Haven't given this much thought until now, but an Asia Times article has sparked some thought on my part. Small wars loom large on China's horizon, by Jens Kastner, Asia Times, 6 April, 2012: and: also: Last month, Agence France-Presse reported on Premier Wen's remarks on the necessity of preparing for Local Wars; China must increase ability to win "local wars," PM says, AFP, Bangkok Post, 5 March, 2012: First, the bluntly obvious. In order to avoid, or at least mitigate the threat, of a potential loss of critical raw materials in the event of serious conflict with another great power or powers - and indeed in order to avoid a direct military clash with another Great Power in the first place - China finds itself strategically committed to securing access to raw materials in areas adjacent to China, not least the South China Sea. Many of these areas and their resources are in some dispute, not least by China itself. And if other means fail to secure these resources for China, China has been essentially warning that it will be prepared to secure them by force, relying upon surprise and speed in order to conclude issues in China's favour before any serious or effective outside intervention may occur. Consider these two pieces on Integrated Joint Warfare (IJW): Integrated Joint Operations by the PLA: An Assessment, by Mandip Singh, Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, 11 December, 2011. PLA: Thrust on Integrated Joint Warfighting, by Lieutenant-General Gautam Banerjee, Indian Defence Review, 26 December, 2011. Now, the military doctrine that has apparently been designed for the purposes of securing China's strategic resources objectives is Integrated Joint Warfare. Over the last decade or so, the IJW concept has evolved from Joint Operations (JO), to Integrated Joint Operations (IJO), and now, Integrated Joint Warfare (IJW). At the highest level, IJW had involved the restructuring and integration of the Army, Navy, Air force, logistics, communications, reconnaissance, and information services and systems, defence industry, civil administration, all down the chain of command from the Central Military Commission (CMC), through the Military Regions. And all whilst engaging in broad-based modernization, particularly in the Navy and Air force. Within the Military Regions, some MR-level troops and equipment are being assigned as organic units or formations to individual Group Armies. This is the peacetime organization. In wartime, a "War Zone Campaign Command" (don't know if this anything close to a valid comparison, but it conjures memories of the old Soviet "Theatres of Strategic Direction" TVD's) directly subordinated to the Central Military Commission itself, would be established as the operational campaign headquarters in a given Military Region, with all of its forces and resources at it direct disposal. Mandip Singh: Lt. Gen. Banerjee describes Four Stages in the operational (but not tactical) conduct of IJW in order to achieve the strategic objectives of a "Local War Under Conditions of Informationization": General Banerjee assesses that China will not be fully capable of conducting IJW until around 2025. He also qualifies the use of the term "Local", saying that it sould not be taken to refer to merely "small" wars, but rather, wars of whatever size in areas adjacent to China itself. Mandip Singh considers that: This represents a very cursory (and admittedly somewhat sloppy) examination of the Local War and IJW doctrines on my part, and I'm curious to pick the brains of those who have been paying rather more attention to this than I. Is Gen. Banerjee more or less on target with his assessment that the PLA will achieve more or less full IJW capability around 2025? Does China possess a sufficent IJW capability now in order to guarantee its access to strategic external resources (such as in the South China Sea, Kyrgystan)? And is the whole Local Wars/IJW doctrine/concept even realistically capable of achieving its strategic objectives in the first place, namely that of securely strategic raw materials in areas adjacent to China without drawing another Great Power into a major war?