A Chinese Riddle: War by All Means

"The vulnerable features of the imperialist bloc’s economy include high industrial concentration in small areas, dependence on imports, and the vulnerability of communications. The United States depends upon imports of atomic raw materials and of nonferrous and rare metals…." - SOVIET MILITARY STRATEGY

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe met on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue Security Summit in Singapore on Friday. Beijing’s delegation stated that Taiwan is “part of China.” General Wei’s spokesman explained, “The PLA (People’s Liberation Army) would have no choice but to fight at any cost to crush any attempt of Taiwan to be independent. This safeguards our national sovereignty and territorial integrity.” On his part, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asked China to “refrain from further destabilizing actions.”

It is worth noting that a side-discussion on the Ukraine War took place during the Singapore meeting. The U.S. has cautioned China against giving material support to Russia. But Chinese support for Russia is already underway as Chinese supplies are flowing to Russia over the Amur River. At the same time, Russia’s recent offensive moves in eastern Ukraine are threatening to break Ukraine’s over-extended defensive positions. The heaviest fighting during the last several days has been focused around the city of Severodonetsk.

On Thursday, Russian state TV reported that Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has invited Russian troops, aircraft, and warships to his country. Russian commentator Olga Skabeeva, “the Iron Doll of Putin TV,” said, “It’s time for Russia to roll out something powerful [that is] closer to the American city upon a hill.”

Paving the way for Russia’s arrival in his country, President Ortega has unleashed a wave of terror across Nicaragua. Using a vague national security law, dissenters are being arrested. According to a CNN report, “Ordinary citizens now live in fear of both the government and each other….”

Nicaragua is not the only Latin American country turning to the left. Last November Chile elected (as president) Gabriel Boric of the Social Convergence Party. Boric received support from socialist and communist organizations around the world. According to Orlando Avendano, Boric “represents the breakdown” of Chile’s “capitalist tradition. He represents the deconstruction of the State, to submit it to the socialist delusions of those who hate Chile.” Besides Boric’s election in Chile, Pedro Castillo was sworn in as Peru’s president last July. Posturing as a moderate, Castillo was forwarded to office by a Marxist party (Peru Libre), which has supported him against impeachment. Adeptly maneuvering as a right-of-center Marxist, Castillo has “tactically” neutralized the anti-communist right. Some are asking, “Why attack Castillo?” He is a reasonable Marxist. Better work with him lest his more radical associates take power.

To understand “right” and “left” inside Marxist-Leninist parties, one must study Stalin’s maneuvers during the 1920s and 30s. In those days the “Great Helmsman” of the Communist Party Soviet Union steered to the right, then to the left. The rightwing Marxist-Leninist, Nikolai Bukharin, refused to turn left when Stalin turned left (at the end of NEP). Bukharin wrote to Stalin from prison (prior to his execution), with the following apology:

All my dreams recently have come down to one thing – to stick close to the leadership, and to you in particular … to work with all my strength, subordinating myself completely to your advice, instructions, and requirements. I have seen the spirit of Ilyich [Lenin] rest upon you. Who else could have resolved upon [the] Comintern’s new tactics?

Bukharin was acknowledging the correctness of Stalin’s zigs and zags. “Stick close to the leadership” is Marxism’s watchword then and now. Bukharin’s mistake was arguing that the Soviet Union needed to rely on the free market indefinitely. He thought a left turn toward socialist controls would be economic suicide. Stalin replied that Bukharin was not “a real Marxist,” that Bukharin had misunderstood the Soviet Union’s turn to capitalism in the 1920s. Lenin’s flirtation with capitalism had been a deception, Stalin explained. “We are revolutionary communists at war with capitalism,” said Stalin. “You should have known this.”

In the present context, the leading Marxist-Leninist powers are turning away from capitalism once again; that is, they are turning to the left. Any Marxist-Leninist who tarries could suffer the fate of Bukharin. Castillo is securing his power and knows how the game is played. As soon as it is possible, he will make a sharp left turn. He knows that Marxism-Leninism is entering an era of direct confrontation between communism and capitalism (even as the capitalists see no Marxist-Leninist threat whatsoever). All pretenses notwithstanding, Moscow and Beijing view Western sanctions as a green light. The path is open for the breakdown of international commerce, for the breakdown of “supply chains” and supplies of nonferrous metals. Such a breakdown facilitates the cause of world revolution. The collapse of currencies, of economies, of social order is beneficial from a revolutionary point of view. If people suffer from food and energy shortages, they will demand change.

In the West, as conditions worsen, a volatile electorate can turn to either extreme – left or right. With Moscow’s ambivalent outreach (to communists in the Third World and alt-rightest in Europe and North America), a political harvest may be expected for Putin. The Kremlin is gambling, of course; but the communists have made a two-sided bet. Their agents have infiltrated both parties and the U.S. Government. As long as their strategy remains undetected, it is likely to succeed.

If all else fails there is always World War III. The Russian media has warned that nuclear war is on the horizon. Across the U.S. government and media, politicians and pundits are only now waking up. As Congressional military advisor Peter Pry has said, “There is nobody in Washington that doesn’t think we are on the verge of a very serious nuclear crisis. The problem … is that most of Washington has been intellectually disengaged from nuclear strategy, nuclear weapons, nuclear threats, for thirty years." Pry added that we have “neglected our nuclear deterrent – so that it’s not modern, the missiles and bombers are thirty, forty years old. We’ve inherited this stuff from Ronald Reagan. Warheads haven’t been tested … in thirty years.”

For those who have bothered to read the Russian strategic literature, or talk to Russian military defectors, a nuclear war is not merely an exchange of nuclear warheads. Nuclear attacks prepare the way for an invasion of bombed territory. In this regard, Americans still believe in such things as “nuclear winter” and “everything will glow in the dark.” The public, once again, has been misled. Nuclear weapons do not destroy the environment if used properly. Air-bursting hydrogen bombs, above a target, creates no meaningful radioactive hazard at all. The myths we have imbibed, through the successful active measures of the communist bloc, have kept us from viewing nuclear weapons realistically.

“Contrary to popular perceptions,” noted researcher Nevin Gussack, “the Soviet nuclear war plan did not entail a scenario where all American cities and population centers would be destroyed. Instead, the USSR sought to strategically attack command and control centers, missile silos, military bases, and facilities of the defense industrial base.” This is of special interest because the USSR had tens of thousands of strategic nuclear warheads rather than a few thousand (as today). According to Gussack, the number of targets in the United States has seriously declined since the fall of the Soviet Union. Less nukes are needed today, since America has closed bases and emptied missile silos from year to year.

Few have understood that post-Cold War globalism was ideal, from the communist point of view, for promoting a kind of spontaneous nuclear disarmament on American side. While decrying globalism as an American imperialist plot, the strategists in Moscow and Beijing occupied themselves with infiltrating and subverting the West. The communists hijacked globalism as an instrument, recruiting billionaires as agents of influence, winning dupes in the various chambers of commerce, forming deep business partnerships on every side. Economic infiltration as well as political infiltration will be used by China and Russia to support future military operations. As Gussack pointed out, “The communist world adopted a flexible strategic and tactical approach in respect to crafting their military plans for the subjugation of the United States. The available evidence points to the following characteristics of their military program for the defeat of the United States:”

  1. Employment of [an] encirclement of the United States by unfriendly communist governments, especially below our southern border with Mexico.

  2. Utilization of special disruption [tactics] and [to] assassinate prominent VIPs in the United States.

  3. Usage of chemical-biological, atomic, and conventional armaments to remove the command and control, key industries, and intercontinental military assets in the United States.

  4. Utilizing communist regional powers, such as Cuba to assist in the imposition of Marxism-Leninism in the United States. The elements of surprise and maximum force for points 2, 3, and 4 were to be critical in Moscow’s success on the battlefield. Thus, the Red Dawn scenario would be completed, with the ultimate triumph of global communist totalitarianism.

Nussack documents, from many sources, the communist infiltration of the U.S. Democratic Party. He also documents the neutralization of the Republican Party through free trade advocacy and our economic engagement with China. These are all elements in a long-rang communist plan. Strategic thinkers know that wars are won before they start, provided the instigator of war has worked diligently to create the necessary conditions for victory. These conditions include a plausible justification for war, catching the enemy by surprise, and active measures tending to a strategy of “divide and conquer.”


In this matter, a book titled Unrestricted Warfare, by two People’s Liberation Army colonels, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, has captured the imagination of Western analysts. Of course, the West’s strategic imagination has atrophied since 1991. American strategists tend to take things at face value. Consequently, Qiao and Wang played a sophisticated game with Western readers. They freely mixed banal truths with misdirection, irony and outright mockery. The book admits to China’s backwardness and inability to fight America head-on. It repeatedly dismisses nuclear war and flatters every false U.S. preconception. To what end? Here are several suggestive passages:

If one thinks that one must rely on advanced weapons to fight a modern war, being blindly superstitious about the miraculous effects of such weapons, it may actually result in turning something miraculous into something rotten. …the most basic thing is not the thing with the greatest future. Technology is no longer the main factor.

Such comments are vague, except in one thing: They pretend to despise advanced weapons, things that have a future, and technology. Yet China has been steadily improving its weapons and technology. The Chinese text, therefore, is deceptive. Qiao and Wang offer up a series of inane commonplaces, bizarre digressions, banal truisms, and nonsense. They pepper the whole with juicy tidbits of frightening truth and insight: for example, “that some morning people will awake to discover with surprise that quite a few gentle and kind things have begun to have offensive and lethal characteristics.”

If we list baby formula or “vaccines,” box cutters or airline tickets, we would be on the right track. Yet, none of our American strategists have the imagination to grasp the full potential of this Chinese approach. Being vague and unforthcoming, Qiao and Wang never fill in the details for us. Being obvious and unsubtle, the American side rather thinks of “death by a thousand cuts.” That may work, indeed; but the Chinese imagination in such things is far richer than the American imagination.

One might ask: What is the People’s Liberation Army going to do? – crawl into our bedrooms and smother us all with our pillows? Here Qiao and Wang direct us away from the military sphere, away from actual strategic threats – from thoughts of ballistic missile defense, fallout shelters, or the modernization of the U.S. nuclear deterrent. Qiao and Wang’s “kinder, gentler,” weaponry – pillows and other soft kindnesses – ring with mocking irony.

Throughout the text of Unrestricted Warfare Qiao and Wang suggest that nuclear weapons are a “trap.” Here we are treated to the most insidious irony of all. Nuclear weapons, they say, are “a serious violation of the ‘right to life’ and represents a ‘crime against mankind.’” Naturally, China is a major champion of human rights. But Qiao and Wang are hardly done with their prank. “Today,” they write, “when nuclear weapons have already become frightening mantlepiece decorations that are losing their real operational value with each passing day, financial war has become a ‘hyperstrategic’ weapon…."

Does anyone really believe a Marxist country is gong to defeat a capitalist country in a financial war? Marxists do not understand finance or economics. They do not respect finance or economics as subjects. For them, economics is ruling class nonsense. What they understand is lying, swindling, stealing, and sabotage. This they can do. And it is what they have done, for decades. When this latest round of swindling has come to an end the West will stop playing along. That is when those “frightening mantlepiece decorations” (i.e., nuclear weapons) will recover their operational value.

On Friday Dr. Li-Meng Yan sent me the following note: “We received intelligence that the CCP is producing [a] huge number of missiles secretly. It started from at least [the] end of 2020. People work there [at the missile plants] around the clock, lots of Armed Police monitory them. [The] CCP recruited more people than before. For example, in Beijing, workers are held in factories with the excuse of ‘anti-Covid.’” Li-Meng confirmed that some of these missiles are of the long-range ICBM type.

Of course, to make the strategic missile weapons more effective, PLA strategists have adopted a confusing mix of approaches. According to Qiao and Wang, “The goal of this kind of warfare will encompass more than merely ‘using means that involve the force of arms to force the enemy to accept one’s own will.’ Rather, the goal should be ‘to use all means whatsoever’….”

And the CCP strategists do, apparently, use “all means whatsoever.” At the same time, “all means whatsoever” cannot be reckoned with. A defender cannot defend against “all means.” The communists, of course, attack the West in every area – in every imaginable way. The communists attack us through our schools and churches, in our scientific labs and hospitals, by stoking fear of global warming, by exacerbating our growing ideological and racial divisions. They have infiltrated our markets, compromised our businessmen and politicians, confused our scientists and strategists. Indeed, we have succumbed on every level.

Imagine the following conversation:


AMERICA: What is your strategy?

CCP: To use everything.

AMERICA: How do I counter everything?

CCP: By defending everywhere.

AMERICA: So, I have to walk around in an armored bubble with a food taster?

CCP: Exactly.

AMERICA: So, I should keep all my money in cash in case you launch a cyber-attack against my bank.

CCP: Absolutely.

AMERICA: And you will force me to shoot Old Yeller because you gave him rabies.

CCP: And we will win over the dog lovers.

AMERICA: Well, there is one thing to be thankful for.

CCP: What is that?

AMERICA: You do not care about hi-tech weapons or waging a nuclear war.

CCP: Exactly! Nuclear weapons are obsolete. Armies and navies are obsolete.

AMERICA: Then why are you building nuclear weapons together with your army and navy?

CCP: To distract you from fighting terrorists and COVID. How do you think we manage these things if we do not trick you into building useless nuclear weapons? Think of how much money you wasted on your nuclear arsenal! You could have defeated all the terrorists in the world by now if you’d spent more defense dollars on Iraq and Afghanistan.



According to the People’s Liberation Army, America needs kind-hearted weapons. Love is better than war, as everyone knows. Kind-hearted weapons are not nuclear weapons. In fact, they are more expensive than nuclear weapons. But they are worth the money.

According to Qiao and Wang, “Precision weapons … are kind-hearted weapons.” Warfare now has a more “kindhearted hue.” At the same time, information weapons count as “kinder” weapons. According to Qiao and Wang, information weapons “represent a change with the most profound implications in the history of human warfare to date….” And then comes the twist: “Nonetheless, we still cannot indulge in romantic fantasies about technology, believing that from this point on war will become a confrontation like an electronic game, and even simulated warfare.”

Qiao and Wang flatter, cajole, and stupefy. “The time for fundamental change on the battlefield … is not far off. ”Returning to irony, the PLA colonels accuse George Soros of being “a financial terrorist.” (An intriguing insertion.) At the same time, Qiao and Wang have nothing good to say about conventional military strength, even though China deploys the world’s largest conventional army, navy and air force: “professional armies are like gigantic dinosaurs which lack strength commensurate to their size in this new age. Their adversaries, then, are rodents with great powers of survival, which can use their sharp teeth the torment the better part of the world.”

Has Willard defected to Beijing? Shall it be “death by a billion rats” instead of death by a thousand cuts? How many metaphors, expressing the same idea, must we analyze? The United States has been taking damage. That is true. The communists attack our way of life and we barely respond. True again. We hardly know that our attacker is communist, imagining that the “terrorist,” George Soros, is on the capitalist team. The real question is: – What if Soros is on China’s side?

In this context, Marx, Engels and Lenin were believers in Carl von Clausewitz – “the philosopher of war.” According to Clausewitz, “If you want to overcome your enemy you must match your effort against his power of resistance….” The incalculable element, said Clausewitz, was an enemy’s “strength of will.” The question then becomes: How do you break someone’s will to resist? In truth, the entire communist project is an experiment. It is an experiment that has failed, again and again. It is an experiment that is continually being adjusted, modified, calibrated. And despite their willingness to abandon old lies for new, they still have not won? They infiltrated and corrupted Ukraine. But the Ukrainian people rose up and opposed them. And now they have a fight on their hands. When traitors and infiltrators in a country are finally forced to expose themselves, a violent reaction may be expected.

The problem with devious strategies is that they inevitably provoke violent counter-reactions. Clausewitz famously explained that you cannot safely rely on disarming an enemy without a fight. He wrote:

Kind-hearted people might of course think there was some ingenious way to disarm or defeat an enemy without too much bloodshed, and might imagine this is the true goal of the art of war [see Sun Tzu]. Pleasant as it sounds, it is a fallacy that must be exposed: war is such a dangerous business that the mistakes which come from kindness are the very worst. The maximum use of force is in no way incompatible with the simultaneous use of the intellect [for deception]. If one side uses force without compunction, undeterred by the bloodshed it involves, while the other side refrains, the first will gain the upper hand. That side will force the other to follow suit; each will drive its opponent toward extremes, and the only limiting factors are the counterpoises inherent in war.

War is brutal, noted Clausewitz. It is futile to “try and shut one’s eyes to what war really is from sheer distress at its brutality.” The devious strategies of the People’s Liberation Army and the communists are real enough, yet these strategies have a fatal shortcoming. If people wake up, if people resist, the communists must retreat. Sometimes, however, retreating can be fatal. After this fashion the Kremlin has boxed itself into a corner in Ukraine. At this hour China is doing the same thing economically.

War is a terrible thing. Far worse than war is succumbing without a fight. The Chinese communists are a riddle. They lock down their own cities and close their own ports, hurting their own economy. They mobilize transport ships for war and make loud noises about retaking Taiwan. They talk about cutting America’s supply chain while cutting their own. They promise not to help Russia in Ukraine, but they help Russia in Ukraine. They tell us that nuclear weapons are obsolete, yet they prepare to threaten us with nuclear war.

Our side is also a riddle. The shopping mall regime of the West is focused on buying and selling. The West takes national survival and security for granted. Our strategists and security analysts tend to be facile, academic, and easily misdirected. As simple as it sounds, a “war by all means” is a war in which you must identify your enemy before you can do anything meaningful. Once you do that, there is no riddle. Deception then becomes a less effective weapon. War “by every means” no longer works. The only thing we need, after that, is courage.

If we are in for a fight, then we fight. This is the answer to all riddles.