"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
John Garnaut has written a 3200+ word article about corruption in the PLA, an issue that has not received the attention it merits, at least in open source Western analysis of China’s military.
PLA corruption is probably a good thing for the US and its allies on several levels, from lower force readiness to procurement of defective weapons systems (think high speed rail problems) to exploitable, corrupt officers. A successful anti-corruption campaign may not be something the West wants.
A real corruption crackdown is also something that global luxury retailers would dread as they rely on Chinese corruption to fuel much of their global growth.
You can read the entire article here.
[UPDATE: Foreign Policy has published a somewhat different version of this essay here. END UPDATE]
Just a wild guess, but I would put corruption in the PLA at about 10% of the dollar value (purchasing power adjusted) of corruption in the US Armed Forces.
This may sound counter-intuitive, but the US version is systemic in that it starts from the very top. The President will certainly be bribed to the tune of $100 million (in the form of ‘campaign contributions’) by the arms industry this year. Congress will receive a similar amount, with some senators receiving much more.
The significant difference between the two corruptions is that the CCP CEntral Steering Committee will NOT be bribed by or on behalf of the PLA.
It seems that this is the major governance difference between the USA and China: the top level administrators are honest and thus able to exercise competence and balance in their decision-making. Our government, by design, is corrupt and, therefore, unable to exercise disinterested competence.
Hence our great nation is declining and theirs is rising.