China´s expanding military power got much media coverage over the past years. But defense analyst Wendell Minnick got a just released report on a less covered subject: why is China´s military build-up less strong than anticipated. From Defense News.
Sponsored by the USCC and produced by the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the Rand National Security Research Division, the report is based on the premise that understanding where the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) falls short of its aspirations, or has not fully recognized the need for improvement, is just as important as recognizing the PLA’s strengths.
The report looks at two critical shortcomings: institutional and combat capabilities. On institutional issues, the PLA faces shortcomings regarding outdated command structures, quality of personnel, professionalism and corruption. Combat weaknesses include logistical, insufficient strategic airlift capabilities, limited numbers of special-mission aircraft, and deficiencies in fleet air defense and anti-submarine warfare.
“Although the PLA’s capabilities have improved dramatically, its remaining weaknesses increase the risk of failure to successfully perform some of the missions Chinese Communist Party [CCP] leaders may task it to execute, such as in various Taiwan contingencies, maritime claim missions, sea line of communication protection, and some military operations other than war scenarios.”
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