‘There Are No Rules, There Is No Restraint’: Kerry Gershaneck on China’s Plan to Win W/O Fighting

In this special episode, we sat down with Kerry Gershaneck, professor and author of “Political Warfare: Strategies for Combating China’s Plan to ‘Win Without Fighting'” and “Media Warfare: Taiwan’s Battle for the Cognitive Domain.” We also hear from Joshua Philipp, host of Crossroads and senior investigative reporter at The Epoch Times. They discuss the Chinese regime’s bid to take down America—not through traditional warfare but something called “unrestricted warfare”—how that’s playing out, and what steps can be taken to counter a threat that may not even be seen.

Gershaneck said, “Basically, fighting without rules goes back thousands of years. And so this concept of unrestricted warfare is new to, say, those of us in democracies because we work by the rules, we try to. We have international conventions, we have law, and we try to adhere to it to the best that we can—whether that be Japan, whether that be Taiwan, whether that be the United States of America or the European Union, we do try. Under unrestricted warfare, which is the thought process that is clearly guiding the Chinese Communist Party [CCP], there’s no rules, there’s no restraint. And so that’s what we mean by unrestricted warfare. Unrestricted warfare applies to all kinds of warfare.”

Philipp notes the four stages of subversion Beijing aims to use to topple the United States. He said, “It starts off on demoralization. You break the will of a country. You make a country stop functioning as it’s meant to function. You infiltrate their institutions, you co-opt their businesses, you make their big tech companies, you know, serve the favor of a foreign country.”

He adds that, what happens is, “eventually, it gets so chaotic that people begin demanding some kind of change. They can no longer live like that, society no longer functions, the institutions no longer workers are supposed to, they’ve been taught to criticize and think badly of everything about their country, whether it’s the culture, the history, or the current system—and they begin demanding a new system. And from that, [the CCP moves] in, and that’s what they call normalization. And normalization is where they institute a new form of government, often bringing in policies that people would never normally accept. That was the method the Soviet Union used to conquer a lot of different countries. That is the same method that the CCP is applying through this, again, unrestricted warfare doctrine, which we lay out in that infographic.”

Kerry adds the best defense against unrestricted warfare is education. He said, “You have to have an educated citizenry. You have to have educated elected officials, educated military officials. And I can say on the behalf of the United States of America, we haven’t done that well in that regard in the 20 years that we’ve been fighting in the sandbox, fighting in Southwest Asia. A lot of military officers and the Pentagon took its eye off of this issue. State Department certainly did. We dismantled that organization, the United States Information Agency, that was established specifically to combat political warfare during the Cold War. And we’ve never built an equivalent organization to take on the Chinese Communist Party threat. And we’re paying the price for that.”

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