Operational Environments

Chinese Tactics > PART ONE: People’s Liberation Army Forces > Chapter 1: People’s Liberation Army Fundamentals > Operational Environments


1-27. U.S. military analysis of an operational environment, including a composite environment created for training, professional education, and leader development purposes, focuses on eight interrelated operational variables: political, military, economic, social, information, infrastructure, physical environment, and time—collectively referred to as PMESII-PT. The following is a list of PMESII-PT conditions and trends found in China. It is not comprehensive, but it suggests a number of possible factors that U.S. exercise planners might use when constructing scenarios:

  • Political:
    • The fractious relationship between China and Taiwan.
    • Maritime disputes in the South and East China Seas.
    • Complex sociopolitical interactions between China and North Korea.
    • Land border disputes and frictions.
    • Friction between the CPC and the growing quasi-capitalist ultra-wealthy class.
    • Expansion of Chinese influence in emerging markets, particularly in Africa and Southwest Asia.
    • Human rights violations, particularly against internal political opposition and minorities, and the harassment and mistreatment of journalists.
    • Separatism in Western China.
    • Major anticorruption efforts at every level of government.
  • Military:
    • Growing use of high-technology weapons systems such as fifth-generation and low-observable aircraft, ballistic and cruise missiles, precision munitions, and networked warfare.
    • Ongoing top-to-bottom reform of the PLA, including widespread professionalization.
    • Expansion of standoff precision munitions and other antiaccess capabilities.
    • Establishment of hardened military facilities on islands, both natural and manmade, throughout the Western Pacific.
    • Gradual expansion of PLA expeditionary capabilities, particularly throughout the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.
  • Economic:
    • Continued liberalization of formerly hardline Marxist-Leninist and Maoist economic policy.
    • Threats to critical shipping lanes and overland trade routes linking China with its export markets.
    • Export and trade restrictions on raw materials, particularly on rare but critical metals.
    • Major anticorruption efforts at every level of government.
    • Complex economic relationship with North Korea.
  • Social:
    • Increased internal frictions with minority groups, particularly in and around distressed border regions.
    • Continued adoption of Western cultural products, especially by younger generations.
    • Social resistance to heavy-handed governmental approach to internal security.
    • Increased frictions between quasi-capitalist Chinese oligarchs and more-traditional CPC supporters due to failure to quell corruption.
  • Information:
    • Extensive use of cyber activities—official, unofficial, and third party—to influence conditions domestically and abroad.
    • Ongoing active People’s Republic of China (PRC) cyber activities attempting to extract sensitive or classified information from foreign networks, particularly those in defense industries.
    • Sophisticated information operations campaigns to influence both global and regional politics.
  • Infrastructure:
    • Continued development of domestic infrastructure with a focus on the export economy.
    • Heavy investment in overseas infrastructure, particularly in emerging markets for Chinese export goods.
  • Physical Environment:
    • Ongoing effects of global climate change reducing availability of arable land and threatening low-lying coastal areas.
    • Increasing frequency and severity of tropical storms, which affect military and economic development in the Western Pacific.
    • Shortsighted environmental policies creating public health crises due to air and water pollution and rapid depletion of shared international resources, such as fisheries.
  • Time:
    • The Chinese have historically taken a much longer view of time than the United States.
    • The PLA has deliberately chosen to adopt a more Western view of time as part of its ongoing military reforms.


Post a Comment