Competition In 2035: Anticipating Chinese Exploitation OE - Report

This paper assesses how China may leverage the more exploitable conditions of operational environments (OE) to gain a strategic advantage over the U.S. We argue that from now until 2035, China’s whole-of-nation approach will greatly enable OE exploitation. China will advance its global influence using economic and financial power and exploitation of the information environment, leveraging and shaping the international system for its own interests while constraining others, including the U.S. Four significant implications for the U.S. Army arise from this analysis: (1) Traditional U.S. Army threat paradigms may not be sufficient for competition, (2) The U.S. Army could be drawn into unanticipated escalation as a result of China’s activities during the competition phase, (3) China will undermine US Army military partnerships in 2035, and (4) U.S. Army operations and engagements will be increasingly impacted by the pervasiveness of Chinese goods, technology, infrastructure, and systems.