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    Regarding the concept of Shi.

    Regarding the concept of Shi.

    Col, I hope you don’t mind I start a new thread as the old one was getting OT.

    Shi as I understand it is “comprehensive trend” Military action is NOT a politic by another mean but rather an element/action of a “comprehensive trend” / Shi, an initiate mechanism if you will. People who studied Shi will never start threads like FC-1 vs LCA or M1 vs Type 99, etc. Many be some examples will help to share my belief; I am no philosopher so I can be wrong.

    It follows the usage of the phase Chinese comprehensive national power (CNP), Chinese leadership really don’t use the measure GNP and GDP that much, to sum up one’s position, all things much be considered, including soft power of economic, cultural, and influence. The came concept also apply to a military campaign as a subset, once an army started collapse by the trend, no among with start-of-war weaponry can revise the situation, but another good leader such as Ridgeway in the case of Korea war of 1952. The trend is like a tidal wave. Battles or military actions are some items you can help to create a tidal wave, sometimes it works, some times it does not. A great Chinese master is remembered by stratagem not by battlefield success.

    Here are two examples

    1. Chinese civil war. The CCP view while thier were military weak but in the grand scheme of things they were ahead of the KMT, when they launched their Manchuria campaign, or campaign of Shanyang. They considered the fact they had better leadership, greater popular support, greater troop enthusiasm, shorter logistic etc. While on paper KMT would win hands down, they had over a million troops in that area vs 250,000 regular PLA at best and most of KMT troops were well trained and equipped by US army, some of them still enjoy their fresh Burma victory, and they also have air and armor support. Sure PLA lost a few battles at first but they viewed their action not just within the battlefield and they were using events to move the trend from other directions such as by exposing the OPFORCE’s weakness and exploit it.

    The OPFORCE’s weakness is the comprehensive weakness not just military related. In the case of Manchuria, in order to pay for the war, CKS had to print paper money and a lot of them. Thus a huge inflation followed and Mao and the boys were expecting it and count on it to decrease CKS's popluar support. During that time CCP located outside of the Shanghai based market system and were not affected. .

    2. Counter example: The shelling of Jinmen islands, the operationally speaking it is a poltical failure not a military one as PLA was never ordered to carry out an invasion, they were asked to keeping shelling. Most historians agreed that the action was carry out as an initiate to revise the trand of a greater US involvement in defense of TW. In light of the fact after Korean war, PLA was in no condition to carry out an operation to retake the island by force.

    The 1996 “military exercise” also fall into the same catalog as an effort to revives the trend, in the 1996 example, the rise of the DPP in TW politic.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by xinhui; 02 Jun 06, at 00:20.

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    To summarise - in order to make sure I understand the concept properly...

    You are saying that Shi isnt really total war - it is total politics, with war (and the nation's entire assets (population, economics, natural resources)) just another way of achieving the political end.

    Warfare is only one of the ways of manipulating an enemy into defeat and is only seen as part of the answer?

    Please correct me if I have misunderstood the concept (im no philosopher either) Is this theory derived from Sun Tzu? Or does it have a broader base in Chinese/Eastern thought?
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    Yes not total war at all. but rather by using all means to move your position to that of advanage. Total war means you kills your enemy. Shi is just moving trends.

    Another example. TW issue. PRC leadership use mostly economic (billions of tax break, special econ zones), offically ended the civil war by a visit by the chairman of KMT to Beijing last year, and culture links to move the trend from that of TI to that of status quo and it is working, Military threat is just one of the elements in the "move". However, folks tends to focus on military actions and missed other elements/moves. Political and econ moves are not a bad thing in today's world (you can debate that) look at how many TWese businessman got rich. China is Japan's largest trade partner and if that is not the case, the Sin0o-Japan relationship could be much much worst.
    Last edited by xinhui; 02 Jun 06, at 00:20.

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    Of course there is a huge Sun Tze feel to it. Sun Tse aruges not going to war, war is the last step. Win by not fighting and by the time you use force, you already won.

    Chapter III, line 2

    Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
    Last edited by xinhui; 01 Jun 06, at 19:16.

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    My brain hurts.

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    Not to talk about mine...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers
    My brain hurts.
    Hope it is not from reading my poorly composed posts

    I really need to improve my write skills.

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    Senior Contributor Asim Aquil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xinhui
    Regarding the concept of Shi.

    I am no philosopher so I can be wrong.
    ...
    The came concept also apply to a military campaign as a subset, once an army started collapse by the trend, no among with start-of-war weaponry can revise the situation, but another good leader such as Ridgeway in the case of Korea war of 1952. The trend is like a tidal wave. Battles or military actions are some items you can help to create a tidal wave, sometimes it works, some times it does not.
    You may be no philosopher but you've presented a militarized version of what I read in Malcom Gladwell's Book, "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference"

    ...change so often happens as quickly and as unexpectedly as it does. For example, why did crime drop so dramatically in New York City in the mid-1990's? How does a novel written by an unknown author end up as national bestseller? Why do teens smoke in greater and greater numbers, when every single person in the country knows that cigarettes kill? Why is word-of-mouth so powerful? What makes TV shows like Sesame Street so good at teaching kids how to read? I think the answer to all those questions is the same. It's that ideas and behavior and messages and products sometimes behave just like outbreaks of infectious disease. They are social epidemics.
    http://www.gladwell.com/tippingpoint/index.html

    According to Gladwell, the Tipping Point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a sick individual in a crowded store can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push start a fashion trend or cause the popularity of a new restaurant to take off overnight or cause crime or drug use to taper off.
    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...16346624&itm=1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asim Aquil
    You may be no philosopher but you've presented a militarized version of what I read in Malcom Gladwell's Book, "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference"


    http://www.gladwell.com/tippingpoint/index.html


    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...16346624&itm=1
    Mmmm, interesting. I've often thought of ideas as mental viruses, I must have a read.

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    Came by mail a few weeks ago, I'm still trying to read it. It's certainly a hard read, not by its wording, but by its concepts. It tries to explain weird Chinese behavior over the past 60 years by Shi Strategy and claims that the Chinese are like the French; they have a very strange way of thinking.

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    inst,

    i've finished the book. anything you care to discuss? i personally think the authors try a bit too hard to shoe-horn every chinese military action into the framework of shih.

    to begin with, here's something i've been meaning to ask the good colonel for some while now.

    the book mentions how we see in the chinese civil war, the korean war, the '62 war, the '69 war (with the soviets), and the '79 war all fit within aspects of shih military thinking.

    the book especially emphasizes some of the identical characteristics of chinese military action in the latter four wars: china enters the war, does its best to pummel the enemy, and then withdraws, in part to confuse the enemy's decision-makers, as well in light of some greater political objective (the authors mention a fear of superpower- mostly USSR- meddling in a prolonged continuation of the conflict, especially for the '62, '69, and '79 wars).

    now in the other recently locked thread, col yu mentioned that in the '62 war, the chinese ran past their logistic capabilities. come to think of it, wasn't this somewhat akin to what happened in the korean war, as well? the chinese tried to outrun the 8th army, leaving their artillery behind.

    now here's the question- if the '62 PLA was the cream of the crop, and also given that the chinese also had the instructional experience of the korean war- why did the PLA make such an elemental error in combat?

    what i'm trying to figure out is if the PLA's actions in that war, at least, were forced by military considerations (we ran out of supplies, indians are coming), or if it was a pre-meditated outcome of PLA/CCP political/military thinking of shih.

    or was it both?
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    now here's the question- if the '62 PLA was the cream of the crop, and also given that the chinese also had the instructional experience of the korean war- why did the PLA make such an elemental error in combat?
    Several reasons.

    1) They didn't plan for such an event. It was outside their operational experience and planning in that they expected stiff resistence. They had that upfront but what they didn't plan for was the line collapse and no fall back.

    2) Their tactical success created battle momentum that had to be exploited or you let your victory slip away, ie, they punched through, it would be stupid to stop so that the Indians could withdraw in good order and create another line.

    3) Maintaining contact with the enemy. They were searching for the enemy. Once they overcome the initial lines, they were rushing forward to find an enemy that was never there.

    You have to remember that all Chinese doctrine is based upon Battles of Annihilation. Their brilliant successes at the LOC, no matter how impressive, was not a Battle of Annihilation. They went looking for that battle and went further and faster than they should.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    what i'm trying to figure out is if the PLA's actions in that war, at least, were forced by military considerations (we ran out of supplies, indians are coming), or if it was a pre-meditated outcome of PLA/CCP political/military thinking of shih.

    or was it both?
    I'm more inclinded to believe that they saw the situation and created the propaganda to cover the reality, much like Vo Ngyuen Giap did at Tet.

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