Author: Dr June Teufel-Dreyer
The U.S. armed forces are not the only military that has sought to discern the lessons of the Kosovo campaign in the spring of 1999. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has also analyzed the conflict and drawn its own conclusions. In fact, as Dr. June Teufel Dreyer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Miami in Florida, observes, rather than reach a single set of conclusions, different groups within the Chinese military drew different judgments. Dr. Dreyer argues that these differences of opinion reflect the considerable diversity of thinking about defense modernization and future war that exists within the PLA today. The analysis that follows provides an opportunity for readers to learn about the different strands in Chinese strategic thinking as that country enters the 21st century. The different views that Dr. Dreyer identifies reminds us of the dangers of treating the PLA as a single monolithic entity. Only through careful study and analysis can we anticipate trends in the future direction of the PLA.