In­side the Ring

The Washington Times Weekly - - National Security - Bill Gertz

to re­form gov­ern­ment ef­forts in the area is mov­ing ahead un­der the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Mr. McCon­nell, a re­tired Navy vice ad­mi­ral, is quoted in the exhibit as pre­sent­ing a “night­mare sce­nario” of a cy­ber at­tack on the United States that might be car­ried out in the heat of the Fourth of July hol­i­day or the win­ter cold of Jan. 1. It would in­volve a cy­ber at­tack against banks and the elec­tric power grid, shut­ting down the flow of elec­tric­ity to homes in the North­east.

“I would ar­gue this could cre­ate chaos,” with a rel­a­tively small num­ber of peo­ple be­hind the at­tack and with rel­a­tively low cost, he said.

Peter Earnest, mu­seum di­rec­tor and a for­mer CIA of­fi­cer, said the goal of the new dis­play is to heighten pub­lic aware­ness of the threat posed by cy­ber at­tacks.

“Th­ese daily at­tacks can gather in­tel­li­gence and have the po­ten­tial to ma­nip­u­late, dis­rupt and even con­trol com­put­ers and com­puter net­works in our coun­try,” he said. “They could pos­si­bly dam­age or even bring down por­tions of the elec­tri­cal grid re­sult­ing in wide­spread chaos and the break­down of law and or­der, all ex­ac­er­bated by the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing state of much of our na­tional trans­porta­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, fi­nan­cial and wa­ter sup­ply in­fra­struc­ture.” more eas­ily de­ployed “shock di­vi­sions.”

“The Sovi­ets, like the NATO armies, had found that ar­mored di­vi­sions are too un­wieldy in com­plex ter­rain and an ar­mored bat­tle group [based around a bat­tal­ion head­quar­ters] is eas­ier to con­trol and can still ex­e­cute its mis­sion,” the book stated. “The PLA has adopted the phi­los­o­phy be­hind this re­or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

Chi­nese troops are be­ing formed into air mech­a­nized and fast wheeled forces as a “lance” to break through en­emy de­fenses and strike at rear ar­eas. Heavy tanks would be used, fol­lowed by a hold­ing force of heavy mech­a­nized troops used as a “bull­dozer blade” to thwart coun­ter­at­tacks.

Re­cent joint Chi­nese-Rus­sian ex­er­cises in July demon­strated some of th­ese new-style ground force strate­gies. They were fol­lowed by mil­i­tary ma­neu­vers called “Stride 2009” in Au­gust and Septem­ber that show­cased the move­ment of large groups of Chi­nese mil­i­tary forces over wide ge­o­graphic ar­eas in live-fire drills.

“For the first time, civil­ian rail and air trans­porta­tion are be­ing uti­lized along with mil­i­tary re­sources in a long-range mul­ti­ple de­ploy­ment ex­er­cise,” the book stated. “The lessons learned from Stride 2009 will iron out any lo­gis­tics is­sues for de­ploy­ing mech­a­nized units in­side China and con­firm the PLA’s abil­ity to move mod­ern com­bat power in­side its bor­ders.”

Key PLA de­vel­op­ments in­clude an in­crease in spe­cial op­er­a­tions forces that would be used in a con­flict over Tai­wan; for en­hanc­ing mil­i­tary power pro­jec­tion; and in pre-emp­tive strikes as part of what the Chi­nese call “ac­tive de­fense.”

“Ac­cord­ingly, PLA spe­cial forces have ex­panded their role from tra­di­tional re­con­nais­sance op­er­a­tions to in­clude coun­tert­er­ror­ism, hostage res­cue, com­bat search and res­cue and di­rect at­tack mis­sions,” the book stated.

Sev­eral Chi­nese weapons sys­tems were de­vel­oped from U.S. or Euro­pean sys­tems, in­clud­ing China’s FB-6A sur­face-to-air mis­sile that is a knock­off of the U.S. Army’s Humvee-mounted Stinger mis­sile called Avenger. China’s Z-9 at­tack he­li­copter is de­vel­oped from the Euro­copter AS 365N Dauphin II he­li­copter that is pro­duced un­der li­cense by Harbin Air­craft Man­u­fac­tur­ing Corp. The he­li­copter is used for sev­eral mis­sions, in­clud­ing at­tack and re­con­nais­sance ver­sions, and is equipped with a nose-mounted ther­mal imag­ing seeker.

Among the more ex­otic weapons out­lined in the book are si­lenced as­sault ri­fles, a gun used for riot con­trol that in­jects anaes­thetic into tar­gets, and a shoul­der-fired laser daz­zler that can blind en­emy troops from about 150 feet away.

China has about 8,000 older main bat­tle tanks and some 1,400 ad­vanced tanks.

The PLA also de­vel­oped its first in­dige­nous at­tack un­manned aerial ve­hi­cle for sur­veil­lance, re­con­nais­sance, fire con­trol, tar­get po­si­tion­ing and pre­ci­sion strike.

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