China is waging political warfare against the United States as part of a strategy to drive the U.S. military out of Asia and control seas near its coasts, according to a Pentagon-sponsored study.
A defense contractor report produced for the Office of Net Assessment, the Pentagon’s think tank on future warfare, describes in detail China’s “Three Warfares” as psychological, media, and legal operations. They represent an asymmetric “military technology” that is a surrogate for conflict involving nuclear and conventional weapons.
The unclassified 566-page report warns that the U.S. government and the military lack effective tools for countering the non-kinetic warfare methods, and notes that U.S. military academies do not teach future military leaders about the Chinese use of unconventional warfare. It urges greater efforts to understand the threat and adopt steps to counter it.
The report highlights China’s use of the Three Warfares in various disputes, including dangerous encounters between U.S. and Chinese warships; the crisis over the 2001 mid-air collision between a U.S. EP-3E surveillance plane and a Chinese jet; and China’s growing aggressiveness in various maritime disputes in the South China and East China Seas.