Imagine if during the time from Adolf Hitler’s burning of the Reichstag in 1933 until the 1939 invasion of Poland 100 Nazi generals visited the United States and had access to our military war plans, state-of-the-art military technology, and our current training and tactics.
Preposterous to contemplate. Yet under the Clinton administration’s stewardship of national security, 100 generals from a war machine more deadly and as potentially hostile as Nazi Germany visited America to learn all the could about our ability to fight and win military engagements.
A recent report delivered to Congress as Bill Clinton was stealing furniture from the White House reveals how deep and long lasting the damage to our national security was done by the boy from Hope.
“The Report of Past Military to Military Exchanges And Contacts Between the U.S. and P.R.C.,” requested by Sen. Robert Smith, New Hampshire Republican, tells the American people that instead of Hitler’s generals, approximately 100 general officers from the People’s Liberation Army toured American military bases, aircraft carriers, war colleges and other installations from 1993 through 2000. Many of the PLA generals and admirals would have been wearing the Tiananmen Square Massacre campaign medal or the Tibetan Genocide occupation ribbon (if they give such awards).
To be fair to U.S. commands that hosted the PLA officers, the commander in chief set the tone by announcing a “strategic partnership” with the People’s Republic of China. Our president secretly hosted Gen. Chi Haotian in the Oval Office. The general was directly responsible for the Tiananmen massacre. With that point of fairness acknowledged, a record of some commands exuberantly embracing the program can be found in the congressional report. Following orders from above is one thing, actively currying political favor for personal promotion and gain at the potential expense of the livees of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines is another. The goal of congressional sunshine is to ensure this never again happens.
For example, for one visit a message designated sensitive and important from the defense secretary on down instructs commands to “Please provide highest-quality briefings covering unit activities and a red carpet tour of facilities.” The message goes on to say that, “If release of classified information will make visit more meaningful and beneficial to the United States, request must be submitted via … .”
The report to Congress said no classified information was divulged, but there is reference to a classified appendix. Our guess is classified information was divulged over the last eight years.
The PLA general given the “red carpet” treatment was especially interested in U.S. Air Force combat operations training and tactics, especially “Aircrew proficiency, hours for training, weapons trained on. Desert Storm and peacekeeping missions are of interest.” This “red carpet” guest, Gen. Xu Huizi had a “significant role in planning and execution of operations against demonstrators in Beijing,” and “directed troop movement in the streets and praised publicly PLA troops for their participation.”
The report to Congress reveals over and over that the American military got very little in return for our openness. Quoting from one trip report, “The Chinese would not answer questions about their units, to include designations, what aircraft were flown, or even what province they were from.” The American author in brilliant clarity points out that, “The Chinese know that their reluctance to disclose information is a drag on the development of relations between the services, but they seem to feel that time is on their side, given American cultural preferences for openness and honesty in contrast to their own military culture.”
In fact, soon thereafter the PRC was rewarded with a briefing by a very senior U.S. admiral on the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), especially “Network-Centric Warfare.” Without going into much detail, this state-of-the-art thinking is critical in current American military modernization programs. The PLA was so appreciative they gave the admiral “a Chinese name, Jin Bolo [Golden Pineapple].”
The PLA military exchanges not only focused on the big items, aircraft carriers, C-5s, submarines and submarine repair ships, but areas of expertise on which America justifiably commands worldwide dominance, subjects covered in various briefings to the PLA generals:
c Logistics, including building logistics forces and deploying and storing assets, how do U.S. forces function in wartime? How are they (U.S. Army logistics) modernizing?
c Airlift logistics, including training and education. Strategic sealift, including Navy maintenance programs and Navy supply system. Command and control of logistics assets in a joint operation.
c Air combat training, including F-16 scramble and Air Combat Maneuvering Range demonstration, how we train fighter pilots, jet engine overhaul facility, corrosion control facility.
c Observation of U.S. Army training, including tank gunnery training, artillery live fire, air defense artillery live fire, and very senior roundtable discussions on U.S. Army strategic overview, U.S. Army training and readiness.
One moment of courage should also be acknowledged. The U.S. Air Force balked on demonstrating aerial refueling technology and training. Whoever made that command decision is a true leader and unsung hero.
In conclusion, no analysis of President Clinton and China would be complete without an appearance by Gen Ji Shengde. This was the general in charge of PLA intelligence and the illegal money operation to bribe President Clinton “Here is $300,000, we like your president.” Gen Ji spent days with the U.S. Pacific Command’s intelligence organization with no further information furnished to Congress about what was discussed. Gen Ji is even too corrupt for the PLA. He is currently in jail. We think that would be a fitting end for all 100 PLA general officers.