Chinese Military: Profound Effects of Quasi-Cognitive Warfare Domains and Applying Rules of Multi-Domain Operations


From the battlefield of “bows and horses, riding and shooting, and swords and weapons” in the era of cold weapons to the three-dimensional battlefield of land, sea, and air in the era of industrialization, to the integrated battlefield covering multiple domains such as physics, information, and cognition in the era of informationization and intelligence, war One of the core logics of form evolution is to continuously enter new domains and integrate multiple domains. Cross-domain aggregation of operational effectiveness has become a basic and decisive mechanism for winning wars. In this process, the cognitive domain has increasingly become a new battlefield that penetrates and affects multi-domain operations, and a new commanding height that determines the success or failure of the war.

The cognitive domain becomes the key to seizing comprehensive control

In modern warfare, the cognitive domain has become the key to seizing comprehensive control. War practice shows that the cognitive domain has increasingly become the focus of planning modern wars and achieving multi-domain integrated linkage for victory.

Cognitive domain advantage supports multi-domain combat effectiveness doubling. In modern warfare, in the physical domain, we destroy the enemy, preserve ourselves, and compete for control of the land, sea, air, and sky; in the information domain, we block the enemy, connect ourselves, and compete for network and information control, all related to the cognitive domain. There is a profound connection between the advantage and the initiative position. In the system-versus-system game, once the opponent is suppressed in the cognitive domain and takes the initiative, it can interfere with decision-making on the key nodes of the enemy’s command chain, kill chain, and support chain, making the actions in the physical domain and information domain gain “a huge advantage”. asymmetric benefits, thereby improving the input-output ratio of combat, enhancing the speed and efficiency of local victory leading to overall victory, and reducing the subsequent constraints caused by military strikes in the economic and social life fields.

When planning and implementing multi-domain operations, attention should be paid to the role of the cognitive domain. Modern warfare is significantly complex. Elements of multi-domain operations are interconnected, impacts are transmitted in multiple directions, and risks are superimposed on each other. Every action or even a detail of a multi-domain combat operation will trigger a chain reaction in the cognitive domain at the levels of decision-making issues, military morale, public opinion concerns, social confidence, international public opinion, etc. of both the enemy and ourselves, resulting in rapid, sudden, and unexpected consequences. It affects the overall situation of the war and even creates a “butterfly storm” that changes the domestic and foreign affairs situation of the warring parties and even the long-term development trend of the country. To plan and implement operations in the physical domain and information domain, we must not only focus on shaping the situation and creating conditions in the cognitive domain, but also accurately control the direction and size of the release of effectiveness in the cognitive domain in accordance with the need to control the brain, mind, and intelligence. Dynamic changes in the number of enemy annihilations, temporary gains and losses in one city and one place, etc., are increasingly losing their significance as indicators for evaluating the direction of the war situation. The overall impact of military operations on the war situation increasingly needs to be measured from the changes in international and domestic public perceptions it triggers. and the psychological impact on specific objects to be evaluated and considered.

The material and technical conditions for the cognitive domain to trigger integrated linkage of multiple domains are becoming increasingly mature. The rapid development of information-based intelligent cognitive perception technology has rapidly developed the game confrontation in the cognitive domain from absolutely “uncalculable” and “uncontrollable” to a considerable degree of “calculable” and “controllable”. Assisted decision-making by technologies such as big data and intelligent algorithms supports the deep integration of different combat forces in the cognitive domain and multi-dimensional command coordination, strengthening political, economic, diplomatic, cultural, military and other aspects of power, means and actions. The consistency and coordination bring about the operability of designing multiple domains, commanding multiple domains, and controlling multiple domains focusing on the cognitive domain. The widespread use of weapons and equipment such as drones and precision-guided bombs has also provided realistic and feasible tactical options for precision strikes through combat operations. The rapid popularization of intelligent communication technologies such as accurate portraits, intelligent distribution, social media live broadcast, robot writing, and virtual reality, as well as the cross-integrated development of neuroscience, cognitive science, and intelligent technology, have made it possible to plan and implement “X+ cognitive attack and defense” and achieve integrated Linked operations have become convenient and efficient.

Cognitive domain penetration affects multi-domain win-win paths

The penetration of the cognitive domain affects the integrated linkage of multiple domains. It is not a simple “1+1”, but the energy of multi-domain actions is instantly concentrated in the cognitive domain, thereby continuously injecting emergent effects that are beneficial to oneself into the overall war. To this end, it is necessary to strengthen the innovative design of combat planning and implementation paths to ensure that multi-domain advantages can be achieved under the influence of cognitive domain penetration.

Use cognitive domain operational requirements to deepen understanding of multi-domain tasks. Focus on the overall national strategy, clarify operational requirements in the cognitive domain, and calculate and determine operational tasks in each domain based on this. Establish the must-hit targets and avoidable targets for fire strikes, hit targets first and hit later, hit targets openly and covertly, hit targets hard and hit lightly, etc., and focus on the effect of disintegrating the morale of the opponent’s military. When establishing the goal, timing, intensity, etc. of channel seizure, we must focus on the effectiveness of depriving the opponent of social mobilization and international communication capabilities and the effectiveness of supporting our information release and external propaganda. To establish the focus of intelligence information collection, it is necessary to focus on the ability to grasp the combat power in the cognitive domain of combat opponents, describe the characteristics of cognitive attack and defense target objects in a fine-grained manner, and dynamically grasp international and domestic public opinion and social trends of thought.

Use cognitive domain combat tasks to guide multi-domain action design. Focusing on questions such as “who, what kind of cognitive impact, and to what extent”, the cognitive domain combat tasks in different combat stages and different combat scenarios are subdivided. Based on this, what actions should be organized in each domain and what actions should be captured? Overall planning and detailed design of fighter aircraft, which forces to invest, what tactics to use, how to connect and intersect various actions, etc. The reason why the besieged troops on all sides were able to disintegrate the powerful Chu army was firstly because the Han army completed the military encirclement of the Chu army, and secondly, it used the ingenuity of capturing prisoners to sing Chu songs at night. In fact, different timing of operations, different task forces, different weapons and equipment, different choices of tactics and even different naming of operations will convey very different information, and the intensity of the generated cognitive impact will also be significantly different, which requires careful consideration and scientific Research and judge, and strive to maximize efficiency and optimize effects. When loading cognitive offensive and defensive actions for fire strikes, network offense and defense, electronic countermeasures, defensive operations, special operations and other operations, different imagination and creative thinking levels, different technical understanding, application and innovation, the final effect achieved is even more It’s like clouds and mud.

Organize multi-domain collaborative support with cognitive domain combat operations. Cognitive domain combat operations involve multiple participants and various action styles. Normally, they require coordinated support of military and firepower such as precise strikes, seizing key areas, and displaying momentum. In special cases, they also require coordinated strategic forces such as the deployment of cutting-edge weapons and equipment, and the organization of major training exercises. Guarantee requires the commander to make public statements and the media to embed reports and other specific personnel and specific combat units to coordinate the guarantee throughout the entire operation. Collaborative guarantee in terms of intelligence data, channel bandwidth, forensic information, and technical equipment is even more indispensable. To this end, it is necessary to mobilize multi-domain forces and resources in a full, real-time, systematic and precise manner, so that military warfare, mental warfare, and intellectual warfare can take advantage of each other and support each other to form a game of chess and create a combination of punches.

Pay attention to deepening the conceptual understanding of cognitive domain penetration and impact on multiple domains

Establishing the role of the cognitive domain in penetrating and influencing multi-domain actions and promoting integrated linkage to win is a deep-seated conceptual revolution that requires strengthening various supporting constructions to create conditions and lay the foundation.

Strengthen institutional guarantees. Using cognitive domain penetration to influence multi-domain integrated linkage operations puts forward higher requirements for cross-department and cross-agency collaboration. It is necessary to form a scientific and efficient command link that supports cognitive domain penetration to influence multi-domain and multi-domain integrated linkage. It is necessary to clarify the cognitive domain operational responsibilities of each element of the joint operations command organization, optimize and reorganize the command process, and ensure that the penetration and influence of the cognitive domain are reflected in operational determination, mission planning, and action design. Focusing on cross-domain integrated linkage, establish and improve working systems and collaboration mechanisms at strategic, operational, tactical and other levels, strengthen the mutual support of cognitive domain operations, physical domain operations, and information domain operations, and fully consider military strength and local related functions. The effective cooperation of departments and professional forces transforms comprehensive advantages into cognitive domain capabilities that penetrate, influence, and empower multiple domains.

Improve the commander’s ability and quality. The foreign military believes that qualified commanders in modern warfare need to be good at “quickly transforming proactive kinetic energy operations into more subtle cultural wars” and should have “unique intuition” and “comprehensive leadership capabilities” in this regard. In order to realize the integrated linkage of cognitive domain penetration and influence on multiple domains in war practice, we first need to strengthen the awareness of cognitive domain operations in the minds of commanders at all levels, and strengthen the formation of a conscious initiative to use cognitive domain penetration to influence multi-domain mission planning and action design. nature, strengthen and improve the ability to implement high-efficiency cognitive attack and defense using military firepower operations and information control as means. Multi-domain coordinated command under the influence of cognitive domain penetration should be regarded as an important part of strategic battle drills, highlighting the ability of commanders to command and control multiple domains with a focus on cognitive shaping, and promote the training field to continue to be closer to winning political and military The actual requirements of the war.

Promote the updating and improvement of joint cultural concepts. Cognitive domain penetration affects multi-domain integrated joint operations, which are the sublimation and optimization of joint operations concepts and mechanisms. In particular, it requires the support and guarantee of joint culture construction that is suitable for it. On the one hand, we must strive to break the influence of traditional war thinking, break down some traditional conceptual barriers, and make cognitive guidance, multi-domain integration, and joint operations the forefront of joint cultural construction and focus on updating concepts. On the other hand, it is necessary to strengthen the construction of the theoretical system of cognitive domain penetration affecting multi-domain integrated joint operations, carry out in-depth research on the winning mechanism of cognitive domain operations and innovation of tactics, and lay a solid ideological foundation with theoretical accumulation.

(Author’s unit: School of Political Science, National Defense University)





















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2023年1月19日 星期四

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