China and the Art of LOSING War

China and the Art of LOSING War

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Port Moody, Canada

#1 Oct 21, 2013
China and The Art of (losing) War

These traditional Russian Matryoshka dolls feature Chinese leaders since the overthrow of the imperial Qing dynasty in 1911, through 2002.

Sinologist Edward Luttwak argues that the country has suffered immensely due to its rulers dependence on Sun Tzu's strategy masterpiece, The Art of War.

By Benjamin Carlson, GlobalPost
POSTED: 10/21/13, 11:01 AM EDT |

HONG KONG — There’s no question that Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” is a brilliant strategy manual.

Everyone from Oracle’s Larry Ellison to the New England Patriots’ Coach Belichick has cited the ancient general’s maxims.

Even Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf was a Sun Tzu devotee.

But when it comes to China’s foreign policy, Sun Tzu’s theories are leading China astray.

That’s one of the intriguing arguments put forward by Edward Luttwak, a China expert and military strategist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in his new book,“The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy.”

Luttwak argues that by bullying its neighbors and resorting too often to deception, China is suffering the shortcomings of ancient strategic ideas. These practices, he says, have generated resentment toward China.

With a recent Pew Poll showing that only 5 percent of Japanese and 37 percent of Americans have a positive view of China — down 24 and 14 percentage points, respectively, from previous surveys — it’s clear that something is wrong with China’s diplomacy.

In a conversation with GlobalPost, Luttwak explains why he thinks Chinese leaders would be wise to shed Sun Tzu’s theories if they want to build better relations with the outside world.(The interview has been edited and condensed by GlobalPost.)

GlobalPost: One of the arguments in your book is that Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” is an obstacle to China’s foreign affairs. Why is that?

Edward Luttwak: This literature, which China’s leaders greatly admire, induces a greatly mistaken sense of superior skill. They are convinced that it is full of secrets for success. But China’s history is in fact a long history of defeats. That is ignored by them as they revel in the subtlety and complexity and tricks of this literature.

This is like someone who is a terrible driver who imagines he is a superb racecar driver, but he cannot get out of the garage.

...
CCP LOSER REGIME

Port Moody, Canada

#2 Oct 21, 2013
...
In what ways have these sources led China astray internationally?

The ancient sources are full of suggestions for tricks and manipulations. These are clever, and work within the same culture, but do not work inter-culturally. Picture Manchu nomads on horseback approaching Ming dynasty generals who are busy quoting Sun Tzu. What do they do? They conquer them and rule them for 300 years. That’s the Qing dynasty.

Then think of the Mongols. Before that it was two Turkic dynasties. The Central Asians and people of the northern steppes knew all about diplomacy and interacting with other powers. And therefore they completely outmaneuvered the Chinese. For the last 1,500 years, the Chinese have been more under foreign rule than Chinese rule.

This is what you learn from Sun Tzu.

You don’t use military power to destroy the enemy at great cost, you use it as a clever means to get him to do something you want. Just as in the Senkaku islands, you don’t send an invasion fleet, which would start a war. You use clever maneuvers designed to intimidate and win without a war.

The effect of these has been to mobilize Japanese in a serious and structural way, to turn off the trend of getting closer to China, to the benefit of the US. They are basically inducing Japan to militarize against China — the opposite effect of what they wanted.

Tell us some other examples?

[China’s surprise attack on India in October 1962] is a very explicit example.

When Mao did it, he said, this is how we do it: We are not going to invade India, we will not destroy India. We are just going to follow the proper techniques of Sun Tzu: You don’t use force to crush the enemy, you use it to intimidate and nudge them back to the negotiating table. But it had the opposite effect, so that today the border dispute is still not resolved.

....
CCP LOSER REGIME

Port Moody, Canada

#3 Oct 21, 2013
....
You also see it in the current Senkaku dispute. The idea there is that you get someone to withdraw by marching and displaying your army in front of his fortress.

And in dealing with Vietnam, China is affirming its maritime claims by sending Chinese fishing fleets. They are all expressions of this mentality, which is the idea that you win against other countries by clever tricks.

These tricks have turned the Japanese from potential clients into desperate enemies. They have turned the Philippines from rejecting American bases to wanting them back. Even the Indonesians and the Indians, who have really no reason for hostility, China has managed to increase this antagonism.

What are the strengths of Sun Tzu’s ideas? In other words, where are they still applicable?

They are useful. They have absolute usefulness in intra-Chinese politics. They teach a lot of important lessons. Mao could use them to fight Chiang [Kai Shek] and Chiang to fight Mao. And for members of the Standing Committee who are trying to outmaneuver each other, the ideas are very useful.

But not for foreigners who respond very differently. If the Senkakus belonged to a Chinese kingdom, the strategy would work.

What would be a more effective strategy for China internationally?

If you want to be a global power you must have amicable relations with your neighbors. If China understood that, it would wonder,‘How does the U.S. do it?’ The U.S. does it by deferring to its neighbors — because of its superior strength — and acting as if it were not at all superior.

You have to take your power out of the interaction. When the U.S. president talks with the Mexican president, the fact that the U.S. could invade is taken entirely out of the discussion.

With Canada, the imbalance of power is entirely irrelevant. A few years ago we got into a timber war, and at no point did Canadians believe that the U.S. would push it around.

To what extent is American diplomacy suffering from a lack of understanding about the Chinese viewpoint on foreign affairs?

I think that Americans grossly overestimate the relative strength of Chinese diplomacy because they are not aware of the strength of US diplomacy. They see correctly China’s superb ability to make wealth from earth and water. But they are always surprised by China’s incompetence in dealing with foreign powers.

What was America’s strength? It was having discovered — and it was a discovery — that you become very powerful by acting very weak.

The U.S. was not born with this. The U.S. fought with the Canadians, it fought with Mexico. It was only later that Americans learned that in dealing with all its weaker neighbors and allies, that it has to offset its strengths by very humble behavior.

See the 60 year history of NATO, where the U.S. was deferring to Luxembourg. They kept NATO together not by imposing their power and authority, but by the opposite: By accommodating, by treating even the weakest member as someone important.

By listening to them.
CCP LOSER REGIME

Port Moody, Canada

#5 Oct 21, 2013
"With a recent Pew Poll showing that only 5 percent of Japanese and 37 percent of Americans have a positive view of China — down 24 and 14 percentage points, respectively, from previous surveys — it’s clear that something is wrong with China’s diplomacy."

Yes, CCP China is more HATED by the DAY!
CCP is SICK MAN of ASIA

Surrey, Canada

#6 Oct 31, 2013
However, the witless and inept Chinese Communist Party dictatorship makes an an excellent example of FAILURE in international politics for students to study.....

...and of course as always the people of China pay the price for CCP incompetence.
lct

Beijing, China

#7 Oct 31, 2013
CCP is SICK MAN of ASIA wrote:
However, the witless and inept Chinese Communist Party dictatorship makes an an excellent example of FAILURE in international politics for students to study.....
...and of course as always the people of China pay the price for CCP incompetence.
the same goes to you. loser.
it is you cry everyday, and sounds like a desperate, sickman.
Snowflake

San Francisco, CA

#8 Nov 1, 2013
What counts is that China has won every single war the last forty years after Mao died,he was the worst Chinese leader ever. Now China according to many is the undisputed leader of the world the last two years. After the Syrian mess and the shutdown in D.C. China has further strengthen its grip. When Obama took over America was clearly the leader but folley after folley has changed all that. And in Canada, the Chinese owned Canada.
PLA Kill Chinese ONLY

Surrey, Canada

#9 Nov 1, 2013
Snowflake wrote:
What counts is that China has won every single war the last forty years after Mao died,he was the worst Chinese leader ever. Now China according to many is the undisputed leader of the world the last two years. After the Syrian mess and the shutdown in D.C. China has further strengthen its grip. When Obama took over America was clearly the leader but folley after folley has changed all that. And in Canada, the Chinese owned Canada.
Only YOU would be stupid enough to claim total success for AN ARMY THAT HAS NEVER WON A WAR, Snowfake!!

The Peoples'Liquidation Army also needs EVERY BULLET for the Chinese people!

They are USELESS THUGS anyways, good only at killing Chinese!

The Chinese Communist Party HID FROM THE JAPANESE in WWII.
The CCP invasion of South Korea (to salvage the FAILED DPRK invasion) was a failure. The UN won, dummy, or the South Korea you tried to destroy would not be RICH and FREE today.

China gained nothing from India.

The Russians kicked the PLA's arse, as is established historical fact.

The costly (PLA lost 2x the troops VN did)"punitive" invasion of Vietnam for the defeat of the CCP lackey Pol Pot ended in RETREAT, stupid. The VN installed regime in Cambodia STAYED.

So, you are a loser praising the PLA losers.

Someday when the CCP is gone, something besides crahp propaganda will come from China. Until then, same old CCP BS!
PLA Kill Chinese ONLY

Surrey, Canada

#10 Nov 2, 2013
The article is confirmed by the re-armament in Japan caused by crude and incompetent Chinese Communist Party foreign policy.....read today's papers.
CCP is SICK MAN of ASIA

Surrey, Canada

#11 Nov 4, 2013
lct wrote:
<quoted text>
the same goes to you. loser.
it is you cry everyday, and sounds like a desperate, sickman.
"the same"?

So YOU AGREE that the witless and inept Chinese Communist Party dictatorship makes an an excellent example of FAILURE in international politics for students to study.....

...and of course as always the people of China pay the price for CCP incompetence!

Well done, "Ick"!

I KNEW you would abandon the DYING Chinese Communist Party SOON!

HA HA HA HA HA!
CCP is for LOSERS

Surrey, Canada

#13 Nov 4, 2013
"GlobalPost: One of the arguments in your book is that Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” is an obstacle to China’s foreign affairs. Why is that?

Edward Luttwak: This literature, which China’s leaders greatly admire, induces a greatly mistaken sense of superior skill. They are convinced that it is full of secrets for success. But China’s history is in fact a long history of defeats. That is ignored by them as they revel in the subtlety and complexity and tricks of this literature.

This is like someone who is a terrible driver who imagines he is a superb racecar driver, but he cannot get out of the garage."

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

So TRUE!
CCP is SICK MAN of ASIA

Surrey, Canada

#14 Nov 5, 2013
"....they are always surprised by China’s incompetence in dealing with foreign powers."

tsk, tsk.

Just assume CCP incompetence in all areas; after all, if it were not so, China would not have such extensive systems of censorship and propaganda purely to hide the CCP's incompetence!
CCP is SICK MAN of ASIA

Surrey, Canada

#15 Nov 13, 2013
The PALTRY offer of $100,000 in aid to the neighbouring Philippines now suffering a disaster is a confirmation of the cheap and short-sighted FAILURE in foreign policy of the dying CCP!

CANADA has given FIFTY TIMES what CCP China has offered!$5,000,0000.00!!!!!!!

"Superpower"!

HAH! ONLY a SUPERPOWER in CORRUPTION and ORGIES for its dictators!
China HUMILIATED by CCP

Surrey, Canada

#18 Nov 27, 2013
http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/...

Good piece on how the incompetent Chinese Communist Party dictatorship has "shot itself in the foot" yet again this week!
Drgunzet

Boise, ID

#19 Nov 27, 2013
Sun Tzu's Art of War was written for Chinese only, "The conflict between the states is not the conflict of the people."

But as we see today, it is the conflict of the people, Chinese versus other people.

I read many other books written by other great minds, this is what I know:

1. War is meant to be short and conclusive, never meant to be prolonged. China never finished its business and has been accumulating enemies.

2. China is accumulating enemies. That is very bad. As we see, China is very much surrounded by so many enemies.

3. You want to be predictable with your friends and allies so that they trust you. And you want to be unpredictable to your enemies so that the enemies would fear you.

But we all know, China is unpredictable to neighbors, and many countries just hate, distrust China.

And we all know in war, China is quite predictable: THEY ALWAYS ATTACKED FIRST.
It is so Amazing

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#20 Nov 27, 2013
Drgunzet wrote:
Sun Tzu's Art of War was written for Chinese only, "The conflict between the states is not the conflict of the people."
But as we see today, it is the conflict of the people, Chinese versus other people.
I read many other books written by other great minds, this is what I know:
1. War is meant to be short and conclusive, never meant to be prolonged. China never finished its business and has been accumulating enemies.
2. China is accumulating enemies. That is very bad. As we see, China is very much surrounded by so many enemies.
3. You want to be predictable with your friends and allies so that they trust you. And you want to be unpredictable to your enemies so that the enemies would fear you.
But we all know, China is unpredictable to neighbors, and many countries just hate, distrust China.
And we all know in war, China is quite predictable: THEY ALWAYS ATTACKED FIRST.
Did you says "China is predictable?". No wonder USA is make to look like a FOOL even by Russia Putin, an ardent student of Chinese culture and warfare!

You are still the elementary reader of Sun Tze Art of War as I read you after so many years. What a SHAME?

SO stop posting your vivid imagination, this is no arcade game and USA cannot win in China backyard as the real experts including American themselves are saying.

A single DF21D with its MARV will rendered your AC useless and it is HOME for massive repair.
CCP is SICK MAN of ASIA

Surrey, Canada

#21 Nov 28, 2013
^Aiya!

Someone tell the CCP fool propaganda dreams are not the same as real-world facts!
CCP China is PAPER TIGER

Surrey, Canada

#22 Nov 29, 2013
Drgunzet wrote:
Sun Tzu's Art of War was written for Chinese only, "The conflict between the states is not the conflict of the people."
But as we see today, it is the conflict of the people, Chinese versus other people.
I read many other books written by other great minds, this is what I know:
1. War is meant to be short and conclusive, never meant to be prolonged. China never finished its business and has been accumulating enemies.
2. China is accumulating enemies. That is very bad. As we see, China is very much surrounded by so many enemies.
3. You want to be predictable with your friends and allies so that they trust you. And you want to be unpredictable to your enemies so that the enemies would fear you.
But we all know, China is unpredictable to neighbors, and many countries just hate, distrust China.
And we all know in war, China is quite predictable: THEY ALWAYS ATTACKED FIRST.
...and under the incompetent Chinese Communist Party dictatorship, they are doomed to ALWAYS LOSE!
China HUMILIATED by CCP

Surrey, Canada

#23 Dec 2, 2013
Good piece today on the ENORMOUS CHASM between the real world and the infantile communist propaganda of the dying Chinese Communist Party dictatorship within China! Enjoy!:

China’s Hubris on the High Seas
Despite all the hype, the PLA Navy’s achievements remain relatively modest.

James-R-Holmes_q
By James R. Holmes
December 02, 2013

Hubris is a prime mover in human affairs. Those who yield to overweening pride hear what they want to hear. Herodotus, the father crazy uncle of history, relates how King Croesus of Lydia consulted the oracle at Delphi to determine whether to wage preemptive war against a rising Persia ruled by Cyrus the Great. The oracle’s reply: you will destroy a great empire if you march against Persia. Whereupon the doughty king led his army onto the battlefield…

…and lost everything in combat.

The empire destroyed was Croesus’ own. Lesson #1: Think twice before tangling with an enemy nicknamed The Great. Lesson #2: Nemesis requites hubris. Just ask any classical Greek historian, philosopher or playwright about punishment meted out by Fate. Pride goeth before a fall. Lesson #3: Beware of oracles. Better to heed the hardscrabble counsel of a Machiavelli. The Florentine philosopher admits that “fortune is the arbiter of half our actions.” We’re the arbiters of the other half. Those cursed with ill fortune can escape it through wisdom and resolve. Those who enjoy fortune’s favor can squander it.

China’s leadership appears prone to hubris. Whether that failing is mostly a Chinese thing, or a communist thing, or a Chinese Communist thing, is open to debate. Whatever the case, a parable of China’s inexorable rise appears to beguile folk in Beijing and other power centers. History, they believe, is on China’s side. It’s their oracle. For evidence of hubris, check out Reuters reporter David Lague’s story from last Wednesday.(David quotes — sniff, sniff — only the most eminent of sources. Call me Croesus of Newport.) The story details how China’s navy has commenced operating on the Western Pacific high seas. Task forces exit and reenter the China seas through straits offering passage through the Japanese archipelago.

A weird triumphalism courses through sea-power pundits’ words. The PLA Navy has scored a “breakthrough.” Its task forces have “fragmented” and “dismembered” the first island chain, which is “no longer existent.” Their cruises put Tokyo and Washington on notice that they can no longer “contain China within the first island chain.” The results of the 1894-1895 Sino-Japanese War — when the Imperial Japanese Navy thrashed its Chinese counterpart, wresting Taiwan and a big wad of cash from the Qing Dynasty — have been overturned. Take that, imperialist aggressors!!

Yet reports of Chinese naval mastery are greatly exaggerated. PLA Navy mariners have proved that they can … navigate through straits traversed by merchantmen and warships as a matter of routine. They have resolutely … operated a few hundred miles offshore for a short time. They have accomplished these great feats … unopposed. Yawn.

This hardly amounts to ruling the waves. Indeed, nothing China’s navy has done demonstrates that it can force the straits open should the U.S.-Japan alliance decide to close them. Shore-based anti-ship missiles already in the Japan Self-Defense Force inventory sport the range and accuracy to give any adversary a very bad day. Commentators such as myself and Toshi Yoshihara, T. X. Hammes, and a team of johnny-come-latelies from RAND have been urging the JSDF to expand its missile capacity. This remains a critical niche advantage for Japan over China, and one for which the PLA has no obvious answer......

http://thediplomat.com/2013/12/chinas-hubris-...
CCP China is PAPER TIGER

Surrey, Canada

#24 Dec 2, 2013
"PLA Navy mariners have proved that they can … navigate through straits traversed by merchantmen and warships as a matter of routine. They have resolutely … operated a few hundred miles offshore for a short time. They have accomplished these great feats … unopposed. Yawn."

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

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