In March 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, speaking to the National People’s Congress, declared that the Chinese military’s most important mission was “to win local wars under Information Age conditions.”

…military analysts pointed out that Wen specified a violent (kinetic) action somewhere near China that must be won. Information Age warfare required integrated electronics and weapons hardware as well as highly trained personnel. National People’s Congress delegates knew the People’s Liberation Army was no longer an infantry army. China’s defense ministry was spending billions to digitize communications, surveillance, and command and control systems. It was also integrating advanced smart weapons into the mix.

For at least two decades, Chinese military leaders have debated the idea that electronic information equipment has become the primary warfighting platform — not tanks, missiles or ships but the information equipment that connects and directs them.

Sun Tzu said you must know your enemy. It’s my latest Creators Syndicate column.