The Invisible Game of Great Powers: A Multidimensional Perspective on the Typical Means of Cognitive Warfare in the United States

  In 2001, the report “Network Centered Warfare” submitted by the U.S. Department of Defense to the Congress introduced the concept of cognitive domain for the first time in the military, clearly emphasizing that “the cognitive domain determines the outcome of many battles and wars.” With the continuous development of war practice and science and technology, the cognitive warfare of the United States has achieved a leap from “quantity” to “quality”. How to Compete” cognitive warfare project fully demonstrates the United States’ systematic understanding and deep grasp of the concept, goals, means, and characteristics of cognitive warfare, and fully reflects the United States’ multi-dimensional layout, multi-party approach, multi-point effort, and multi-directional application in the cognitive domain. specialty. Combing the evolution of US cognitive warfare, it can be found that its typical methods mainly combine neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social communication, international politics and many other disciplines. Compared with high-intensity physical strike methods, they have more moral advantages and Strategic flexibility has gradually become a necessary choice for the United States to win future wars, check and balance competitors, and maintain the hegemonic system. From the three dimensions of the country as a whole, specific groups, and core individuals, this article summarizes and explores the typical methods used by the United States to shape cognitive hegemony, create cognitive biases, and focus on cognitive advantages through cognitive warfare, and clearly understand the tactics of the US cognitive warfare. The routine provides a theoretical reference and a practical basis for a robust response to the U.S. cognitive war.
Long-term operational planning to shape the cognitive hegemony of the country as a whole

  From an objective point of view, the United States started research and exploration in cognitive warfare early. Affected by the inertial thinking of maintaining hegemony, the emphasis and emphasis on “territorial power” has led it to regard its main competitors as objects of cognitive output and defense. Long-term strategic planning has continuously enhanced its own cognitive checks and balances, breaking through cognitive barriers and affecting the cognitive balance among countries, in order to gain dominance in the cognitive domain.
  Take control of the social network with a first-mover advantage. In terms of top-level design, the United States has shifted its focus from consolidating the discourse advantages of traditional media to developing new social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and using them as a medium for public opinion propaganda, finding dissidents, monitoring targets, and maintaining security in the national network security strategy. platform. In terms of controlling the underlying resources, the United States, as the largest owner of the root domain name resolution server, holds the right to allocate domain names and addresses. Among them, the United States has about 1.6 billion IP addresses with a population of more than 300 million, accounting for 44% of the existing addresses. The distribution of basic resources is severely uneven, and American-style hegemony continues to extend to cyberspace. In terms of key aspects of control, operating systems, storage devices, and communication protocols make up the four pillars of social networks. The United States has set up technical barriers, implanted backdoor programs, and restricted bandwidth traffic to enable it to control the technological dominance of core products and wantonly Manipulate the whole process of global information communication. In terms of covering information channels, by establishing a personal metadata database, monitoring all network participants, using algorithms to recommend screening targets, customizing the output of specific ideological views, and information bombing to cover rational voices, thereby dominating the discourse power in social media.
  Rely on the alliance system to guide international public opinion.First of all, the United States builds a value alliance, binds its allies to participate in checks and balances, discredits and slanders the policies and systems of its competitors, uses the South China Sea arbitration case to shape the public opinion orientation of a “hegemonic power” bullying a “small democratic country”, smears China’s legitimate behavior of safeguarding sovereignty, and fabricates ” The topic of the new crown manufacturing country” is united with allies to guide international public opinion to focus on China. Second, design controversial issues in an attempt to achieve strategic focus at low cost and create internal divisions among opponents. The United States and its allies have publicly bad-mouthed the development prospects of the “Belt and Road”, defining it as a “debt trap” and distorting China’s cooperative relations with other developing countries. Finally, an extreme label was constructed. In order to cope with the increasingly fierce competition among major powers, the United States and its allies have continuously deconstructed and subverted the image of the opponent’s country in official documents and official voices, in an attempt to shake the mainstream cognitive direction. The 2017 “US National Security Strategy Report” first included China and Russia are defined as “revisionist countries”, intending to demonize their competitors and create international cognitive biases. Pseudo-multilateral allies such as Japan and Australia have expressed their voices, regarding the rise of China as the biggest threat to world democracy and freedom, and to win over groups with the same interests recognition.
  Use democratic freedom to package cultural aggression. First of all, with the superficial attraction of material conditions, and with the help of the first-mover advantage of economic strength, the United States continues to publicize its good material and cultural life through the media of movies, books, songs, and advertisements. As a result, in the context of globalization and rising consumption levels, Stimulate the masses in developing countries to over-admiration of the material life of developed Western countries such as the United States, leading to the Western-only theory on the material level. Secondly, using the middle-level influence of lifestyles, on the basis of material worship, the United States further exports its festivals, cultural customs and other group behaviors and lifestyles, multi-dimensionally demonstrates the advantages of clothing, food, housing and transportation, and forcibly links national strength with cultural background. Deliberately create cognitive traps. Finally, with the deep penetration of the democratic system, the United States puts the export of democracy under the framework of the national soft power strategy, promotes the Western democratic system as the basis for the formation of international recognition, and uses material advantages and cultural strength to prove the charm of the democratic system, under the name of “humanitarian intervention.” The banner of “democracy and human rights” is self-centered and exports its so-called democratic system to the world.

Cognitive Warfare Concepts report from the Innovation Center of NATO’s Allied Transformation Command
Precise efforts to create cognitive biases of specific groups

  Harvard University’s Oliver Backus and Andrew Swaber define cognitive warfare as “a strategy focused on changing the way a target population thinks and, in doing so, changes the way it behaves”. Changes in behavior often require the generation of cognitive biases. In the U.S. cognitive warfare, through confrontational narrative dissemination, fostering opinion leaders, spreading information fog and other means, it is possible to accurately induce specific target groups to generate cognitive biases.
  Impose the mainstream consensus of Western perspective cracks. First of all, deviate from common sense and engage in weaponized narratives, and use the new crown epidemic to engage in political manipulation. In the case of China’s remarkable epidemic prevention results, the health code software is described as an indiscriminate collection channel for citizens’ privacy, and the scientific isolation measures are described as strict epidemic prevention. Violating human rights, targeting groups with limited cognitive ability, trying to replace rational and independent thinking with extreme views, constantly instigating internal relations, amplifying friction and contradictions, and interfering with public opinion. Secondly, the output of cognition implements double standards. In the human rights reports of the past three years, the United States has put forward a series of suggestions for improving the human rights situation in more than 200 countries and regions around the world, but it has selectively ignored domestic racial discrimination, prisoner abuse by the US military, congressional riots, Passive epidemic prevention and other human rights issues rely on discourse advantages to advertise themselves as “human rights models” and use double standards to aggravate humanitarian crises in related countries. In the end, malicious dissemination tried to cover up the truth. In the “New York Times” report on the “Xinjiang Cotton” incident, extreme words such as “forced sterilization, abortion, and torture” appeared many times, slandering “Xinjiang’s population birth rate has dropped by 84% in three years. The government plans to put The birth rate in Xinjiang has dropped below zero.” Exaggerated statistics reflect the sinister intention of the United States to intensify conflicts, weaken identity, and divide and unite ethnic minorities.

  Foster American elites to influence specific fields. First of all, guided by evaluation standards, the United States guides elite cognition, creates demonstration effects, and arouses imitation and pursuit through leading index data such as the Nobel Prize, the world’s top core journal directory, and world university rankings. When the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Gorbachev, humanities The field of social sciences appraised him as a hero of democracy, which aroused many followers of democracy to respond. Secondly, establish a project to fund and cultivate, use non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to support socially vulnerable groups in target countries, select and cultivate valuable targets, guide them to spread their influence on the local area, and implant American thinking throughout the process to fight in many fields such as environmental protection, education, and human rights. government. In recent years, the Indian government has successively cleaned up 18,000 local NGO organizations funded by the West by amending the Foreign Donation Supervision Act, intending to cut off the source of influence of American cultural leaders. In the end, they will be domesticated and trained through scientific research projects, study abroad in the United States, and academic exchanges to transform elites in specific industries into “Trojan horses” for the United States to control this field. Ilnitsky, who proposed Russia’s “mental warfare”, believes that some financial elites not only use capital to mislead the development of the industry, but also provide conditions for the West to manipulate the consciousness of the Russian people. military and industrial development.
  Create an information cocoon to achieve group polarization. The first is to control information sources and channels according to local conditions. During the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. military conducted hundreds of “contacts with key people” every day, communicating face-to-face with key personnel such as village chiefs and patriarchs in the occupied area, using this as a carrier to spread influence, weaken the connection between the Taliban and the people, and cut off external information sources, so that different voices become the “silent minority”. The second is to increase exposure by counterfeiting and fiction. Gefika and Stanford University released a report stating that Twitter and Facebook social networking sites have blocked more than 150 fake celebrities and media website accounts that pointed to the US military. The repeated exposure of information forms a cognitive label, and preconceptions manipulate the consensus of netizens. The third is to guide traffic to form a circle. In the 2016 U.S. general election and the Brexit campaign, the automatic forwarding of the keywords “Trump” and “Brexit” through social robot technology greatly increased the traffic of related topics, and screened out voters who held the same opinion to create a “herd effect”. Using overloaded information to deprive voters of independent thinking ability.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense has launched a series of projects, integrating nano, biological, information, neural, artificial intelligence and other technologies to achieve non-linear improvement of individual cognitive abilities
Technology empowerment focuses on the cognitive advantages of core individuals

  The Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense has launched a series of projects such as the Brain Stimulation Project, the Avatar Project, the Sleepless Warrior, and the Mind-Reading Force, which integrate technologies such as nanotechnology, biology, information, nerves, and artificial intelligence to achieve non-linear improvements in individual cognitive abilities, helping The cognition of core individuals can exert strategic leverage in specific scenarios and key nodes, profoundly affecting the overall situation of operations from point to surface.
  Develop extroversion and strengthen the brain to enhance perception. One is to use sensory enhancement technology to improve the effect of perception compensation. The neural engineering system design program carried out by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency can implant chips into the brains of special operations personnel, and directly convert external signals into electronic signals to break through nighttime visual impairment. Enhance the focusing and light-sensing capabilities of the naked eye to achieve active “noise reduction” for the surrounding environment. The second is to use targeted enhancement drugs to increase the threshold of perception. The U.S. military provides drugs such as Ritalin and Modafinil for personnel in key positions such as overseas troops, fighter pilots, and missile system operators to improve alertness, strengthen short-term attention, Observation, memory, in order to maintain the best fighting state. The third is that neuromodulation technology provides excess mental strength. The U.S. Navy tested transcranial electric shock technology on SEAL soldiers, aiming at biological means to change the activity of neurons, enhance the information receiving ability and cognitive anti-interference ability of elite members, so that they can Demonstrate expert insight and analysis in certain situations.
  Strengthen human-computer integration to improve decision-making quality and efficiency. The first is to use the brain-computer interface to accelerate front-end integration. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has developed a non-invasive brain-computer interface device to try to establish an interactive pathway between the central nervous system and the internal and external environments, helping commanders to use the brain-computer interface in an ever-changing battlefield. Its brain signals are directly converted into instructions, and the use of the weapon platform is realized in the form of “brain control”. The second is to use intelligent computing to firmly support the core. The American think tank “Atlantic Council” proposed that the era of “algorithmic warfare” has come. Big data analysis technology will help commanders to be more intelligent through large data volume, fast data flow, and multiple information sources. Quickly complete the OODA loop of “observation, judgment, command, and decision-making”, so as to achieve the effect of “discovery and destruction”. The third is to use data collaboration to achieve instant feedback. The collaborative engagement capability system developed by the U.S. military shares and fuses heterogeneous sensor data scattered across all combat nodes on the battlefield to achieve data cross-transmission and synchronous integration, helping to monitor the battlefield situation at the decision-making level. More complete and clear judgment.
  Develop cognitive weapons to enhance executive effectiveness. The first is to create hallucinations. American researchers have developed a new type of psychological illusion weapon with the help of lasers, which can map false illusions on any ground and atmosphere on the battlefield. The US military used illusion weapons to project a huge head of the crucified Jesus into the air in Somalia. , Shock the psychology of diehards, crush their will to resist and make them kneel down and surrender. The second is that the sound wave interferes with cerebral palsy. The LRAD360 sound wave assembly transmitter developed by an American technology company can clearly transmit instructions, warnings and other information to 500 meters away, and at the same time emit a powerful deterrent sound, causing the short-term memory loss of specific objects and the ability to act weakened. The third is the forced intrusion of consciousness intervention. In the 1950s, the CIA launched a number of consciousness intervention projects such as Bluebird, Artichoke, and Malatra, intending to simulate the characteristics of brain waves through physical fields such as light, electricity, and magnetism. The code “writes” specific information into the brain, realizes thinking indoctrination and consciousness reading, and quietly changes the emotional state of key personnel.

Neural Recording Technology in Neuroscience Technology

  The typical means of U.S. cognitive warfare continue to develop and change with the evolution of war forms and changes in the winning mechanism. In the process, they are actively integrated into political warfare at the national strategic level, fully integrated with public opinion warfare at the public level, and horizontally encompassing the psychological level of military operations. Warfare, absorbing intelligent warfare at the level of science and technology, with downward compatibility of action styles and upward support of effects, has the characteristics of multi-dimensional fields, changeable extension boundaries, multi-purpose forces, multi-purpose effects, and diverse supporting technologies. From the perspective of coverage, the targets of combat have expanded from military personnel to the general public, and the combat time nodes are vague. Generally, operations in the physical domain start before and end after operations in the physical domain. From the perspective of strike accuracy, the integration of technology has changed traditional psychological warfare. The characteristics of random targets, inefficient means, and poor reliability of effects enhance the penetration and accuracy, and are more in line with the law of “precise killing and quick victory” in modern warfare; from the perspective of the depth of influence, emotions can be calmed down in a short time, but seriously Knowing for a while is difficult to change. The combat mode of subverting cognition and rewriting thinking is more durable than the effect of creating emotional fluctuations, and it is more difficult to correct errors; from the perspective of application strength, using the human brain as a battlefield reduces the intensity of traditional warfare and reduces the use of large weapons. The investment in platforms and the use of non-military forces are more in line with the decision-making thinking based on the combat effectiveness and cost ratio, and are more conducive to the control of the process of modern warfare.