SMA Speaker Series: CCP Weapons of Mass Persuasion

May 2, 2023

Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) General Speaker Session

“The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) origin is chronically understudied despite its strategic importance. The competitive strategy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) today relies on information operations and techniques of cooption and subversion that the CCP learned during its first decade, the 1920s, coupled with approaches to conventional warfare honed soon thereafter. Dr. Deal and Ms. Harvey identified three recurring models or phases of CCP strategy: 1) internal takeover – coopting an adversary by appearing to cooperate or form a partnership with it, finding sympathizers in the nominal partner’s camp, and shaping joint activities in directions favorable to the CCP; 2) preparing for a break – exacerbating divisions within the partner’s camp and inflating the CCP’s capabilities to demoralize the partner in advance of a split; and 3) scripted military confrontation – launching a surprise attack designed to enable the CCP to exploit its superior preparation and positioning relative to the partner.”