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Political Warfare

Strategies for Combating China’s Plan to “Win without Fighting”

Kerry K. Gershaneck 

DOI: 10.56686/9781732003125


The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is at war with the world. It is a war fought mostly for control and influence, using coercion, corruption, and violent covert operations. The PRC prefers to win this war by never having to fire a shot, but its increasingly powerful military and paramilitary forces loom ominously in the background in support of its expanding war of influence. In Political Warfare, Professor Kerry K. Gershaneck describes how the PRC employs political warfare as its primary weapon to destroy its adversaries, including the United States and many of its allied and partner nations. Failure to understand China’s political warfare and how to confront it may well lead to America’s strategic defeat before initiation of armed conflict or to operational defeat of U.S. military forces on the battlefield. Ultimately, Gershaneck argues in this detailed study, the United States must relearn how to fight on the political warfare battlefield to identify, deter, counter, and defeat this existential threat.

Professor Kerry K. Gershaneck is a visiting scholar at the Graduate Institute of East Asian Studies, National Chengchi University in Taiwan; a senior research associate at the Thammasat University Faculty of Law in Thailand; and an adjunct professor with the University of Canberra’s Institute for Governance & Policy Analysis in Australia. He was the distinguished visiting professor at both Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy and the Royal Thai Naval Academy in Thailand for six years. Professor Gershaneck is a former U.S. Marine Corps officer, strategic planner and spokesman for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and senior fellow on the staff of the Pacific Forum CSIS think tank in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“[Political Warfare is] the mental equivalent of physical boot camp training—it introduces you to the fight and teaches you the tactics and the strategies needed to defend yourself, and hopefully win. If you think the fight doesn’t involve you, the book shows you why you are already in the ring, and likely losing.” 
~ Cleo Paskal, Sunday Guardian



1. An Introduction to PRC Political Warfare
2. Terms and Definitions
3.  A Brief History of PRC Political Warfare
4.  PRC Political Warfare Goals, Ways, Means, and Wartime Support
5.  PRC Political Warfare against Thailand: An Overview
6.  PRC Political Warfare against Thailand: A Contemporary Analysis
7.  PRC Political Warfare against Taiwan: An Overview
8.  PRC Political Warfare against Taiwan: A Contemporary Analysis
9.  Conclusions and Recommendations

Curriculum for a Five-Day Counter-PRC Political Warfare Course

Selected Bibliography 

6 x 9 paperback
216 pages
PDF download

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