. It is not only an important part of military management, but also a key support for winning the war. In the past, war support had too many unified support activities, a single source of support resources, and simple and extensive implementation. However, with the changes in the form of intelligent warfare, the war support model will also undergo subversive changes. Future war support will rely on Internet of Things technology and intelligent information systems to carry out physical distributed storage, virtual centralized management, and military-civilian collaborative supply of support resources, and implement full-area real-time monitoring, intelligent prediction matching, and advance planning and arrangements for the implementation of support organizations. Achieve joint logistics supply, full-area configuration, intelligent deployment, and accurate forwarding of war support resources to ensure that the implementation of war support is accurate, efficient, stable and reliable, and battlefield support capabilities continue to extend to the end.


Changes in the balance of war lines. War is the kingdom of uncertainty. People have known for a long time that it is difficult to achieve victory by relying solely on "straight-line thinking" and "grand formation". Liddell Hart, a British strategic theorist, analyzed successful strategic cases in the world and found a pattern: 90% used "indirect routes." However, the "indirect route" has long appeared as a supplementary role to the direct route. However, compared with the past, the modern warfare combat system is huge, with many nodes, and there are many "vital gates" that are vulnerable to attack, which provides a wider range of opportunities for choosing "indirect routes" and implementing "asymmetric" checks and balances. Judging from the several local wars that have occurred in the world in recent years, even the powerful US military attaches great importance to "circumstances" when facing weak opponents. "Those who are good at surprising things are as endless as heaven and earth, and as endless as rivers." Whether it is now or in the future, the war strategy game between countries, especially the world's military powers with strong strategic damage capabilities, can neither achieve their own operations according to conventional thinking. In order to achieve the goal, we cannot simply have the idea of ​​​​playing a "grand formation". If we want to win future wars, we must follow and develop the winning mechanism of future wars, insist on making good use of the "indirect route", and do asymmetrical checks and balances, so as to always grasp the initiative in wars".

Source: China Military Network - People's Liberation Army Daily Author: Li Yuyan and Liu Heshan

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