China's Three-Headed Information Monster
The Strategy Page describes how China assembled a force few have heard about. In idyllic 1990s, the Chinese Defense Ministry established a research organization called the "NET Force" geared towards conducting information warfare. NET Force was soon joined by an irregular civilian militia; the "Red Hackers Union" (RHU). "Starting in the late 1990s, China assembled what has now become 30,000 Ministry of Public Security employees manning the Golden Shield Project (also known as The Great Firewall of China), and monitor Internet use throughout the country."
These three organizations, which apparently work closely with each other, have provided China with a formidable Cyber War capability. NET Force, with only a few thousand personnel, appears to be the controlling organization for Cyber War activities. With the RHU and Golden Shield, they can mobilize formidable attacks, as well as great defensive potential. No other nation has anything like it.
The Chinese have recognized the potential of the Internet as a force and are attempting to invent systems to mobilize and focus their national resources upon exploiting its vulnerabilities. How that will compare with similar developments in America like the blogosphere will be fascinating to observe. Will our model be better? It's instructive to compare this approach with the ponderous notions of public diplomacy and strategies built around newspaper and broadcast network cycles that the campaign of the "smartest woman in the world" may have relied on. Perhaps historians of the future will one day compare the mainstream media to such historical objects as the Maginot Line and the dreadnought battleship. "Like a cut flower in a vase; so fair to see yet doomed to die."