So the thinking goes, will it be able Germany Email Database to engage U.S. forces with any confidence of success. The naval aspect of the military balance between the two global powers is considered especially critical since any conflict between them is expected to erupt either in the South China Sea or in the waters around Germany Email Database Taiwan. Washington analysts regularly emphasize the PLA’s superiority in sheer numbers of combat naval “platforms.” A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report released in October, for instance, noted that “China’s navy is, by far, the largest of any country in East Asia, and within the past few years it has surpassed the U.S. Navy in Germany Email Database numbers of battle force ships, making China’s navy the numerically largest in the world.”

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Statements like these are routinely Germany Email Database cited by Congressional hawks to secure more naval funding to close the “gap” in strength between the two countries. As it happens, though, a careful review of comparative naval analyses suggests that the U.S. still enjoys a commanding lead in critical areas like intelligence collection, target acquisition, anti-submarine warfare, and data-sharing among Germany Email Database myriad combat platforms — sometimes called C4ISR (for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance), or to use the Chinese terms, “information zed” and “intelligent zed” warfare. “Although China’s naval modernization effort has Germany Email Database substantially improved China’s naval capabilities in recent years,” the CRS report noted.

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“China’s navy currently is assessed as Germany Email Database having limitations or weaknesses in certain areas, including joint operations with other parts of China’s military, antisubmarine warfare, [and] long-range targeting.” This means that, at the moment, the Chinese would be at a Germany Email Database severe disadvantage in any significant encounter with American forces over Taiwan, where mastery of surveillance and targeting data would be essential for victory. Overcoming its C4ISR limitations has, therefore, become a major priority for the Chinese military, superseding the Germany Email Database quest for superiority in numbers alone.

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