Nicholas A. Budak

Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-14-2014

Major Department or Program

Asian Studies


Brian Dott


In light of recent developments such as 2013 intrusion into Pentagon networks, this study examines the history and rhetoric surrounding the orientation of the Chinese armed forces towards waging an information-based war. Its goal is to construct a history of the internal doctrinal rhetoric of the People’s Liberation Army - what were the commanders who would fight a 21st-century information war saying amongst themselves 30 years ago? What are they saying today? With a view to critical conceptions of security as a ‘battle for notions’ among rhetorical actors, the study attempts to deliver a rhetorical analysis keyed to the most important and influential viewpoints and actors in the debate over information warfare. In pursuing these goals, it distinguishes itself from the literature base through its relatively wide historical range as well as its cultural, linguistic, and rhetorical foci. Chinese terms that appear in PLA writing are analysed for their significance and utility vis-a-vis the overall discourse of information warfare, as well as the likelihood that they will drive policy in the future. Ultimately, the study concludes that traditional Chinese strategic writings remain relevant, and will continue to shape and be shaped by real-time security. This cyclical relationship of discourse is increasingly focused on information warfare as an attractively useful and uniquely Chinese offensive capability.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Pentagon (Va.) -- Computer networks -- Security measures -- Defects, Information warfare -- Forecasting -- History, China -- Armed Forces -- Military policy, Strategic culture -- Political aspects -- China, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2014 -- Asian Studies

Permanent URL

Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

Terms of Use

If you have questions about permitted uses of this content, please contact the ARMINDA administrator



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).