Unearthing China’s Underground Tunnel Network

Students from Georgetown University, led by Phillip Karber, a professor who was once a Pentagon strategist, have assembled the largest known body of public knowledge on China’s vast network of tunnels designed to hide and protect the country’s arsenal of ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads, reports the Washington Post. Included in the findings of the student group’s three years of exhaustive research is the contention that China’s nuclear arsenal could be many times larger than what the Defense Department and arms control community traditionally have accepted in public circles, according to the newspaper. The group has not yet released the study that chronicles its work. The students translated reams of documents, analyzed satellite imagery, went through myriad online data, and even obtained restricted Chinese military documents to uncover the underground network. The Pentagon’s 2011 report (caution; large-sized file) on China’s military acknowledged that China continues to use underground facilities “to protect and conceal [its] newest and most modern solid-fueled mobile missiles.”