Due to popular demand, Beyond Deadlines is reposting every Monday the still relevant articles of retired Armed Forces of the Philippines intelligence chief Brig. General Victor Corpus that appeared in his BD’s column, Views from the East.
Nov. 30, 2016
UNRESTRICTED warfare, like asymmetric warfare, is a weapon of the weak to fight and defeat the strong. It is a form of fighting where anything goes: “a poke in the eye, a stab in the back, a kick in the groin”. Anything that will help the weak defeat the strong is brought into play. Nothing is prohibited. No target or weapon is off-limits.
If ever a major war erupts between superpower America and weaker nations like China, Russia, or Iran, we can expect the weaker ones to resort to unrestricted warfare. It will not be confined to a mere shooting war. It will involve combat on land, sea, air, in outer space, cyber space and even into the microbial realm. It will encompass attacks on a nation’s electric grids, computer networks, strategic resources, oil supply routes, logistic sea lanes, national currency, trade, banking and finance, stock exchange, basic services, and the nation’s social fabric. It will also include combat in the realms of media, the environment, diplomacy, culture, and the struggle for alliances.
Unrestricted warfare was conceptualized by two senior colonels of the People’s Liberation Army of China, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, in their famous book, Unrestricted Warfare published in 1999. Qiao’s famous quote on the subject is that “the first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules, with nothing forbidden.”
Usually, rules are laid down by the strong to dominate the weak. To level the playing field, the weak has to break the rules, avoid the enemy’s strength, and hit the strong side at its most vulnerable points.
Another Chinese theorist on modern warfare, Chang Mengxiong, compared China’s form of fighting to “a Chinese boxer with a keen knowledge of vital body points who can bring an opponent to his knees with a minimum of movements”.
It is like key acupuncture points in ancient Chinese medicine. Puncture one vital point and the whole anatomy is affected. Acupuncture is normally used for healing. But some acupuncture points called Dim Mak, when hit in a specific way at certain times of the day can cause paralysis or instant death.
Dim Mak is a form of martial art which literally means “meridian press”. Meridians are energy channels in the human body through which “chi” or vital life forces flow. There are twelve primary meridians in the body. Within these channels are 800 cavities or points. When struck, 36 of these points can cause death while 72 others can cause numbness or unconsciousness. A weaker combatant skilled in Dim Mak will know which particular point along the meridians to strike in a given time of day in a certain way to defeat a more powerful opponent with a minimum of movement.
Taken in a geopolitical context, China can be likened to the weaker fighter that uses deep understanding of her adversary’s anatomical vulnerabilities to bring a much stronger belligerent nation like the United States of America to her knees with minimum effort.
If America ever wages war against China, say, over Taiwan or the South China Sea, then it should be prepared for the following Dim Mak points in its [national] anatomy to be the focus of attacks.
Each one of these vital points can bring America to its knees with a minimum of effort:
• Vulnerability to Electro-information Attack
• U.S. Dollar Vulnerability
• Asymmetric Vulnerability
• Satellite-based Military Command and Control
• Geographical Military Handicap
• Fixed Military Bases
• Aircraft Carrier Battle Groups
* The opinion of this author is his alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.