How to piece together Chinese nuclear secrets

“The fact that there were no 
answers to that really got to me..."

The Chinese military has a huge network of tunnels that hide their nuclear missiles, and nobody outside the Chinese government knows exactly how many missiles they have. One U. S. college professor, who used to work at the Pentagon, assigned this question as homework, and students used all sorts of sources to uncover the secrets:
...the students turned to publicly available Chinese sources — military journals, local news reports and online photos posted by Chinese citizens. It helped that China’s famously secretive military was beginning to release more information, driven by its leaders’ eagerness to show off China’s growing power to its citizens.

The Internet also generated a raft of leads: new military forums, blogs and once-obscure local TV reports now posted on the Chinese equivalents of YouTube. Strategic string searches even allowed the students to get behind some military Web sites and download documents such as syllabuses taught at China’s military academies.
One of the oddest sources? A fictionalized TV melodrama about Chinese soldiers:
The plots were often overwrought with melodrama — one series centers on a brigade commander who struggles to whip his slipshod unit into shape while juggling relationship problems with his glamorous Olympic-swim-coach girlfriend. But they also included surprisingly accurate depictions of artillery units’ procedures that lined up perfectly with the military manual and other documents.

“Until someone showed us on screen how exactly these missile deployments were done from the tunnels, we only had disparate pieces. The TV shows gave us the big picture of how it all worked together..."
Read the article: Digging into China’s nuclear tunnels, The Washington Post>>

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