During the rule of Mao Zedong, however, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was discouraged from pursuing greater military professionalism. Mao worried that a professional military might resist Party control, constituting a separate power base. Moreover, Mao feared a professional military might reach conclusions that contradicted or diverged from Party ideology. Consequently, PLA professional military education (PME) suffered under much of the Mao era (1949-1976). During the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) in particular, many PME institutions were shut down and military education in general was badly disrupted. During this period, it is not clear how much wargaming was conducted, nor who was responsible for their staging, if they were conducted at all.
- Dean Cheng is the senior research fellow for Chinese political and security affairs at The Heritage Foundation.
- This piece originally appeared in War on the Rocks can be viewed in full at http://warontherocks.com/2015/02/the-peoples-liberation-army-on-wargaming/
Originally appeared in War on the Rocks