"Chinese thinkers have clearly stated that the core operational concept of intelligentized warfare is to directly control the enemy's will. The idea is to use AI to directly control the will of the highest decision-makers, including the president, members of Congress, and combatant commanders, as well as citizens." — Colonel Koichiro Takagi, senior fellow of Training Evaluation Research and Development Command, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, War on the Rocks, April 13, 2022.
"War has started to shift from the pursuit of destroying bodies to paralyzing and controlling the opponent. The focus is to attack the enemy's will to resist, not physical destruction" and to cause "the brain to become the main target of offense and defense of new concept weapons... To win without fighting is no longer far-fetched." — Bill Gertz, describing a report written in 2019 by China's People's Liberation Army, in the Washington Times, December 29, 2021.
"The PLA plans to employ all available tools to the overarching objective of reducing an enemy's will to resist." — Ben Noon, research assistant at the American Enterprise Institute and Dr. Chris Bassler, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Defense One, September 17, 2021.
"Influencing human cognition requires a large amount of detailed personal information to identify influential individuals or to conduct influential operations according to the characteristics of subgroups of people. China has already collected a massive amount of personal information on government officials and ordinary U.S. citizens.... China has even succeeded in identifying CIA agents operating in foreign countries using such data.
These activities are particularly aggressive and coercive in Taiwan and Hong Kong, which the Chinese government considers its territory. Attempts to use digital means to influence elections have also been seen in Taiwan's recent presidential election." — Colonel Koichiro Takagi, War on the Rocks, April 13, 2022.
While cognitive warfare may sound like science fiction to most people, experts have cautioned that the US needs to take the threat seriously.
"They should also designate the cognitive arena as a new operational arena, along with land, air, sea, space, and cyberspace, to raise awareness and invest resources. Furthermore, it is necessary to consider how to win the 'battle of narratives' to counter the manipulation of public opinion in wartime." — Colonel Koichiro Takagi, War on the Rocks, April 13, 2022.
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Since 2019, China has been pursuing a new concept of war, known as "intelligentized warfare." The idea is to operationalize artificial intelligence and the use of unmanned platforms in a way that subdues the enemy, ultimately without having to resort to conventional "hot" warfare. (Image source: iStock)