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Learning by Doing: The PLA Trains at Home and Abroad

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Pages: 398

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:12/7/2012 - Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College Commandant (AWCC-DSI/Publications)

By: Strategic Studies Institute

Learning by Doing: The PLA Trains at Home and Abroad is the latest volume in a series on the PLA produced by the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI), The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), and the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM). The papers presented here are a timely and critical look at an evolving and expanding Chinese military and provide context for the changes we may yet see as the PLA continues to modernize. As the USPACOM Commander, I seek to better understand China in aspects that further our ability to find common areas of interest, reduce miscalculation, and contribute to regional stability. Greater insight into the PLA is essential to this effort. As the Chinese military matures, grows, and ventures farther from China?s territory, the regional and global implications for the United States and USPACOM, as well as our allies and partners will be complex, yet critical to our understanding of China?s evolving international role and influence. Therefore, accurate and timely assessments of the changes taking place within the PLA are essential to understanding how the Chinese are matching military power with their broader policy aims. The outstanding scholarship in this jointly-sponsored study by SSI, NBR, and USPACOM is an important contribution toward this end. The judgments in this volume provide unique and valuable insights on how the PLA is adapting its training to its perception of the security environment. This does not just include how it is resourcing, organizing, and training its forces, but also how the PLA thinks about warfare and the threats they currently face. Through participation in international military exercises, as well as peacekeeping operations (PKO) and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) missions abroad, the PLA is gaining greater experience in carrying out a broader spectrum of missions. For example, the lessons learned from counter-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden as well as internal, transregional deployment exercises are impacting the way China responds to issues ranging from domestic natural disasters to cooperative security efforts requiring the projection and sustainment of military power beyond China?s borders. Monitoring these developments is not only key to our understanding of China?s perceptions of the security environment, but also to identifying opportunities to further develop cooperative capacity in the areas of nontraditional security threats?a growing area of cooperation between our two militaries. The outstanding analysis provided by SSI and NBR, will inform the decisions that affect our operations and relations throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Both organizations have again demonstrated their commitment to excellence with the release of this volume, and it is therefore my pleasure to introduce it to you. Learning by Doing: The PLA Trains at Home and Abroad is an essential source for those seeking to understand the changes that are taking place within the Chinese military. But more importantly, it sets the stage and helps us prepare for the opportunities that lie ahead.  

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