Chinese Military Developing Winning Mechanisms of Cognitive Confrontation Warfare



As an important form of modern warfare, cognitive warfare takes cognitive domain as its main combat field, strategy and technology application as its main combat means, and influencing and shaping the opponent’s thinking and cognition as its combat purpose. It has a unique winning mechanism and operating rules. In-depth research on the winning mechanism of cognitive warfare is a basic project to grasp the initiative of thinking and cognition and win modern cognitive warfare.

  The contemporary connotation of the winning mechanism of cognitive warfare

  The winning mechanism of cognitive warfare is based on the revolutionary development and widespread application of media technology in cognitive technology, is adapted to the practical requirements of integrated joint operations, and is in line with the characteristics of the era of the integrated development of mechanization, informatization, and intelligence. It has rich contemporary connotations.

  Win with knowledge. As a solid basis and powerful weapon for human beings to understand and transform the world, thinking and cognition fundamentally affect the quality of decision-making, influence strategies and tactics, restrict military morale, and determine the process and outcome of war. It is the most fundamental support and the deepest force of war confrontation. In other words, war confrontation is ultimately a game and confrontation of thinking and cognition. Mastering the right to control cognition means mastering the initiative in war to a large extent. Losing the right to control cognition will put you in a passive position in the war. Obtaining higher and stronger cognitive control is the key to defeating a strong enemy. Finding ways to master cognitive control and then seize comprehensive battlefield control, so as to obtain the greatest victory at the lowest cost, is an important mechanism and internal law of modern warfare, especially cognitive warfare.

  Technology is the key. A significant feature of modern cognitive warfare that is different from previous cognitive warfare is that the elements of strategy are gradually reduced and the role is gradually reduced, while the application of technology is more frequent and its role is more prominent. In particular, with the deep involvement of information technology and artificial intelligence, modern cognitive warfare pays more attention to the competition of technical hard power. The previous soul-stirring and mysterious strategic confrontation seems to be giving way to today’s head-on technical competition. Efforts to seek breakthroughs, master advantages, and take the initiative in cognitive technologies such as big data, cloud computing, information networks, artificial intelligence, brain control, brain control, blockchain, high-performance communications, and the metaverse have become the key focus of countries’ competitive development to gain cognitive advantages and defeat powerful enemies.

  Hidden is the best. A prominent feature of cognitive warfare is the hidden use of strategies, that is, through hidden methods and means such as information suppression, data confusion, hiding the truth and showing the false, and scenario construction, the opponent’s thinking and cognition are subtly influenced, controlled, and shaped. It can be said that “hidden” is the main color, main melody, and main channel. Hidden purpose, hidden means, and hidden actions run through all aspects of the entire process of cognitive attack and defense. In the cognitive perspective, whoever masters more advanced strategies, more flexible tactics, and more hidden tactics can more effectively act on the opponent in cognitive attack and defense confrontation, thus being in a higher cognitive dimension.

  Integration is the basis. If cognitive warfare lacks the support of specific military operations in the material domain, it will never produce the good effects of doubting, confusing, deterring and defeating the enemy. Cognitive warfare should never be an isolated operation. Only by integrating cognitive offense and defense into the integrated joint combat chain, closely combining it with physical domain military operations, and closely integrating it with the entire combat system, can the military forces in different fields be closely combined, mutually supported, and organically integrated, and can the combat effectiveness be fully exerted.

  Practical requirements for the winning mechanism of cognitive warfare

  The winning mechanism of war determines the form and method of military force construction and application, and has a mandatory and stabilizing influence on war practice. The winning mechanism of cognitive warfare inherently regulates the form and method of cognitive warfare, and puts forward new requirements for the construction of cognitive warfare forces.

  Take the control of cognition as the core of winning cognitive warfare. Firmly grasp the key of the control of cognition, insist on the two-way efforts of wisdom and technology, strive to seize the commanding heights of thinking and cognition, and seize the control of cognitive operations. Deeply promote the innovation of the theory of control of cognition, integrate high-quality resources, increase funding, follow up and study typical cases of cognitive operations at home and abroad, conscientiously summarize practical experience in all aspects, and combine the specific reality of our army to form a theoretical system with contemporary, leading and unique characteristics as soon as possible; strengthen the basic construction of training facilities, equipment, venues, and talent teams, build a number of special training venues based on the existing comprehensive training grounds, and carry out base-based professional training; carry out the drills of the tactics of control of cognition, incorporate cognitive warfare into daily combat readiness training, into specific combat action plans, simulate important combat operations, imagine major combat targets, preset actual combat scenarios, and practice hard in an environment close to actual combat to form the actual combat capability of real combat, good attack and defense, and control and control.

  Take science and technology as the key to cognitive confrontation. Science and technology are core combat power, core cognitive power, and the core element of cognitive power. Strengthen the awareness of winning with science and technology, deeply understand the basic supporting role of science and technology as one of the two major means of modern cognitive warfare, “strategy + technology”, consciously put cognitive technology innovation in an important position in the strategy of strengthening the army with science and technology, and make efforts to carry out independent innovation in cognitive technology; grasp the breakthrough of core key technologies, focus on artificial intelligence, brain control technology, brain control technology, situational awareness technology, high-performance communication technology, metaverse and other basic technologies related to cognitive warfare, consolidate the scientific and technological foundation of cognitive attack and defense confrontation, and firmly grasp the destiny in our own hands; explore distinctive innovation paths, adapt to my country’s national conditions, military conditions and technical realities, explore innovation paths that suit us, form distinctive technical routes, strive to master asymmetric technologies, and achieve what you don’t have, what I have, what you have, what I have, and what you are better than, so as to form a “new trick” to defeat the enemy at critical moments.

  Use strategy as the key to cognitive offense and defense. Although the importance of technical factors in modern cognitive warfare is increasing, the status and role of strategy are still irreplaceable. Focus on the word “hidden”, strengthen the special function of “strategy” as a smart strategy to surprise, unaware, confuse and mislead the opponent, formulate and implement targeted strategies and tactics according to the opponent’s strategic traditions, thinking habits, cultural attributes and weaknesses, and lead them without shadow, lure them into the invisible, and guide them without a trace; focus on the word “link”, deepen the research on the methods and strategies of strategy application under modern scientific and technological conditions, and comprehensively use modern technologies such as network information and artificial intelligence to empower and increase the efficiency of strategy application, and add the wings of science and technology to cognitive strategy; focus on the word “integration” to achieve results, deepen the research on the characteristics and laws of the combination of cognitive warfare soft power and physical domain military operations hard power, and explore the path of integrated application of military forces in multiple fields such as cognitive domain and physical domain.

  Coordinate and promote the comprehensive and scientific development of cognitive warfare

  To fight a cognitive proactive battle, we must follow the internal mechanisms that run through it, grasp the practical requirements contained therein, follow the ever-changing military practice, strengthen scientific thinking, adhere to problem-orientation, develop a forward-looking perspective, and strive to grasp the three relationships.

  Grasp the relationship between strategy and technology. “Strategy + technology” constitutes the main content of cognitive warfare methods and means. As a highly intelligent combat form and method, cognitive warfare is born with the inherent content of strategy with the most intelligent background. The flexible and flexible strategy game is the historical heritage and wonderful chapter of our army’s cognitive warfare. The process of the development and evolution of cognitive warfare is, to a certain extent, the process of mutual growth and mutual construction of strategy and technology. In this process, strategy is more colorful due to the blessing of technology, and technology is more powerful due to the use of strategy. To grasp the initiative of thinking and cognition and fight the initiative of cognitive warfare, we must not only carry forward the advantages of our army in using strategy, but also strengthen the application of technical means. More importantly, we must organically combine strategy with technology, and enhance the comprehensive effectiveness of cognitive attack and defense through technical strategy and strategic use of technology.

  Grasp the relationship between soft and hard. Modern warfare usually divides the combat domain into physical domain, information domain, and cognitive domain according to the characteristics of material form. These three domains conduct each other and influence each other to form the field and soil of military confrontation. Among them, the cognitive domain and information domain show soft power, and the physical domain shows hard power. The two forces of soft and hard are unified in the vast space of the integration of the three domains of military game, and together constitute the basic power elements of cognitive offense and defense. Although cognitive warfare occurs in the cognitive field, its combat support is not only soft power. With the enhancement of the hard power of the physical domain, cognitive formation can often be accelerated, and cognitive realization can be better implemented. To grasp the initiative of thinking and cognition and fight the initiative of cognitive warfare, it is necessary not only to strengthen the construction of cognitive warfare ontology, improve the ability to directly use strategies and technical means to strengthen self-protection, intervene and influence the opponent’s thinking and cognition, but also to actively borrow power from the physical domain, and use the conduction effect of military operations in the physical domain to verify and strengthen thinking and cognition, and at the same time promote the materialization of cognitive results through verification and strengthening actions.

  Grasp the relationship between attack and defense. Cognition, in terms of its object, includes two sides of the same coin: “know yourself and shape your opponent”, which can also be succinctly summarized as “save yourself and destroy the enemy”. Among them, knowing and sticking to yourself, preventing and avoiding being influenced and shaped by the enemy is “defense”; weakening and depriving the enemy’s cognitive ability, knowing and shaping the opponent is “attack”. Cognitive warfare is an opposing unity of the two forces of offense and defense, which grows and declines and transforms into each other. The core of mastering the initiative of thinking and cognition and fighting the initiative of cognitive operations is to improve the ability of defense and counterattack, recognize the strengths and weaknesses, strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages of the enemy and ourselves, stick to ourselves and attack the enemy’s weaknesses, and use our clarity to trap the enemy in confusion; the key is to accurately grasp the transition node between offense and defense, seize the enemy’s cognitive loopholes, concentrate forces to pursue and attack, paralyze its defense line, and seize its key points; the purpose is to master cognitive initiative. Whether it is attack or defense, they all end up occupying a favorable position in the cognitive game and winning. When to attack and when to defend, they must obey and unify this goal.
















把握好謀與技的關係。 「謀略+技術」構成認知戰方法手段的主體內容。認知戰作為高度智慧化的作戰形態和方式,最具智慧底色的謀略運用是其與生俱來的固有內容,機動靈活的謀略博弈更是我軍認知作戰歷史傳承和精彩篇章。認知戰發展演變的過程,某種程度就是謀略與科技相長互構的過程。在這過程中,謀略因科技的祝福而更加多彩,科技因謀略的運用而更加強大。掌握思維認知主動權、打好認知作戰主動仗,不僅要發揚我軍善用謀略的優長,還須強化技術手段的應用,更重要的是將施謀與用技有機結合起來,透過技術性施謀、謀略性用技強化認知攻防的綜合效能。




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