It has been decades since China has had an armed conflict with another nation, and a new PLA report says that downtime is resulting a military that isn’t ready in case it’s called upon to fight.
The report says military leaders are wasting the efforts of their troops by having them perform menial tasks unrelated to their role, and mentions soldiers who are ordered to sweep and tidy up their barracks all day, or memorize long passages and then take impossibly difficult tests in which one wrong character is scored as a wrong answer. As well, the report says there is a continuing sense of redundancy as recruits both old and new are ordered to perform basic training on an annual basis.
Here’s an excerpt:
To waste the spirit of your officers and soldiers is to have a detrimental effect upon their effectiveness to fight. To only be concerned with civil concerns and not military ones is to cause disharmony and disorder. Why do some military leaders love to use power to accomplish nothing? One reason is that the concept of leading has fallen behind, thinking that ‘something will happen out of idleness’. They prefer their troops do work of no value because they can’t bear them not working. The other reason is image. They’d rather do something fake than lose out by going through the motions. Another reason is improper planning, with one hand not knowing what the other is doing, thus dragging the enlisted men into the mire.
Those that want to be victorious must love their troops. These military leaders must cherish the fruit of their soldiers’ labor. Really loving your soldiers is to appreciate the price that they pay. Winning your soldiers’ trust is the way to their hearts. Otherwise, if you don’t cherish them or empathize with their plight, this is to waste their blood, sweat and tears, and will take a toll on their fighting strength.
The report does not say how military commanders can properly cherish their troops without any wars to fight.