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Decoding The Virtual Dragon - Critical Evolutions In The Science And Philosophy Of China's Information Operations And Military Strategy - The Art Of War And IW by Timothy L. Thomas Unknown Binding – January 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) (2007)
  • ASIN: B001AATF5K
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #941,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bejtlich on December 31, 2010
Decoding the Virtual Dragon (DTVD) is the sequel to Timothy L Thomas' 2004 book Dragon Bytes. A colleague introduced me to both books, and an expert on the Chinese hacker scene was kind enough to secure a copy of the book. I thank all of them for the extraordinary journey presented in DTVD. Published in 2007, DTVD is an historical review of key publications by Chinese information warfare (IW) theorists and thought leaders, as translated by American translators and the Open Source Center, successor to the former Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). The author is an analyst with the Foreign Military Studies Office, and is a West Point graduate, a retired Army Lt Col, and a former Foreign Area Officer focusing on the USSR and Russia. DTVD covers Chinese IW thought from 2004-early 2007. Thomas' earlier book discusses 1995-2003, and his later book addresses 2007-2009.

My review of DB summarized key Chinese IW themes, all of which extend into DTVD. Therefore I'd like to highlight a few aspects of DTVD that should be of interest to Western digital security specialists.

Chinese military leaders have always promoted development of theory and strategy, but they are now integrating practice into their doctrine. This is difficult for a military that lacks the ops tempo of a force like the US military, with a decade of continuous war experience on hand. However, IW allows continuous practice, since it can be exercised "using a borrowed sword" (i.e., using deception and "camouflage" to lend plausible deniability to Chinese IW offensives against the West).

Chinese thought leaders often see the US as an offensive force. Thomas reports on the views of two theorists thus: "Conflict-oriented strategy still holds a strong place in Western strategic culture.
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