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Cognitive warfare

I have mentioned a number of times over the past year that the government is passionately dedicated to conquering the mind of mankind. After all, governments can employ various tactics to control the body, but the mind is still the one area that the government cannot reach. Well, that is not entirely true. Governments do seek to implant ideas into the mind through the use of propaganda, but controlling the mind is altogether different.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the strategic environment and corresponding threats to national security have dramatically changed. No longer are national priorities dominated by superpowers and nation states, but increasingly by loose networks of terrorists, transnational criminals and other non-state actors within what is known amongst security agencies and the military as the “human domain”. What governments now fear are anonymous individuals who easily transform from citizen to enemy and back again with limited logistical support or control.

You may recall that during the Iraq War, the US started to talk about the “battle for hearts and minds”. This was strategic in purpose because military planners began to see the important of determining and “owning” an individual’s identity in winning the tactical, operational and strategic fight. In other words, populations could not be overpowered by guns and bombs alone – there had to be a successful campaign waged against the innermost attitude of the conquered towards the conqueror.

The US military in particular is investing enormous resources in mastering the human domain. Its objective is to sow dissonance, instigate conflicting narratives, polarise opinion and radicalise groups in order to disrupt or fragment entire societies. After all, a divided enemy is easier to conquer.

You see, in the past, war was divided into five different operational domains: air, land, sea, space and cyber. But with the development of cognitive warfare, the military is intent on fully developing the human domain into the sixth area of operation.

It is reported that NATO is at the forefront of cognitive warfare and in doing so, is showing very little respect for the freedom and privacy of mankind. In fact, their form of combat, described as the “weaponisation of brain sciences” involves “hacking the individual” by exploiting the “vulnerabilities of the human brain” in order to implement more sophisticated “social engineering.” In short: manipulating native populations to actively oppose their own governments.

A 2020 NATO-sponsored study stressed that, “The brain will be the battlefield of the 21st century. Humans are the contested domain and future conflicts will likely occur amongst the people digitally first and physically thereafter in proximity to hubs of political and economic power.”

But it appears NATO has fallen victim to its own paranoia. They fear within their own societies “an embedded fifth column, where everyone, unbeknownst to him or her, is behaving according to the plans of one of our competitors.” In other words, this proves that NATO increasingly sees their own domestic population as a threat, fearing civilians to be potential Chinese or Russian sleeper cells that are primed to challenge the stability of Western liberal democracies.

In short, cognitive warfare seeks to change not only what people think, but also how they act. Attacks against the cognitive domain involve the integration of cyber, disinformation/misinformation, psychological and social-engineering capabilities. Although these concepts may be difficult to understand, they are important to be aware of. More than ever, it is vital to exercise a sound mind, grounded firm and deep in the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

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