2011–12 PLA Workshop

Learning By Doing: The PLA Trains at Home and Abroad

Leading experts on the Chinese military gathered at the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia, on February 18, 2012, for a workshop titled “Learning By Doing: The PLA Trains at Home and Abroad.” The 2011–12 PLA Workshop was convened by NBR, the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) of the U.S. Army War College (USAWC), the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM), and the Marine Corps University (MCU).

The 2012 PLA Workshop sought to build on findings from the 2010 Conference and examine how the PLA follows Mao Zedong’s maxim to learn by doing by analyzing a major source of the PLA’s practical knowledge, namely its exercises and noncombat operations.

The study of PLA exercises as well as military operations other than war (MOOTW) have become vital to understanding Chinese military modernization priorities and changing operational patterns. Thus, the 2012 workshop filled a void within the literature by assessing the PLA’s progress in recent exercises and noncombat operations in the following areas: PLA Navy (PLAN) exercises and operations, PLA ground force exercises within China’s borders, multinational exercises in international settings, and systems and strategy reform.

Workshop Publications

Book Discussion

On February 26, 2013, NBR partnered with the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) of the U.S. Army War College and U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) to hold a book launch event at the Rayburn House Office building for the new volume Learning by Doing: The PLA Trains at Home and Abroad. The event featured congressional speakers Adam Smith, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Randy Forbes, co-chair of the House of Representatives China Caucus and chair of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces. The event also included panel discussions with the editors and several chapter authors on the key findings and policy implications of this important new volume.


Congresssional Remarks

Adam Smith (WA-09), House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member

Randy Forbes (VA-04), House Armed Services Committee Member

Panel Discussion

Bernard D. Cole, National War College

Cortez A. Cooper, RAND Corporation

Abraham M. Denmark, The National Bureau of Asian Research

Roy Kamphausen, The National Bureau of Asian Research

David Lai, U.S. Army War College

Michael McDevitt, Center for Naval Analyses

Travis Tanner, The National Bureau of Asian Research

Concluding Remarks

Colonel Phillip Lanman, United States Pacific Command

Book Launch Event Photos

Congressman Adam Smith delivers remarks on the “U.S. Strategic Rebalance to Asia.”

Panelist David Lai responds to a question, with Roy Kamphausen.

Congressman Randy Forbes delivers remarks on “China and U.S. Security in the Asia-Pacific.”

Admiral Michael McDevitt presents his chapter, with Travis Tanner and Dr. Bernard Cole.

Colonel Phillip Lanman delivers closing remarks.