12 Things Missing from China Report | The Diplomat

The progressive neutering of the annual Pentagon China military power reports is unfortunate, as the report has been among the most authoritative sources of information on specific Chinese military capabilities in recent years. Given the People’s Liberation Army’s unwillingness to reveal this information itself, the report has been one of the few reliable sources of transparency to inform foreign analysts, scholars, and citizens about important Chinese military developments that often have global repercussions. China has experienced important military and security changes over the past year, yet aside from its reformatted font and graphics, the 2012 report proves thin on new content.

via 12 Things Missing from China Report | The Diplomat.

I vividly recall reading the annual report on the Soviets from the 1980s. Each year, it was a concise, well written explanation of the Soviet military, from their strategic aims, to the basics of their organization and equipment. For the lay reader, it was the go to source for understanding the potential threat we faced.

That the government cannot seem to produce a similar guide to the Chinese is disturbing. I’ve seen past editions, and they were a poor substitute for the old Soviet books.

One wonders, just who is neutering the publishing process?

10 thoughts on “12 Things Missing from China Report | The Diplomat”

  1. And we’re supposed to be surprised at this course of events under an Obama Administration? I’m constantly shocked, SHOCKED that such things like this happen..

  2. LC, i doubt it’s just State, although I’m sure they have a lot to do with it. DOD’s political appointees prolly have just as much to do with it, particularly in this maladminstration.

  3. While I am by no means an administration apologist, you can go back through decades worth of presidential administrations, none of which were willing to call a spade a spade. Putting out books like you describe require taking a stance, rather than splitting the difference and / or waffling.

  4. Why is stuff missing from the China Report? Same reasons the CIA dropped the ball. First it’s politics, second its the “If I close my eyes and believe real hard, the monsters will go away,” school of foreign policy.

    There are people in the government, media, chattering classes and in the DoD itself that can’t or refuse to see the writing on the wall. It doesn’t fit the narrative. It’s politically toxic. Bush did it.

    The J-20 and the attempt by many to dismiss it reminded me of the A6M. The Zero was never taken seriously until after Pearl Harbor. The thinking was that the “Japs” only made junk. Time will tell if Foggy Bottom makes the same mistake.

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