Leadership: Keeping Up Without Going Bankrupt


April 3, 2010: China recently announced that they have implemented a system that enables army and air force divisions to instantly share information. The main item shared is the location and status of subunits. This lets the army commanders know what aircraft are available and where those aircraft are. For the air force, they have a continual update on the location of army ground units. This sharing of information makes it easier for army and air force commanders to coordinate their operations and plan more effectively.

This is a new system, and few army and air force divisions have the gear. Most army and air force divisions have the kind of coordination capabilities that Western forces had half a century ago. But this new development shows that the Chinese could, if they wished to spend the money, equip all divisions with this stuff. But what China is doing here is keeping up with Western technology, not trying to equip their entire armed forces to that high standard. This would be very expensive, and China does not want to spend that kind of money unless they need to, or feel that they have achieved a technological edge that would give them a military edge if they deployed the tech on a wide scale.



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