Major General Dai Qingmin’s Cyberwar
Dai on Information Operation Strategies and a People’s War
A third article in the April 2000 issue is Dai’s “Innovating and Developing Views on Information Operations.” Dai defines an information operation as “a series of operations with an information environment as the basic battlefield condition, with military information and an information system as the direct operational target, and with electronic warfare and a computer network war as the principal form.”14 Since these operations are trials of strength focusing on knowledge and strategies, Dai recommends a “focus on strategies.”
Scientific and technological developments have given strategies a new playing field. A strategy may carry different contents under different technological conditions, allowing room for traditional strategies, and new ones mapped out by new technological means. Options include new information-confrontation strategies, adding strategic wings to technology or applying strategies in light of technology.15 If technology finds expression in arms and equipment, then information systems and even electrons can be strategy carriers. A good strategy can “serve as a type of invisible fighting capacity; may make up inadequate material conditions to a certain extent; may narrow a technological or equipment gap between an army and its enemy; and may make up for a shortage of information, fighting forces or poor information operational means.”16 Some of these strategies include:
* Jamming or sabotaging an enemy’s information or information system.
* Sabotaging an enemy’s overall information operational structure.
* Weakening an enemy’s information fighting capacity.
* Dispersing enemy forces, arms and fires while concentrating its own forces, arms and fire.
* Confusing or diverting an enemy and creating an excellent combat opportunity for itself.
* Diverting an enemy’s reconnaissance attempt and making sufficient preparations for itself.
* Giving an enemy a false impression and launching a surprise information attack on him at the same time.
* Blinding or deafening an enemy with false impressions.
* Confusing an enemy or disrupting his thinking.
* Making an enemy believe that what is true is false and what is false is true.
* Causing an enemy to make a wrong judgment or take wrong action.17
Dai also emphasizes that future operations must be integrated. One such concept will be integrating military and civilian information fighting forces. Dai believes that information systems offer more modes for people to take part in IO and serve as a major aux-iliary information fighting force in a future information war.18 Integrating civilian and military specialists will breathe new life into Mao Zedong’s theory of people’s war. Chinese IW specialist General Wang Pufeng first noted this condition in 1995.19
Ideas for uniting a people’s war with IW are finding fertile ground in China’s 1.5-million reserve force. Several IW reserve forces have already been formed in the cities of Datong, Xiamen, Shanghai, Echeng and Xian. Each is developing its own specialty as well. For example, Shanghai reserve forces focus on wireless telecom networks and double-encryption passwords.