November 27, 2020


China’s 2019 Defense White Paper argued, “War is evolving in form towards informationized warfare, and intelligent warfare is on the horizon.”

Intelligent warfare seems to include autonomous decision-making systems and autonomous weapons. That suggests Chinese strategists think Informationized War is a concept and system that trains military planners to integrate autonomous, unmanned systems into full-spectrum warfighting operations — say, a battle for control of the western Pacific that includes hidden, pre-positioned swarms of robot boats, robot submersibles (capable of knocking out a U.S. Navy nuclear attack sub), autonomous missile systems and autonomous electronic warfare assets.

At the moment, that war scenario is science fiction warfare.

China, however, is trying to move from concept to capability.

“Informationized War” is a clunky term, but remember it’s an English translation. China’s senior leaders take concept quite seriously. It’s my latest Creators Syndicate column.

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