View Full Version : China's Peacetime Disease

Bill Moore
02-18-2019, 10:08 PM


A good piece based on PLA writings. The good news is they realize they're not that good. The bad news is they realize they're not that good.

However, the “Five Incapables [Cannots]” (wǔgè bùhuì, 五个不会) from 2015 is probably the most important criticism of all. It emphasizes that “some” officers cannot judge situations, understand higher authorities’ intentions, make operational decisions, deploy troops, nor deal with unexpected situations. These are the basics of combat leadership, applicable at all levels of war, for all militaries. This appraisal and the “Two Inabilities,” which also mentions leadership problems, are now the most frequently repeated slogans in the Chinese military media.

Prior to listing the five incapables, the article addresses a number of self-criticisms by Hu and Xi. In my opinion, many of these criticisms are based more on the impact of communism stifling initiative than excessive decades of peace.

The “Peace Disease”

In addition to the general assessments identified above, the PLA leadership acknowledges that the force has developed lax attitudes and practices resulting from four decades without fighting a major campaign against a foreign enemy. Current vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, General Zhang Youxia identified this weakness in 2009 when he was Shenyang Military Region commander:

Today, the PLA hasn’t been in actual combat for many years now, yet the fires of war are burning throughout the world. In this area, the gap between the PLA and foreign militaries is growing day by day. This is an actual problem.