The article said: ‘On one hand, it can judge how party members have accepted thought and political education.
‘On the other hand, it will provide real data for thought and political education so it can be improved and enriched.’
The AI tech will solidify ‘confidence and determination’ of Communist Party members ‘to be grateful to the party, listen to the party and follow the party’.
Hefei Comprehensive National Science Centre has reportedly encouraged 43 Communist Party members, who are also on the research team, to test the tech.
A video published with the article, which has also been deleted, showed a researcher entering a kiosk, sitting in front of a screen and looking at articles promoting party policy and achievements.
‘The kiosk can see the researcher’s expressions, possibly via surveillance cameras,’ Tang says.
It’s unclear if the brainwave-reading technology is situated in the kiosk, or how the whole system would be rolled out to monitor the millions of Communist Party members in the country.
But it appears that reading people’s brain waves is not new to China – back in 2018, the South China Morning Post reported that brain-scanning technology was being used on factory workers in Hangzhou.
This involved using brain-reading helmets to read a worker’s emotions, and artificial intelligence algorithms to detect emotional spikes such as depression, anxiety or rage.
Pictured is China’s President Xi Jinping following his speech after a ceremony to inaugurate Hong Kong’s new leader and government on July 1, 2022
China’s ruling Communist Party, led by President Xi Jinping, allegedly believes ‘thought and political education’ are essential to party loyalty.
The party already has an ‘indoctrination app’ for its members called ‘Xuexi Qiangguo’ or ‘Study to make China strong’.
The app forces its 96.77 million members to earn points by reading articles, watching videos and answering quizzes on Communist heroes.
It tracks the amount of time users spend browsing inspirational quotes from President Jinping and watching short videos of his speeches and travels.
Members are able to redeem their scores for gifts such as pastries and tablets, AFP previously reported.
Meanwhile, China’s government has come under increasing scrutiny for high-tech surveillance, from facial recognition-enabled security cameras to apps used by police to extract personal information from smartphones at checkpoints.
The ‘Study Xi’ app tracks the amount of time users spend browsing inspirational quotes and following his speeches and travels
China is famous for tracking its citizens using the latest technology – notably a Black Mirror-like social rating system to restore morality’ and blacklist ‘untrustworthy’ citizens.
Last year, it was revealed China has also developed an AI prosecutor that can charge people with crimes with more than 97 per cent accuracy.
This system, which was ‘trained’ using 17,000 real life cases from 2015 to 2020, is able to identify and press charges for the eight most common crimes in Shanghai.
These are ‘provoking trouble’ – a term used to stifle dissent in China – credit card fraud, gambling crimes, dangerous driving, theft, fraud, intentional injury and obstructing official duties.
BEING BLACKLISTED BY CHINA’S SOCIAL CREDIT SYSTEM ‘WORSE THAN JAIL’
A man who has been penalised by China‘s social credit system said it’s worse than going to jail.
The man, identified as David Kong, told South China Morning Post in 2019 that he was banned from taking the high-speed train because he was officially declared a ‘deadbeat’ by authorities.
This group of 3.6 million ‘discredited individuals’, who earned poor ratings mostly for refusing to pay their debts, are disqualified from spending on ‘luxuries’ including renting a flat, travelling on a plane or on a fast train in China.
‘It’s even worse than doing time because at least there’s a limit to a prison sentence,’ Kong told South China Morning Post.
‘Being on the list means that as long as you can’t clear your debts in full, your name will always be there.’
Kong was declared a ‘discredited individual’ in 2015 after his book publishing business failed. He said he had borrowed 1.6 million yuan (£180,000) and could not pay it back.
The social credit system rates citizens based on their daily behaviour, and this could range from their bank credit to their social media activities.
With a tagline of ‘once discredited, everywhere restricted’, it vows to punish ‘untrustworthy’ citizens in as many ways as possible.
Train passengers could face travel bans if they endanger railway safety, smoke on high-speed trains, sell on tickets, produce fake tickets, dodge tickets and occupy unassigned seats, according to People’s Daily.
Air passengers could be banned from future flights for behaviours including spreading rumours about terror attacks, breaking into runways, assaulting the crew and causing disruption on flights.
Cognitive warfare is the sixth arguable dimension of future conflict and must be understood as such.
An introduction into NeuroStrike as a 21st century weapon by Robert McCreight
Apart from land, sea, air, space and cyber is a brain-based battlefield well recognized but only dimly appreciated. In cognitive warfare, the human mind is the target. Cognitive warfare aims not only to change what people think, what they perceive, what they remember, and how they think or act—indeed it externally manipulates brain functions and corrupts the Central Nervous System [CNS].
In campaign terms it is stealthy, progressively insidious, gauged to inflict gradual and irreversible cognitive degradation and almost always impervious to detection, deterrence and defeat. Its effects are numerous and well documented, and it begs the question of finding coherent medical and neurological case definitions such that genuine cognitive injury can be identified and sorted out apart from psychological stress, hallucination or mass psychosis. In many ways we entered the threat realm of cognitive warfare years ago yet its seemingly non-kinetic nature has eluded sustained serious discussion and analysis as our strategic focus centers chiefly on hypersonic, CBRN issues, AI enabled platforms, drone swarms and enhanced soldier performance.
Operating silently amongst us, and engaging selected targets within the alliance, cognitive warfare—just as AI and cyber threats are seen—becomes a doorstep towards redefining what a true ‘act of war’ really is. As recently noted in the NATO Review
Waged successfully, [cognitive warfare] shapes and influences individual and group beliefs and behaviors to favor an aggressor’s tactical or strategic objectives. In its extreme form, it has the potential to fracture and fragment an entire society, so that it no longer has the collective will to resist an adversary’s intentions. An opponent could conceivably subdue a society without resorting to outright force or coercion. 
Countering Cognitive Warfare—Awareness & Resilience NATO Review May 2021//Johns Hopkins University: Kathy Cao, Sean Glaister, Adriana Pena, Danbi Rhee, William Rong, Alexander Rovalino Imperial College London: Sam Bishop, Rohan Khanna, Jatin Singh Saini
Remembering Sun Tzu’s dictum that the pinnacle of skill is to “…subdue the enemy without firing a shot” …we find cognitive warfare amply demonstrates the power of that observation. Fostering social upheaval and chaos through cognitive warfare is already effective in reflecting the confidence, confusion and controversy which the public invests in media outlets and social media. There is well-known evidence and sordid experiences where propaganda, disinformation and psychological warfare exerted degrees of measurable societal disruption, planting seeds of doubt among restive groups and classes, undermining the legitimacy of government, subverting lawful authority via staged civil disturbances, or inflaming separatist movements. These softer but still effective manifestations of cognitive warfare can be visualized within the continuum of influence operations and information warfare as well.
We have seen social media and messaging systems generate the spread of intentional and unintentional falsehoods, non-factual assertion, distorted information or slanted narratives. Cognitive warfare confers leverage and advantage to its hosts and sponsors, as the targeted population and its social and political leaders are so keen on open dialogue and discourse they cannot separate externally engineered manipulation of facts and news from reality as the public absorbs it daily. What this means at the outset is to recognize that cognitive warfare is real, that it is insidious in societal effects, and that sophisticated campaigns are underway.
In turn, this places a new burden on leaders who care about strategic warning and feel confident they can characterize threats which manifest today and tomorrow. Without recognition that a subtle, relentless and covert campaign is underway, there is no opportunity for resistance, countermeasures and tactical opposition as the silent offensive is unfolding right before their unwitting eyes. Leaders may ask where the attack and cognitive warfare campaign originated—who is sponsoring it—and how best to resist it. These are reasonable measures but may be insufficient and too late.
What must be recognized and assigned high significance apart from these obvious interventions by hostile elements where media, news, disinformation and tireless propaganda emerge is the use of technologies specifically designed to degrade human cognitive function. In that case, the experience of American and Canadian victims of a well-known mystery termed ‘Havana Syndrome” which first arose in the 2016—2018 period must be appreciated and respected for the colossal threat it embodies to our collective security as we move into the decade after 2021. US military organizations such as SOCOM, DARPA, DTRA and Army Futures Command are keenly aware of these issues. The alliance should likewise focus on what these threats mean.
The story of Havana Syndrome begins over five years ago when initial reports surfaced of American and Canadian diplomats being medically evacuated from Havana based on a set of common and uniform ailments which were medically assessed and validated in subsequent evaluations by experts. The nature and extent of these instances of cognitive warfare merit fair consideration and provide a stark warning of things to come. These reports contained indications of disturbing cognitive harm. . US persons posted to embassy Havana reported a variety of neurocognitiveailments and brain injury, which began in the summer of 2016 and continued through the Spring of 2017. Initial press reports of neurological and cognitive ill effects by US persons posted to the American embassy in Havana began appearing in various media outlets and was followed by multiple news reports which captured some major elements of the incident. For example, numerous reports were published essentially containing the same basic facts such as these…
“The health incidents — which took place between November 2016 and August 2017 at homes and two Havana hotels — were initially blamed on “sonic attacks.” The cause has perplexed the Department of State, the FBI and other U.S. agencies that have been trying to figure out just what made 24 intelligence officers, diplomats and relatives based in Havana ill. Many reported a variety of symptoms such as hearing loss, headaches, cognitive problems and other ailments that doctors said correlate with concussions. University of Miami Dr. Michael Hoffer, who led the initial team of physicians who examined the victims, said: “We still do not have a cause or source of the attacks. The investigation is ongoing.”
[Miami Herald, March 2, 2018]
More than a year later further US press reports captured the mysterious aspects of these cognitive insults and this press item reflects the same degree of reporting on the issue as it was widely known….
The State Department has said the employees developed what became known as “Havana Syndrome” – headaches, dizziness, nausea and other symptoms that arose when they heard penetrating, high-pitched sounds. MRI scans from the 23 men and 17 women showed changes in brain structure and functional connectivity between different parts of the organ compared with 48 other adults, according to the study by the University of Pennsylvania. The difference in the brains between the two groups “is pretty jaw-dropping at the moment,” lead researcher Dr. Ragini Verma, a professor of radiology at Penn, told Reuters. “Most of these patients had a particular type of symptoms and there is a clinical abnormality that is being reflected in an imaging anomaly,” she said. However, in findings published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, Verma and her team said it was unclear if the brain patterns directly translate into significant health problems. [NY Post—pg 4-July 23, 2019]
The various victims of Havana Syndrome were seen by NIH, FBI, University of Miami and University of Pennsylvania medical and neuroscience experts. A serious and much respected report issued by the National Academy of Sciences [NAS] in December 2020 said this. The NAS noted the victims were exhibiting “.. a constellation of acute clinical signs and symptoms with directional and location-specific features that was distinctive…. unlike any disorder in the neurological or general medical literature”. 
 An Assessment of Illness in U.S. Government Employees and Their Families at Overseas Embassies, National Academy of Sciences. Washington, DC 2020 pg 2
Independently,there are numerous medical studies and research reports which affirm the central NAS theory behind what the Academy and its experts say triggered Havana Syndrome. One such example illustrates the core issue.
“Pulsed microwaves above specific energy thresholds have been reported to cause brain injury in animal models. The actual physical mechanism causing brain damage is unexplained, while the clinical reality of these injuries remains controversial. Pulsed microwaves may injure brain tissue by transduction of microwave energy into damaging acoustic phonons in brain water. We have shown that low intensity explosive blast waves likely initiate phonon excitations in brain tissues. Brain injury in this instance occurs at nanoscale subcellular levels as predicted by physical consideration of phonon interactions in brain water content. The phonon mechanism may also explain similarities between primary non-impact blast-induced mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and recent clinical and imaging findings of unexplained brain injuries observed in US embassy personnel, possibly due to directed radiofrequency radiation. We know that certain RF frequencies and power levels can trigger pulsed microwaves and potentially injure brain tissue. Microwaves can also be focused into narrow field-of-view beams in order to target individuals. Experimental evidence indicates that pulsed microwaves can induce disruption in brain tissue,producing subsequent behavioral and cognitive dysfunction. In addition, pulsed microwaves reportedly may alter blood-brain barrier permeability, disrupt long-term potentiating and result in DNA strand breaks”
Without doubt, the combined medical, neuroscience and electronic warfare ingredients in the preliminary assessment of the technology which may have caused ‘Havana Syndrome’ merits a closer look and sustained research inside the alliance as well as more broadly in medical and academic communities. Verification of its non-kinetic but devastating effects must be validated. Moreover, the specific cognitive impact and neurological effect of nanosecond-repetitive pulsed RF microwaves on human brains merits an urgent research campaign as some published research confirms that it can adversely affect humans as it has already done so in rats. 
 Some Biological Reactions of the Organism after Exposure to Nanosecond Repetitive Pulsed Microwaves, 6th International Congress-‘Energy Fluxes and Radiation Effects’, 2018 Journal of Physics, A Kereya, O Kutenkov, V Rostov doi:10.1088/1742-6596/1115/2/22015
Act of War?
In keeping with the legitimate controversy about whether a Cyber or AI enabled attack using unconventional technologies is truly an ‘act of war’ befitting serious contemplation as we determine those aspects of the NATO treaty which may be applicable—we are left to consider the Havana Syndrome yet another puzzling example. For example, when the first reported instances of Havana Syndrome were seen by senior US government officials, there was this reaction 
 “If this plays out and somebody is attacking Americans [even] with a nonlethal weapon … we owe it to our folks that are out there,” said Christopher Miller. ”…we owe it to them to get to the bottom of this.” Former acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller | Joshua Roberts via AP By LARA SELIGMAN and ANDREW DESIDERIO 05/03/2021 16;06 EDT
With former acting Secretary of Defense Chistopher Miller calling these randomized attacks on U.S. government personnel as an “an act of war,” he urged the Biden administration to stay focused on the issue. Newly appointed Biden officials such as Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and recently confirm CIA chief William Burns both pledged to investigate what really happened. Secretary of State Blinken appointed a career ambassador named Spratlin to oversee the inquiry back in February 2021 but now has appointed Jonathan Moore, who served in posts in Bosnia and Namibia, along with Ambassador Margaret Uyehara who will lead the Department’s internal Health Incident Response Task Force. As Blinken noted during the announcement,
 Those who suffer from it have “experienced serious physical consequences, including persistent headaches and hearing loss. They’ve also experienced psychological harm, including trauma, anxiety, depression,” with no clear explanation, Blinken // Boston Herald, Nov 4, pg 5
Over the course of the last six months in 2021 numerous press reports have been identified of parallel Havana Syndrome complaints from US diplomats posted to Berlin, Hanoi, Bogotá, Managua, Vienna and Guangzhou as well as at least 12 other posts overseas. This provides additional impetus to find the offending technology and determine how best to protect vulnerable employees. With a net cluster of potential victims among US military, intelligence and diplomatic ranks which may exceed 300 in number and rising, the alliance should pay attention to these disturbing developments.
If this insidious, stealthy and largely undetectable technology continues to inflict measurable cognitive harm on US persons, the United States will engage the full measure of its research infrastructure to identify and nullify further instances of Havana Syndrome. For the interim, however, all people potentially vulnerable to this disruptive and damaging technology remain at risk. A clear, concise and credible medical case definition is urgently needed along with a sophisticated strategy for isolating what the offending technology is. Measures to defend, deflect and deter future uses of the technology is just as urgent and interim steps to thwart and deter the use of the technology today and protect innocent victims now must be found.
Neurostrike NeuroCognitive Conflict and Havana Syndrome
What is the strategic effect of a stealth weapon which debilitates or permanently impairs the minds of military and civilian leadership? If that technology is largely covert, undetectable and pervasive even if its targets are limited in number, does that pose an incipient threat deserving of serious attention as geopolitical weapons leverage is considered? Symptoms of its victims cannot be readily evaluated by physicians, as no case definition or peer reviewed research exists to verify its authenticity.
The technology is insidious and consistently defies detection, prevention, medical verification and scientific confirmation aside from episodic reports that an anomaly has occurred and impaired the neurological and cognitive wellbeing of its intended targets. One could easily visualize reports of this technology being discounted as psychotic or delusional events, where the complaining individuals were labeled as malingerers or worse. But what is the technology is genuine, effective, repeatedly used in isolated cases and continues to wreak havoc among its victims, perplexing both medial and military experts with its long-lasting cognitive impact and negative effects? If this technology exists, but we cannot easily identify it in operational use nor detect and deflect its harmful beams, emanations and pulse waves?
This is the central dilemma of a 21st century weapon which I have called ‘NeuroStrike” It is my preferred term for referencing the array of offending technology behind Havana Syndrome and drawing attention to its onward evolution and global proliferation. It has so far has eluded the best efforts of military, medical and intelligence experts to explain or categorize, but its authenticity and cognitive degradation effects are well documented. While some aspects of the offending technology are known, other aspects less so. The quest for a complete and accurate decoding of NeuroStrike technology is a high priority for the alliance as leadership, decision-making, threat analysis, tactical perception and situational awareness are all jeopardized by the technology.
The basic principle of a suggested neurostrike weapon is a fairly simple proposition. It entails a handheld, or platform mounted, mixture of an RF, directed energy pulse or engineered neurocognitive disrupter, which is designed to harm, disable or permanently damage a human brain. It may also indirectly adversely impact the brains of several people near the attack. One viable conclusion is that NeuroStrike technologies after 2021 will dramatically alter all prior theories of combat or the use of non-lethal force on both civilian and military targets. These notions must be rethought. While such reports provoke a number of questions not readily answered such as the suspected sponsors, owners, attackers and developers of NeuroStrike as well as their motives, the sheer magnitude of conformable neurological harm inflicted on victims cannot be refuted. Victims of NeuroStrikehave experienced sustained and persistent neurocognitive disruptive effects which can be medically confirmed, and this cognitive degradation defies facile medical categorization.
So, it is of utmost importance to assess the net strategic value of such weapons in future conflict scenarios short of an actual shooting war. We can visualize the onset of an arguable domain known as NeuroCognitive Conflict [NCC] or cognitive warfare. It is not for threat analysis in future decades after 2050 because it operates even now. As such, it exists outside normal discussions of electronic warfare or beyond the boundaries of serious speculation about exploiting the electromagnetic spectrum for military purposes. It lies outside the threshold of arms controls discussions or agreement, and it sneers at hapless medical attempts to define or understand it.
The potential for non-kinetic neurocognitive disruption, degradation and disablement of human brains via remotely positioned platforms alters our ordinary sense of strategic warning, risk, electronic warfare and modified information operations. In a joint multi-domain conflict environment, neurostrike technologies are game changers owing to their covert nondeductible nature, resulting in zero defensive and deterrent capabilities among targeted persons. As such, NeuroStrike issues add complexity and heft to gauging the nature, extent and focus of future defense threats and securing the geopolitical interests of the United States. Detection, defense, deterrence and defeat of future neurostrike systems ought to become one of our highest defense priorities to retain a competitive strategic edge.
Strategic Dimensions and C4ISR
Strategic and sub strategic issues arise immediately as NeuroStrike technologies are assessed. The lack of attack warning, the absence of protective measures and the defensive/countermeasures gap combine to make this a strategic issue. Further, in the medical and leadership dynamics arena if the existing cognitive degradation technology can be modified to adversely affect dozens of troops it may have strategic effects. Sub strategically, it signals a new threat variation on aspects of electronic warfare, PSYOPS, information operations and C4ISR. Continued development of sophisticated broad scale NeuroStrike technology by hostile forces suggests a three-fold strategic dilemma for the alliance
1-If NeuroStrike attacks occurred, how would they be validated or proven?
2-What technologies can be developed today to detect, deter and defeat existing and future NeuroStrike technologies?
3-What specific medical case definition can be made for Neurostrike victims, and what technologies can be devised to reduce or eliminate adverse cognitive harm and progressive neural degradation?
In the annals of current military theory and security policy the paradigmatic reference to C4ISR has held a classic significance reflecting a blended continuum of policy and technology which identifies Command, Control, Communication, Coordination, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance as bedrock principles for conducting warfare. In most cases this constellation of values, functions, operations and principles is sufficient to explain combat imperatives worth noting out twenty or more years into the future past 2021. But C4ISR as we understand it is in jeopardy.
What specific future technologies such as hypersonics, lasers, AI, drone swarms, autonomous platforms, robots, genomic enhancements and other cutting-edge discoveries will alter, redefine and reshape what we regard as C4ISR well after 2021? Where does the set of NeuroStrike technologies fit, and how do they potentially dilute or disrupt C4ISR? In an era of cognitive warfare,C4ISR is target number one.
NeuroStrike technologies can potentially impair military leadership and mission execution temporarily to attain a strategic advantage and asymmetric degree of leverage in conflicts where the ‘fog of war’ is paramount. Commanders unable to reliably ascertain or assess enemy movements, technologies or intentions and thereby communicate and coordinate appropriate responses and maneuvers are likely compromised to a significant degree. Transmission, interpretation, acknowledgement and execution of orders whether oral, written or cybernetic in nature could be negatively affected by intermediate military officers and nodes of command which cannot accurately read, digest, apply and understand what specific orders require.
The inability to defend and protect senior officials from NeuroStrike technologies, together with the technical challenges involved in discerning when such technologies are being aimed at alliance leaders and officials, remains an uppermost strategic threat. Further, the proliferation of such technology globally, along with its steady maturation and sophistication, poses additional threats to U.S. security interests. The future threat such technology poses to overseas posted diplomats, military officers, civilians and their families is not well recognized, evaluated or understood.
Various ISR aspects of military operational prowess and strategic leverage are facing real risks of dilution and evisceration if the array of NeuroStrike technologies deployed against friendly force commanders and echelon leaders is found to be even of limited effectiveness. The craft of ordinary tactical intelligence seeking enemy capabilities, intentions, technologies and enemy leader traits could be impaired by deft targeting of friendly systems using NeuroStrike technologies. If cognitive disruption technologies—even of a temporary nature—were employed by unfriendly forces to mask, deceive or camouflage enemy activities, systems, platforms and capabilities, the net effect could undermine the activities, operations and mission goals of friendly forces. If leader perception, interpretation, analysis and reaction to enemy conduct was impaired, cloaked or hidden by such technologies, the battlefield advantages to an aggressor would be obvious. Likewise, the critical functions of surveillance and reconnaissance could be adversely affected if NeuroStrike technologies could effectively interfere with pattern recognition and other mental skills integral to normal routines where surveillance and reconnaissance were relied upon, Clearly there is an implied risk that disruptive NeuroStrike technologies could impair or diminish proper assessment and analysis of data, photos, maps and other materials which could not be understood or interpreted normally owing to the impairment.
We must also evaluate NeuroStrike systems within the context of EMOE. The Electromagnetic Operational Environment [EMOE] is a composite of the actual and potential electromagnetic energy radiation, conditions, circumstances, and influences that affect the employment of capabilities and the decisions of the commander. It includes the existing background radiation (i.e., electromagnetic environment) as well as the friendly, neutral, adversary, and enemy electromagnetic systems able to radiate within the electromagnetic area of influence. This includes systems currently radiating or receiving, or those that may radiate, that can potentially affect joint operations.
The EMOE is comprehensive and strategically significant and include—AI enabled communication services including safety services like aeronautical, maritime, radio navigation, radio location, radio astronomy, radio ranging, meteorological, broadcasting, satellite broadcasting, fixed-satellite, mobile-satellite, space services, as well as most cyber based platforms. It is an internationally shared spectrum where influence and dominance are clear strategic objectives, possessing characteristics with major geopolitical leverage attached.
An Urgent Need for Research
The sheer existence of debilitating systems and platforms among hostile nations which enable randomized cognitive warfare and under gird NeuroStrike technologies poses an immediate and urgent need for research inside the alliance. While medical, neuroscience and electronic warfare experts can construct theories which support the operation of cognitive degradation technology,there is the paramount need to reduce or nullify its adverse effects as soon as possible.
Within the alliance, military, civilian and academic experts must collaborate now on calibrating and dissecting the essential parts of any cognitive warfare system which poses an immediate or future threat. Joining the USA, the alliance must discern what the actual size, location, origins, scope, sponsors, technology and significance of the prevailing cognitive warfare threat. Cognitive warfare contains the subtle but powerful effects of strategic surprise and inflicts damage ambiguous enough that victims have to fight energetically to get an objective assessment of their true cognitive impairment.
Characterizing the full scope, magnitude, meaning, distribution and verified harmful neurological effects of cognitive warfare platforms, systems and technologies has not yet been accomplished. Efforts must be launched immediately to
Identify fundamental cognitive warfare technologies operating globally
Develop defensive and protective countermeasures
Devise reliable detection and deterrent systems
Clarify current cognitive warfare threats globally in the 2021-2030 period
Align alliance experts in thwarting future cognitive warfare attacks
Focus allied energy on identifying State sponsors of cognitive warfare technologies, their proliferators and developers. This will also likely require extensive expert review and discussion along with red team integrated exercises to illustrate blind spots, faulty assumptions and unknown aspects of combat vulnerability.
Finally, we must recognize that the offending cognitive warfare technology involved in Havana Syndrome has certain identifiable characteristics:  the beam is effective using 5 to-8 separate instances of attack, each one being less than 6 minutes duration;  it is likely hand held or table sized technology;  its effective beam range is 30-75 meters distant from the target;  it penetrates glass, metal and concrete walls;  it is often accompanied by low-level clicking sounds;  it often triggers immediate intense headaches. For certain cognitive warfare is NOT crickets, organophosphate poisoning, hallucination, PTSD or imaginary. It is harmful, real, and it is already here.
Robert McCreight is an expert on advanced weapons systems, convergent technology and neuroscience based threats. He was a former US Army Special Ops officer, treaty negotiator with the State Department and advisor to the Reagan White House on nuclear matters. He teaches graduate school and has published 5 books and 34 articles on a variety ofsubjects including emergency management, homeland defense, national security and future technology risks
you are seriously blind, deaf and stupid if you deny the existence of mindcontrol and target individuals- CHINA
In late 2021, the US government sanctioned several Chinese entities for their involvement in the creation of biotechnology that includes “purported brain-control weaponry.”
As an aspiring superpower, the Chinese Communist Party has doggedly pursued economic, technological, and military supremacy, often through illegal or questionable means.
The US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security now says the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences and 11 of its research institutions have been involved in the research and support of biotechnology, including brain-control weaponry, that the Chinese military intends to use to gain a battlefield advantage.
Human-rights abuses and national security
In a notice to the Federal Register published in December, the Commerce Department added 34 China-based entities to its blacklist, accusing them of “acting contrary to the foreign policy or national security interests of the United States.”
“The scientific pursuit of biotechnology and medical innovation can save lives. Unfortunately, the PRC is choosing to use these technologies to pursue control over its people and its repression of members of ethnic and religious minority groups,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a press release.
The US Commerce Department put the Chinese firms, laboratories, research centers, and academic institutions on the Entity List, which is designed to sanction individuals, organizations, and companies that pose or might pose a risk to US national security or foreign policy.
In addition to the Chinese entities, the department sanctioned entities in Turkey, Malaysia, and Georgia for “diverting or attempting to divert” US material to Iranian military programs.
The department sanctioned five Chinese medical and technology companies and institutions for their support of China’s military modernization efforts and five others for acquiring or trying to acquire US-made items that would reinforce the People’s Liberation Army.
The decision to sanction the Chinese entities follows evidence that their research, products, or services have a military application and are being used or will be used to support the Chinese Communist Party’s human-rights abuses.
The international community has repeatedly criticized Beijing for its genocidal policies against the Uighurs in Xinjiang. The US has accused the Chinese Communist Party of crimes against humanity for its targeting and prosecuting the Uighur minority.
“We cannot allow US commodities, technologies, and software that support medical science and biotechnical innovation to be diverted toward uses contrary to US national security,” Raimondo said, adding that the US “will continue to stand strong” against efforts “to turn tools that can help humanity prosper into implements that threaten global security and stability.”
At the heart of the sanctions is the Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing attempt to create weapons that would facilitate “cognitive control operations.”
The Chinese military correctly asserts that advancing technologies are rapidly changing the nature of warfare. Beijing wants to have a modern mechanized military that is interconnected and can share information rapidly and smoothly, while integrating advanced capabilities to analyze vast troves of data and offer its forces a cognitive advantage.
As a result, Beijing has adjusted its military modernization priorities to include “intelligentized” capabilities alongside the mechanization and informatization of its forces.
According to the Pentagon’s most recent report on the Chinese military, Beijing has been exploring “next-generation operational concepts for intelligentized warfare, such as attrition warfare by intelligent swarms, cross-domain mobile warfare, AI-based space confrontation, and cognitive control operations.”
Cognitive control operations, using so-called brain-control weapons, would suit an autocratic regime that seeks physical and digital oversight of populations under its control, and they would have domestic and foreign applications.
Translated Chinese military reports obtained by The Washington Times suggest Beijing is looking to create weapons that could subdue enemy forces and reduce the amount of force needed to defeat them. Such weapons would disorient or confuse enemy forces, making them easy game for Chinese troops.
The Pentagon’s report said that the Chinese military has continued its campaign to become a global innovation power by mastering advanced technologies, which aligns with previous Chinese Communist Party statements about the “intelligentization” of future warfare by using emerging and disruptive technologies, including artificial intelligence, quantum, biomedical, autonomous systems, and cloud computing.
“These sectors produce technologies that may determine whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors in the next few years,” the agency said.
Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.
Executive Summary ……………………………………………………………………………………4 Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………….5 The advent of Cognitive Warfare ……………………………………………………………….6 From Information Warfare to Cognitive Warfare …………………………………………….6 Hacking the individual ………………………………………………………………………………………….7 Trust is the target …………………………………………………………………………………………………..8 Cognitive Warfare, a participatory propaganda ………………………………………………8 Behavioural economy ……………………………………………………………………………………………9 Cyber psychology …………………………………………………………………………………………………11 The centrality of the human brain ……………………………………………………………..12 Understanding the brain is a key challenge for the future …………………………..12 The vulnerabilities of the human brain ……………………………………………………………..13 The role of emotions …………………………………………………………………………………………….15 The battle for attention ………………………………………………………………………………………..15 Long-term impacts of technology on the brain ………………………………………………16 The promises of neurosciences…………………………………………………………………………. 17 The militarisation of brain science …………………………………………………………….19 Progress and Viability of Neuroscience and Technology (NeuroS/T) …………19 Military and Intelligence Use of NeuroS/T ……………………………………………………….20 Direct Weaponisation of NeuroS/T ……………………………………………………………………21 Neurodata ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………22 The neurobioeconomy …………………………………………………………………………………………23 Towards a new operational domain …………………………………………………………..25 Russian and Chinese Cognitive Warfare Definition……………………………………….. 26 It’s about Humans …………………………………………………………………………………………………28 Recommendations for NATO ………………………………………………………………………………32 Definition of the Human Domain ………………………………………………………………………32 Impact on Warfare Development ……………………………………………………………………….34 Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………………….36 Bibliography and Sources …………………………………………………………………………..37 Annex 1 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………38 Nation State Case Study 1: The weaponisation of neurosciences in China …38 Annex 2 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………41 Nation State Case Study 2: The Russian National Technology Initiative ………41
As written in the Warfighting 2040 Paper, the nature of warfare has changed. The majority of current conflicts remain below the threshold of the traditionally accepted definition of warfare, but new forms of warfare have emerged such as Cognitive Warfare (CW), while the human mind is now being considered as a new domain of war. With the increasing role of technology and information overload, individual cognitive abilities will no longer be sufficient to ensure an informed and timely decision-making, leading to the new concept of Cognitive Warfare, which has become a recurring term in military termi- nology in recent years. Cognitive Warfare causes an insidious challenge. It disrupts the ordinary understandings and reactions to events in a gradual and subtle way, but with significant harmful effects over time. Cognitive warfare has universal reach, from the individual to states and multinational organi-sations. It feeds on the techniques of disinformation and propaganda aimed at psychologically exhausting the receptors of information. Everyone contributes to it, to varying degrees, consciously or sub consciously and it provides invaluable knowledge on society, especially open societies, such as those in the West. This knowledge can then be easily weaponised. It offers NATO’s adversaries a means of bypassing the traditional battlefield with significant strategic results, which may be utilised to radically transform Western societies. The instruments of information warfare, along with the addition of “neuro-weapons” adds to future technological perspectives, suggesting that the cognitive field will be one of tomorrow’s battlefields. This perspective is further strengthened in by the rapid advances of NBICs (Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Sciences) and the understanding of the brain. NATO’s adversaries are already investing heavily in these new technologies. NATO needs to anticipate advances in these technologies by raising the awareness on the true potential of CW. Whatever the nature and object of warfare, it always comes down to a clash of human wills, and therefore what defines victory will be the ability to impose a desired behaviour on a chosen audience. Actions undertaken in the five domains – air, land, sea, space and cyber – are all executed in order to have an effect on the human domain. It is therefore time for NATO to recognise the renewed importance of the sixth operational domain, namely the Human Domain. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 4 of 45 Introduction Individual and organisational cognitive capabilities will be of paramount importance because of the speed and volume of information available in the modern battlespace. If modern technology holds the promise of improving human cognitive performance, it also holds the seeds of serious threats for military organisations. Because organisations are made up of human beings, human limitations and preferences ultimately affect organisational behaviour and decision-making processes. Military organisations are subject to the problem of limited rationality, but this constraint is often overlooked in practice .
1 In an environment permeated with technology and overloaded with information, managing the cognitive abilities within military organisations will be key, while developing capabilities to harm the cognitive abilities of opponents will be a necessity. In other words, NATO will need to get the ability to safeguard her decision-making process and disrupt the adversary’s one. This study intends to respond to the three following questions: • Improve awareness on Cognitive Warfare, including a better understanding of the risks and opportunities of new Cognitive / Human Mind technologies; • Provide ‘out-of-the-box’ insight on Cognitive Warfare; • And to provide strategic level arguments to SACT as to recommend, or not, Cognitive / Human Mind as an Operational Domain. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 5 of 45 The advent of Cognitive Warfare From Information Warfare to Cognitive Warfare Information warfare (IW) is the most related, and, thus, the most easily conflated, type of warfare with regards to cognitive warfare. However, there are key distinctions that make cognitive warfare unique enough to be addressed under its own jurisdiction. As a concept, IW was first coined and developed under US Military doctrine, and has subsequently been adopted in different forms by several nations. As former US Navy Commander Stuart Green described it as, “Information operations, the closest
2 existing American doctrinal concept for cognitive warfare, consists of five ‘core capabilities’, or elements. These include electronic warfare, computer network operations, PsyOps, military deception, and operational security.” Succinctly, Information Warfare aims at controlling the flow of information. Information warfare has been designed primarily to support objectives defined by the traditional mission of military organisations – namely, to produce lethal kinetic effects on the battlefield. It was not designed to achieve lasting political successes. As defined by Clint Watts, cognitive Warfare opposes the capacities to know and to produce, it actively thwarts knowledge. Cognitive sciences cover all the sciences that concern knowledge and its processes (psychology, linguistics, neurobiology, logic and more).
3 Cognitive Warfare degrades the capacity to know, produce or thwart knowledge. Cognitive sciences cover all the sciences that concern knowledge and its processes (psychology, linguistics, neurobiology, logic and more). Cognitive Warfare is therefore the way of using knowledge for a conflicting purpose. In its broadest sense, cognitive warfare is not limited to the military or institutional world. Since the early 1990s, this capability has tended to be applied to the political, economic, cultural and societal fields. Any user of modern information technologies is a potential target. It targets the whole of a nation’s human capital. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 6 of 45 “Conflicts will increasingly depend on/and revolve around, information and communications— (…) Indeed, both cyberwar and netwar are modes of conflict that are largely about “knowledge”—about who knows what, when, where, and why, and about how secure a society” John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt The Advent of Netwar, RAND, 1996
“Big Data allows us to develop fabulous calculation and analysis performances, but what makes it possible to respond to a situation is reason and reason is what enables to take a decision in what is not calculable, otherwise we only confirm the state of affairs.” Bernard Stiegler The most striking shift of this practice from the military, to the civilian, world is the perva siveness of CW activities across everyday life that sit outside the normal peace-crisis-conflict construct (with harmful effects). Even if a cognitive war could be conducted to complement to a military conflict, it can also be conducted alone, without any link to an engagement of the armed forces. Moreover, cognitive warfare is potentially endless since there can be no peace treaty or surrender for this type of conflict. Evidence now exists that shows new CW tools & techniques target military personnel directly , not only with classical information weapons but also with a constantly growing and rapidly evolving arsenal of neuro-weapons, targeting the brain. It is important to recognise various nations’ dedicated endeavours to develop non-kinetic operations, that target the Human with effects at every level – from the individual level, up to the socio-political level. Hacking the individual The revolution in information technology has enabled cognitive manipulations of a new kind, on an unprecedented and highly elaborate scale. All this happens at much lower cost than in the past, when it was necessary to create effects and impact through non-virtual actions in the physical realm. Thus, in a continuous process, classical military capabilities do not counter cognitive warfare. Despite the military having difficulty in recognising the reality and effectiveness of the phenomena associated with cognitive warfare, the relevance of kinetic and resource-intensive means of warfare is nonetheless diminishing. Social engineering always starts with a deep dive into the human environment of the target. The goal is to understand the psychology of the targeted people. This phase is more important than any other as it allows not only the precise targeting of the right people but also to anticipate reactions, and to develop empathy. Understanding the human environment is the key to building the trust that will ultimately lead to the desired results. Humans are an easy target since theyall contribute by providing information on themselves, making the adversaries’ sockpuppets more powerful.
4 In any case NATO’s adversaries focus on identifying the Alliance’s centres of gravity and vulnerabilities. They have long identified that the main vulnerability is the human. It is easy to find these centres of gravity in open societies because they are reflected in the study of human and social sciences such as political science, history, geography, biology, philosophy, voting systems, public administration, international politics, international relations, religious studies, education, sociology, arts and culture… Cognitive Warfare is a war of ideologies that strives to erode the trust that underpins every society. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 7 of 45 “Social engineering is the art and science of getting people to comply to your wishes. It is not a way of mind control, it will not allow you to get people to perform tasks wildly outside of their normal behaviour and it isfar from foolproof” Harl, People Hacking, 1997 Trust is the target Cognitive warfare pursues the objective of undermining trust (public trust in electoral processes, trust in institutions, allies, politicians…). , therefore the individual becomes the
5 weapon, while the goal is not to attack what individuals think but rather the way they think .
6 It has the potential to unravel the entire social contract that underpins societies. It is natural to trust the senses, to believe what is seen and read. But the democratisation of automated tools and techniques using AI, no longer requiring a technological background, enables anyone to distort information and to further undermine trust in open societies. The use of fake news, deep fakes, Trojan horses, and digital avatars will create new suspicions which anyone can exploit. It is easier and cheaper for adversaries to undermine trust in our own systems than to attack our power grids, factories or military compounds. Hence, it is likely that in the near future there will be more attacks, from a growing and much more diverse number of potential players with a greater risk for escalation or miscalculation. The characteristics of cyberspace (lack of regulation, difficulties and associated risks of attribution of attacks in particular) mean that new actors, either state or non-state, are to be expected .
7 As the example of COVID-19 shows, the massive amount of texts on the subject, including deliberately biased texts (example is the Lancet study on chloroquine) created an information and knowledge overload which, in turn, generates both a loss of credibility and a need for closure. Therefore the ability for humans to question, normally, any data/information presented is hampered, with a tendency to fall back on biases to the detriment of unfettered decision making. It applies to trust among individuals as well as groups, political alliances and societies. “Trust, in particular among allies, is a targeted vulnerability. As any international institution does, NATO relies on trust between its partners. Trust is based not only on respecting some explicit and tangible agreements, but also on ‘invisible contracts,’ on sharing values, which is not easy when such a proportion of allied nations have been fighting each other for centuries. This has left wounds and scars creating a cognitive/information landscape that our adversaries study with great care. Their objective is to identify the ‘Cognitive Centers of Gravity’ of the Alliance, which they will target with ‘info-weapons’.”
8 Cognitive Warfare, a participatory propaganda
9 In many ways, cognitive warfare can be compared to propaganda, which can be defined as “a set of methods employed by an organised group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated in an organisation.”
10 Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 8 of 45 The purpose of propaganda is not to “program” minds, but to influence attitudes and behaviours by getting people to adopt the right attitude, which may consist of doing certain things or, often, stopping doing them. Cognitive Warfare is methodically exploited as a component of a global strategy by adversaries aimed at weakening, interfering and destabilising targeted populations, institutions and states, in order to influence their choices, to undermine the autonomy of their decisions and the sovereignty of their institutions. Such campaigns combine both real and distorted information (misinformation), exaggerated facts and fabricated news (disinformation). Disinformation preys on the cognitive vulnerabilities of its targets by taking advantage of pre-existing anxieties or beliefs that predispose them to accept false information. This requires the aggressor to have an acute understanding of the socio-political dynamics at play and to know exactly when and how to penetrate to best exploit these vulnerabilities. Cognitive Warfare exploits the innate vulnerabilities of the human mind because of the way it is designed to process information, which have always been exploited in warfare, of course. However, due to the speed and pervasiveness of technology and information, the human mind is no longer able to process the flow of information. Where CW differs from propaganda is in the fact that everyone participates, mostly inadvertently, to information processing and knowledge formation in an unprecedented way. This is a subtle but significant change. While individuals were passively submitted to propaganda, they now actively contribute to it. The exploitation of human cognition has become a massive industry. And it is expected that emerging artificial intelligence (AI) tools will soon provide propagandists radically enhanced capabilities to manipulate human minds and change human behaviour .
11 Behavioural economy “Capitalism is undergoing a radical mutation. What many describe as the ‘data economy’ is in fact better understood as a ‘behavioural economics’”. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 9 of 45 “New tools and techniques, combined with the changing technological and information foundations of modern societies, are creating an unprecedented capacity to conduct virtual societal warfare.” Michael J. Mazarr “Modern propaganda is based on scientific analyses of psychology and sociology. Step by step, the propagandist builds his techniques on the basis of his knowledge of man, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his conditioning — and as much on social psychology as on depth psychology.” Jacques Ellul, Propaganda, 1962 Behavioural economics (BE) is defined as a method of economic analysis that applies psychological insights into human behaviour to explain economic decision-making. As research into decision-making shows, behaviour becomes increasingly computational, BE is at the crossroad between hard science and soft science .
12 Operationally, this means massive and methodical use of behavioural data and the development of methods to aggressively seek out new data sources. With the vast amount of (behavioural) data that everyone generates mostly without our consent and awareness, further manipulation is easily achievable. The large digital economy companies have developed new data capture methods, allowing the inference of personal information that users may not necessarily intend to disclose. The excess data has become the basis for new prediction markets called targeted advertising. “Here is the origin of surveillance capitalism in an unprecedented and lucrative brew: behavioural surplus, data science, material infrastructure, computational power, algorithmic systems, and automated platforms”, claims Soshanna Zuboff .
13 In democratic societies, advertising has quickly become as important as research. It has finally become the cornerstone of a new type of business that depends on large-scale online monitoring. The target is the human being in the broadest sense and it is easy to divert the data obtained from just commercial purposes, as the Cambridge Analytica (CA) scandal demonstrated. Thus, the lack of regulation of the digital space – the so-called “data swamp”- does not only benefit the digital-age regimes, which “can exert remarkable control over not just computer networks and human bodies, but the minds of their citizens as well” .
14 It can also be utilised for malign purposes as the example of the CA scandal has shown. CA digital model outlined how to combine personal data with machine learning for political ends by profiling individual voters in order to target them with personalised political advertisements. Using the most advanced survey and psychometrics techniques, Cambridge Analytica was actually able to collect a vast amount of individuals’ data that helped them understand through economics, demographics, social and behavioural information what each of them thought. It literally provided the company a window into the minds of people. The gigantic collection of data organised via digital technologies is today primarily used to define and anticipate human behaviour. Behavioural knowledge is a strategic asset. “Behavioural economics adapts psychology research to economic models, thus creating more accurate representations of human interactions.”
15 “Cambridge Analytica has demonstrated how it’s possible […] to leverage tools to build a scaled-down version of the massive surveillance and manipulation machines”
16 Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 10 of 45 “Technology is going on unabatedand will continue to go on unabated. […] Because technology is going so fast and because people don’t understand it, there was always going to be a Cambridge Analytica.” Julian Wheatland Ex-Chief Operating Officer of Cambridge Analytica As shown by the example of Cambridge Analytica, one can weaponise such knowledge and develop appropriate offensive and defensive capabilities, paving the way for virtual societal warfare. A systematic use of BE methods applied to the military could lead to better under
17 – standing of how individuals and groups behave and think, eventually leading to a wider understanding of the decision-making environment of adversaries. There is a real risk that access to behavioural data utilising the tools and techniques of BE, as shown by the example of Cambridge Analytica, could allow any malicious actor- whether state or non-state- to strategically harm open societies and their instruments of power. Cyberpsychology Assuming that technology affects everyone, studying and understanding human behaviour in relation to technology is vital as the line between cyberspace and the real world is becoming blurry. The exponentially increasing impact of cybernetics, digital technologies, and virtuality can only be gauged when considered through their effects on societies, humans, and their respective behaviours. Cyberpsychology is at the crossroads of two main fields: psychology and cybernetics. All this is relevant to defense and security, and to all areas that matter to NATO as it prepares for transformation. Centered on the clarification of the mechanisms of thought and on the conceptions, uses and limits of cybernetic systems, cyberpsychology is a key issue in the vast field of Cognitive Sciences. The evolution of AI introduces new words, new concepts, but also new theories that encompass a study of the natural functioning of humans and of the machines they have built and which, today, are fully integrated in their natural environment (anthropo-technical). Tomorrow’s human beings will have to invent a psychology of their relation to machines. But the challenge is to develop also a psychology of machines, artificial intelligent software or hybrid robots. Cyber psychology is a complex scientific field that encompasses all psychological phenomena associated with, or affected by relevant evolving technologies. Cyber psychology examines the way humans and machines impact each other, and explores how the relationship between humans and AI will change human interactions and inter-machine communication .
Paradoxically, the development of information technology and its use for manipulative purposes in particular highlights the increasingly predominant role of the brain. The brain is the most complex part of the human body. This organ is the seat of intelligence, the interpreter of the senses, the initiator of body movements, the controller of behaviour and the centre of decisions. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 11 of 45 The centrality of the human brain . For centuries, scientists and philosophers have been fascinated by the brain, but until recently they considered the brain to be almost incomprehensible. Today, however, the brain is beginning to reveal its secrets. Scientists have learned more about the brain in the past decade than in any previous century, thanks to the accelerating pace of research in the neurological and behavioural sciences and the development of new research techniques. For the military, it represents the last frontier in science, in that it could bring a decisive advantage in tomorrow’s wars. Understanding the brain is a key challenge for the future Substantial advances have been made in recent decades in understanding how the brain functions. While our decisionmaking processes remain centered on Human in particular with its capacity to orient (OODA loop), fed by data, analysis and visualisations, the inability of human to process, fuse and analyse the profusion of data in a timely manner calls for humans to team with AI machines to compete with AI machines. In order to keep a balance between the human and the machine in the decision-making process, it becomes necessary to be aware of human limitations and vulnerabilities. It all starts with understanding our cognition processes and the way our brain’s function. Over the past two decades, cognitive science and neuroscience have taken a new step in the analysis and understanding of the human brain, and have opened up new perspectives in terms of brain research, if not indeed of a hybridisation, then of human and artificial intelligence. They have mainly made a major contribution to the study of the diversity of neuro-psychic mechanisms facilitating learning and, as a result, have, for example, challenged the intuition of “multiple intelligences”. No one today can any longer ignore the fact that the brain is both the seat of emotions the interactive mechanisms of memorisation, information processing, problem solving and decision-making. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 12 of 45 Cognitive Science Discipline associating psychology, sociology, linguistics, artificial intelligence and neurosciences, and having for object the explicitation of the mechanisms of thought and information processing mobilised for the acquisition, conservation, use and transmission of knowledge. Neuroscience Trans-disciplinary scientific discipline associating biology, mathematics, computer science, etc., with the aim of studying the organisation and functioning of the nervous system, from the point of view of both its structure and its functioning, from the molecular scale down to the level of the organs. The vulnerabilities of the human brain “In the cognitive war, it’s more important than ever to know thyself.”
19 Humans have developed adaptations to cope with cognitive limitations allowing more effcient processing of information. Unfortunately, these same shortcuts introduce distortions in our thinking and communication, making communication efforts ineffective and subject to manipulation by adversaries seeking to mislead or confuse. These cognitive biases can lead to inaccurate judgments and poor decision making that could trigger an unintended escalation or prevent the timely identification of threats. Understanding the sources and types of cognitive biases can help reduce misunderstandings and inform the development of better strategies to respond to opponents’ attempts to use these biases to their advantage.
In particular, the brain:
is unable to distinct whether particular information is right or wrong;
Is led to take shortcuts in determining the trustworthiness of messages in case of information overload;
is led to believe statements or messages that its already heard as true, even though these may be false;
accepts statements as true, if backed by evidence, with no regards to the authenticity of the that evidence. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 13 of 45 Those are, among many others, the cognitive bias, defined as a systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment.
20 There are many different cognitive biases inherently stemming from the human brain. Most
21 of them are relevant to the information environment. Probably the most common and most damaging cognitive bias is the confirmation bias. This is the effect that leads people to look for evidence that confirms what they already think or suspect, to regard facts and ideas they encounter as further confirmation, and to dismiss or ignore any evidence that seems to support another point of view. In other words, “people see what they want to see” .
22 Cognitive biases effect everyone, from soldiers on the ground to staff officers, and to a greater extent than everyone admits. It is not only important to recognise it in ourselves, but to study the biases of adversaries to understand how they behave and interact. As stated by Robert P. Kozloski, “The importance of truly “knowing yourself” cannot be understated. Advances in computing technology, particularly machine learning, provide the military with the opportunity to know itself like never before. Collecting and analysing the data Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 14 of 45 generated in virtual environments will enable military organisations to understand the cognitive performance of individuals.”
23 Ultimately, operational advantages in cognitive warfare will first come from the improvement of understanding of military cognitive abilities and limitations. The role of emotions In the digital realm, what allows the digital industries and their customers (and notably advertisers) to distinguish individuals in the crowd, to refine personalisation and behavioural analysis, are emotions. Every social media platform, every website is designed to be addictive and to trigger some emotional bursts, trapping the brain in a cycle of posts. The speed, emotional intensity, and echo-chamber qualities of social media content cause those exposed to it to experience more extreme reactions. Social media is particularly well suited to worsening political and social polarisation because of their ability to disseminate violent images and scary rumours very quickly and intensely. “The more the anger spreads, the more Internet users are susceptible to becoming a troll.”
24 At the political and strategic level, it would be wrong to underestimate the impact of emotions. Dominique Moïsi showed in his book “The Geopolitics of Emotion” , how emotions –
25 hope, fear and humiliation – were shaping the world and international relations with the echo-chamber effect of the social media. For example, it seems important to integrate into theoretical studies on terrorist phenomena the role of emotions leading to a violent and/or a terrorist path. By limiting cognitive abilities, emotions also play a role in decision-making, performance, and overall well-being, and it’s impossible to stop people from experiencing them. “In the face of violence, the very first obstacle you will have to face will not be your abuser, but your own reactions.”
26 The battle for attention Never have knowledge and information been so accessible, so abundant, and so shareable. Gaining attention means not only building a privileged relationship with our interlocutors to better communicate and persuade, but it also means preventing competitors from getting that attention, be it political, economic, social or even in our personal life. This battlefield is global via the internet. With no beginning and no end, this conquest knows no respite, punctuated by notifications from our smartphones, anywhere, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Coined in 1996 by Professor B.J. Fogg from Stanford University, “captology” is defined as the science of using “computers as technologies of persuasion”.
27 Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 15 of 45 “We are competing with sleep” Reed Hastings CEO of Netflix The time has therefore come to adopt the rules of this “attention economy”, to master the technologies related to “captology”, to understand how these challenges are completely new. Indeed, this battle is not limited to screens and design, it also takes place in brains, especially in the way they are misled. It is also a question of understanding why, in the age of social networks, some “fake news”, conspiracy theories or “alternative facts”, seduce and convince, while at the same time rendering their victims inaudible. Attention on the contrary is a limited and increasingly scarce resource. It cannot be shared: it can be conquered and kept. The battle for attention is now at work, involving companies, states and citizens. The issues at stake now go far beyond the framework of pedagogy, ethics and screen addiction. The consumption environment, especially marketing, is leading the way. Marketers have long understood that the seat of attention and decision making is the brain and as such have long sought to understand, anticipate its choices and influence it. This approach naturally applies just as well to military affairs and adversaries have already understood this. Long-term impacts of technology on the brain As Dr. James Giordano claims, “the brain will the battlefield of the 21st century”.
28 And when it comes to shaping the brain, the technological environment plays a key role. The brain has only one chance to develop. Damage to the brain is very often irreversible. Understanding and protecting our brains from external aggression, of all kinds, will be one of the major challenges of the future. According to the neuroscientist Maryanne Wolf, humans were not meant to read and the invention of printing changed the shape of our brains . It took years, if not centuries, to assess
29 the consequences – social, political or sociological for example – of the invention of printing. It will likely take longer before understanding accurately the long-term consequences of the digital age but one thing everyone agrees on is that the human brain is changing today faster than ever before with the pervasiveness of digital technology. There is a growing amount of research that explores how technology affects the brain. Studies show that exposure to technology shapes the cognitive processes and the ability to take in information. One of the major findings is the advent of a society of ‘cognitive offloaders’, meaning that no one memorises important information any longer. Instead, the brain tends to remember the location where they retrieved when it is next required. With information and visual overload, the brain tends to scan information and pick out what appears to be important with no regard to the rest. One of the evolutions already noticed is the loss of critical thinking directly related to screen reading and the increasing inability to read a real book. The way information is processed affects brain development, leading to neglect of the sophisticated thought processes. Brains will thus be different tomorrow. It is therefore highly probable that our brains will be radically Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 16 of 45 transformed in an extremely short period, but it is also likely that this change will come at the expense of more sophisticated, more complex thinking processes necessary for critical analysis. In an era where memory is outsourced to Google, GPS, calendar alerts and calculators, it will necessarily produce a generalised loss of knowledge that is not just memory, but rather motor memory. In other words, a long-term process of disabling connections in your brain
is ongoing. It will present both vulnerabilities and opportunities. However, there is also plenty of research showing the benefits of technology on our cognitive functions. For example, a Princeton University study found that expert video gamers have a
31 higher ability to process data, to make decisions faster or even to achieve simultaneous multitasks in comparison to non-gamers. There is a general consensus among neuroscientists that a reasoned use of information technology (and particularly games) is beneficial to the brain. By further blurring the line between the real and the virtual, the development of technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) or Mixed Reality (MR) has the potential to transform the brain’s abilities even more radically . Behaviours in virtual environments
32 can continue to influence real behaviour long after exiting VR.
33 Yet, virtual environments offer the opportunity to efficiently complement live training since it can provide cognitive experience that a live exercise cannot replicate. While there are concerns and research on how digital media are harming developing minds, it is still difficult to predict how the technology will affect and change the brain, but with the ubiquity of IT, it will become increasingly crucial to carefully detect and anticipate the impacts of information technology on the brain and to adapt the use of information technology. In the long-term, there is little doubt that Information Technologies will transform the brain, thus providing more opportunities to learn and to apprehend the cyber environment but also vulnerabilities that will require closely monitoring in order to counter and defend against them and how to best exploit them. The promises of neurosciences “Social neuroscience holds the promise of understanding people’s thoughts, emotions and intentions through the mere observation of their biology.”
34 Should scientists be able to establish a close and precise correspondence between biological functions on the one hand and social cognitions and behaviours on the other hand, neuroscientific methods could have tremendous applications for many disciplines and for our society in general. It includes decision-making, exchanges, physical and mental health care, prevention, jurisprudence, and more. This highlights how far neurosciences occupies a growing place in medical and scientific research. More than just a discipline, they articulate a set of fields related to the knowledge of the brain and nervous system and question the complex relationships between man and his Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 17 of 45 environment and fellow human beings. From biomedical research to cognitive sciences, the actors, approaches and organisations that structure neuroscience are diverse. Often convergent, they can also be competitive. While the discoveries and challenges of the neurosciences are relatively well known, this field raises both hope and concern. In a disorganised and, at times, ill-informed way, “neuroscience” seems to be everywhere. Integrated, sometimes indiscriminately, in many debates, they are mobilised around the issues of society and public health, education, aging, and nourish the hopes of an augmented man.
Today, the manipulation of our perception, thoughts and behaviours is taking place on previously unimaginable scales of time, space and intentionality. That, precisely, is the source of one of the greatest vulnerabilities that every individual must learn to deal with. Many actors are likely to exploit these vulnerabilities, while the evolution of technology for producing and disseminating information is increasingly fast. At the same time, as the cost of technology steadily drops, more actors enter the scene. As the technology evolves, so do the vulnerabilities. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 18 of 45 The militarisation of brain science Scientists around the world are asking the question of how to free humanity from the limitations of the body. The line between healing and augmentation becomes blurred. In addition, the logical progression of research is to achieve a perfect human being through new technological standards. In the wake of the U.S. Brain Initiative initiated in 2014, all the major powers (EU/China/ Russia) have launched their own brain research programs with substantial fundings. China sees the brain “as the HQ of the Human body and precisely attacking the HQ is one of the most effective strategies for determining victory or defeat on the battlefield” .
35 The revolution in NBIC (Nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science) including advances in genomics, has the potential for dual-use technology development. A wide range of military applications such as improving the performance of soldiers, developing new weapons such as directed energy weapons are already discussed. Progress and Viability of Neuroscience and Technology (NeuroS/T) Neuroscience employs a variety of methods and technologies to evaluate and influence neurologic substrates and processes of cognition, emotion, and behaviour. In general, brain science can be either basic or applied research. Basic research focuses upon obtaining knowledge and furthering understanding of structures and functions of the nervous system on a variety of levels by employing methods of the physical and natural sciences. Applied research seeks to develop translational approaches that can be directly utilised to understand and modify the physiology, psychology, and/or pathology of target organisms, including humans. Neuroscientific methods and technologies (neuroS/T) can be further categorised as those used to assess, and those used to affect the structures and functions of the nervous system, although these categories and actions are not mutually exclusive. For example, the use of certain drugs, toxins, and probes to elucidate functions of various sites of the central and peripheral nervous system can also affect neural activity. NeuroS/T is broadly considered a natural and/or life science and there is implicit and explicit intent, if not expectation to develop and employ tools and outcomes of research in clinical medicine. Neuroscientific techniques, technologies, and information could be used for medical as well as non-medical (educational, occupational, lifestyle, military, etc.) purposes .
36 It is questionable whether the uses, performance enablements, and resulting capabilities could (or should) be used in intelligence and/or diplomatic operations to mitigate and subvert aggression, violence, and conflict. Of more focal concern are uses of research findings and products to directly facilitate the performance of combatants, the integration of human-machine interfaces to optimise combat capabilities of semi-autonomous vehicles (e.g., drones), and development of biological and chemical weapons (i.e., neuroweapons). Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 19 of 45 Some NATO Nations have already acknowledged that neuroscientific techniques and technologies have high potential for operational use in a variety of security, defense and intelligence enterprises, while recognising the need to address the current and short-term ethical, legal and social issues generated by such use .
37 Military and Intelligence Use of NeuroS/T The use of neuroS/T for military and intelligence purposes is realistic, and represents a clear and present concern. In 2014, a US report asserted that neuroscience and technology had matured considerably and were being increasingly considered, and in some cases evaluated for operational use in security, intelligence, and defense operations. More broadly, the iterativerecognition of the viability of neuroscience and technology in these agenda reflects the paceand breadth of developments in the field. Although a number of nations have pursued, andare currently pursuing neuroscientific research and development for military purposes, perhaps the most proactive efforts in this regard have been conducted by the United States Department of Defense; with most notable and rapidly maturing research and development conducted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). To be sure, many DARPA projects are explicitly directed toward advancing neuropsychiatric treatments and interventions that will improve both military and civilian medicine. Yet, it is important to note the prominent ongoing –and expanding – efforts in this domain by NATO European and trans-Pacific strategic competitor nations. As the 2008 National Research Council report stated, “… for good or for ill, an ability to better
38 – understand the capabilities of the body and brain… could be exploited for gathering intelligence, military operations, information management, public safety and forensics”. To paraphrase Aristotle, every human activity and tool can be regarded as purposed toward somedefinable “good”. However, definitions of “good” may vary, and what is regarded as good for some may present harm to others. The potential for neuroS/T to afford insight, understanding, and capability to affect cognitive, emotional, and behavioural aspects of individuals and groups render the brain sciences particularly attractive for use in security, intelligence, and military/warfare initiatives. To approach this issue, it is important to establish four fundamental premises. • Firstly, neuroS/T is, and will be increasingly and more widely incorporated into approaches to national security, intelligence gathering and analysis, and aspects of military operations; • Secondly, such capabilities afford considerable power; • Thirdly, many countries are actively developing and subsidising neuro S/T research under dual-use agendas or for direct incorporation into military programs; • Fourthly, these international efforts could lead to a “capabilities race” as nations react to new developments by attempting to counter and/or improve upon one another’s discoveries. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 20 of 45 This type of escalation represents a realistic possibility with potential to affect international security. Such “brinksmanship” must be acknowledged as a potential impediment to attempts to develop analyses and guidelines (that inform or prompt policies) that seek to constrain or restrict these avenues of research and development. Neuroscientific techniques and technologies that are being utilised for military efforts include:
Neural systems modelling and human/brain-machine interactive networks in intelligence, training and operational systems;
Neuroscientific and neurotechnological approaches to optimising performance and resilience in combat and military support personnel;
Direct weaponisation of neuroscience and neurotechnology. Of note is that each and all may contribute to establishing a role for brain science on the 21st century battlescape. Direct Weaponisation of NeuroS/T The formal definition of a weapon as “a means of contending against others” can be extended to include any implement “…used to injure, defeat, or destroy”. Both definitions apply to products of neuroS/T research that can be employed in military/warfare scenarios. The objectives for neuroweapons in warfare may be achieved by augmenting or degrading functions of the nervous system, so as to affect cognitive, emotional and/or motor activity and capability (e.g., perception, judgment, morale, pain tolerance, or physical abilities and stamina) necessary for combat. Many technologies can be used to produce these effects, and there is demonstrated utility for neuroweapons in both conventional and irregular warfare scenarios. At present, outcomes and products of computational neuroscience and neuropharmacologic research could be used for more indirect applications, such as enabling human efforts by simulating, interacting with, and optimising brain functions, and the classification and detection of human cognitive, emotional, and motivational states to augment intelligence or counterintelligence tactics. Human/brain-machine interfacing neurotechnologies capable of optimising data assimilation and interpretation systems by mediating access to – and manipulation of – signal detection, processing, and/or integration are being explored for their potential to delimit “human weak links” in the intelligence chain. The weaponised use of neuroscientific tools and products is not new. Historically, such weapons which include nerve gas and various drugs, pharmacologic stimulants (e.g., amphetamines), sedatives, sensory stimuli, have been applied as neuroweapons to incapacitate the enemy, and even sleep deprivation and distribution of emotionally provocative information in psychological operations (i.e., PSYOPS) could rightly be regarded as forms of weaponised applications of neuroscientific and neurocognitive research. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 21 of 45 Products of neuroscientific and neurotechnological research can be utilised to affect 1) memory, learning, and cognitive speed; 2) wake-sleep cycles, fatigue and alertness; 3) impulse control; 4) mood, anxiety, and self-perception; 5) decision-making; 6) trust and empathy; 7) and movement and performance (e.g., speed, strength, stamina, motor learning, etc.). In military/warfare settings, modifying these functions can be utilised to mitigate aggression and foster cognitions and emotions of affiliation or passivity; induce morbidity, disability or suffering; and “neutralise” potential opponents or incur mortality. Neurodata The combination of multiple disciplines (e.g., the physical, social, and computational sciences), and intentional “technique and technology sharing” have been critical to rapid and numerous discoveries and developments in the brain sciences. This process, advanced integrative scientific convergence (AISC), can be seen as a paradigm for de-siloing disciplines toward fostering innovative use of diverse and complementary knowledge-, skill-, and tool-sets to both de-limit existing approaches to problem resolution; and to develop novel means ofexploring and furthering the boundaries of understanding and capability. Essential to theAISC approach in neuroscience is the use of computational (i.e., big data) methods and advancements to enable deepened insight and more sophisticated intervention to the structureand function(s) of the brain, and by extension, human cognition, emotion, and behaviour .
39 Such capacities in both computational and brain sciences have implications for biosecurity and defense initiatives. Several neurotechnologies can be employed kinetically (i.e., providing means to injure, defeat, or destroy adversaries) or non-kinetically (i.e., providing “means of contending against others,” especially in disruptive ways) engagements. While many types of neuroS/T have been addressed in and by extant forums, treaties, conventions, and laws, other newer techniques and technologies – inclusive of neurodata – have not. In this context, the term “neurodata” refers to the accumulation of large volumes of information; handling of large scale and often diverse informational sets; and new methods of data visualisation, assimilation, comparison, syntheses, and analyses. Such information can be used to: • more finely elucidate the structure and function of human brain; • and develop data repositories that can serve as descriptive or predictive metrics for neuropsychiatric disorders. Purloining and/or modifying such information could affect military and intelligence readiness, force conservation, and mission capability, and thus national security. Manipulation of both civilian and military neurodata would affect the type of medical care that is (or is not) Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 22 of 45 provided, could influence the ways that individuals are socially regarded and treated, and in these ways disrupt public health and incur socio-economic change. As the current COVID-19 pandemic has revealed, public – and institutional public health – responses to novel pathogens are highly variable at best, chaotic at worst, and indubitablycostly (on many levels) in either case. To be sure, such extant gaps in public health and safetyinfrastructures and functions could be exploited by employing “precision pathologies” (capable of selectively affecting specific targets such as individuals, communities;, domestic animals, livestock, etc.) and an aggressive program of misinformation to incur disruptive effects on social, economic, political, and military scales that would threaten national stability andsecurity. Recent elucidation of the Chinese government’s Overseas Key Individuals Database(OKIDB), which, via collaboration with a corporate entity, Shenzhen Zhenua Data Technology, has amassed data to afford “insights into foreign political, military, and diplomatic figures…containing information on more than 2 million people…and tens of thousands whohold prominent public positions…” that could be engaged by “Beijing’s army of cyberhackers”. Digital biosecurity – a term that describes the intersection of computational systems and biological information and how to effectively prevent or mitigate current and emerging risk arising at this intersection – becomes ever more important and required. The convergence of neurobiology and computational capabilities, while facilitating beneficial advances in brain research and its translational applications, creates a vulnerable strategic asset that will besought by adversaries to advance their own goals for neuroscience. Hacking of biological data within the academic, industry, and the health care systems has already occurred – and neurodata are embedded within all of these domains. Thus, it is likely that there will be more direct attempts at harnessing neurodata to gain leverageable informational, social, legal, and military capability and power advantage(s), as several countries that are currently strategically competitive with the U.S. and its allies invest heavily in both neuro- and cyber-scientific research programs and infrastructure. The growing fortitude of these states’ quantitative and economic presence in these fields can – and is intended to – shift international leadership, hegemony, and influence ethical, technical, commercial and politico-military norms and standards of research and use. For example, Russian leadership has declared interest in the employment of “genetic passports” such that those in the military who display genetic indications of high cognitive performance can be directed to particularmilitary tasks. The neurobioeconomy Advancements in neuroS/T have contributed to much growth in the neuro-bioeconomy. With neurological disorders being the second leading cause of death worldwide (with approximately 9 million deaths; constituting 16.5% of global fatalities), several countries have initiated programs in brain research and innovation. These initiatives aim to: Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 23 of 45 1) advance understanding of substrates and mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders; 2) improve knowledge of processes of cognition, emotion, and behaviour; 3) and augment the methods for studying, assessing, and affecting the brain and its functions. New research efforts incorporate best practices for interdisciplinary approaches that can utilise advances in computer science, robotics, and artificial intelligence to fortify the scope and pace of neuroscientific capabilities and products. Such research efforts are strong drivers of innovation and development, both by organising larger research goals, and by shaping neuroS/T research to meet defined economic, public health, and security agendas. Rapid advances in brain science represent an emerging domain that state and non-state actors can leverage in warfare. While not all brain sciences engender security concerns, predominant authority and influence in global biomedical, bioengineering, wellness/lifestyle, and defense markets enable a considerable exercise of power. It is equally important to note that such power can be exercised both non-kinetic and kinetic operational domains, and several countries have identified neuroS/T as viable, of value, and of utility in their warfare programs. While extant treaties (e.g., the BTWC and CWC40) and laws have addressed particular products of the brain sciences (e.g., chemicals, biological agents, and toxins), other forms of neuroS/T, (e.g., neurotechnologies and neuroinformatics) remain outside these conventions’ focus, scope, and governance. Technology can influence, if not shape the norms and conduct of warfare, and the future battlefield will depend not only upon achieving “biological dominance”, but achieving “mental/cognitive dominance” and “intelligence dominance” as well. It will be ever more difficult to regulate and restrict military and security applications of neuroS/T without established standards and proper international oversight of research and potential use-in-practice.
* * *. * In sum, it is not a question of whether neuro S/T will be utilised in military, intelligence, and political operations, but rather when, how, to what extent, and perhaps most importantly, if NATO nations will be prepared to address, meet, counter, or prevent these risks and threats. In this light (and based upon the information presented) it is, and will be increasingly important to address the complex issues generated by the brain sciences’ influence upon global biosecurity and the near-term future scope and conduct of both non-kinetic and kinetic military and intelligence operations.41 Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 24 of 45 Towards a new operational domain The advent of the concept of “cognitive warfare” (CW) brings a third major combat dimension to the modern battlefield: to the physical and informational dimensions is now added a cognitive dimension. It creates a new space of competition, beyond the land, maritime, air, cybernetic and spatial domains, which adversaries have already integrated. In a world permeated with technology, warfare in the cognitive domain mobilises a wider range of battle spaces than the physical and informational dimensions can do. Its very essence is to seize control of human beings (civilian as well as military), organisations, nations, butalso of ideas, psychology, especially behavioural, thoughts, as well as the environment. In addition, rapid advances in brain science, as part of a broadly defined cognitive warfare, have
the potential to greatly expand traditional conflicts and produce effects at lower cost. Through the joint action it exerts on the 3 dimensions (physical, informational and cognitive), cognitive warfare embodies the idea of combat without fighting dear to Sun Tzu (“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting”). It therefore requires the mobilisation of a much broader knowledge. Future conflicts will likely occur amongst the people digitally first and physically thereafter in proximity to hubs of political and economic power.
42 The study of the cognitive domain, thus centred on the human being, constitutes a new major challenge that is indispensable to any strategy relating to the combat power generation of the future. Cognition is our “thinking machine”. The function of cognition is to perceive, to pay attention, to memorise, to reason, to produce movements, to express oneself, to decide. To act on cognition means to act on the human being. Therefore, defining a cognitive domain would be too restrictive; a human domain would therefore be more appropriate. While actions taken in the five domains are executed in order to have an effect on the human domain , cognitive warfare’s objective is to make everyone a weapon.
43 To turn the situation around, NATO must strive to define in a very broad sense and must have a clear awareness of the meanings and advances of international actors providing NATO with specific strategic security and broader challenges in the field of cognitive warfare. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 25 of 45 Russian and Chinese Cognitive Warfare Definition Russian Reflexive Control In 2012, Vladimir Karyakin added: “The advent of information and network technologies, coupled with advances in psychology regarding the study of human behaviour and the control of people’s motivations, make it possible to exert a specified effect on large social groups but [also] to also reshape the consciousness of entire peoples.”
44 Russian CW falls under the definition of the Reflexive Control Doctrine. It is an integrated operation that compels an adversary decision maker to act in favour of Russia by altering their perception of the world .
45 This goes beyond “pure deception” because it uses multiple inputs to the decision maker using both true and false information, ultimately aiming to make the target feel that the decision to change their behaviour was their own:
The Reflexive Control is ultimately aimed at the target’s decision making.
The information transmitted must be directed towards a decision or position.
The information must be adapted to the logic, culture, psychology and emotions of the target. The reflexive control has been turned into a broader concept taking into account the opportunities offered by new IT technologies called ‘Perception Management’. It is about controlling perception and not managing perception. The Russian CW is based on an in-depth understanding of human targets thanks to the study of sociology, history, psychology, etc. of the target and the extensive use of information technology. As shown in Ukraine, Russia used her in-depth knowledge as a precursor and gained a strategic advantage before the physical conflict. Russia has prioritised Cognitive Warfare as a precursor to the military phase.
Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 26 of 45 China Cognitive Warfare Domain China has adopted an even broader definition of CW that includes the systematic utilisation of cognitive science and biotechnology to achieve the “mind superiority.” China has defined the Cognitive Domain of Operations as the battlefield for conducting ideological penetration (…) aiming at destroying troop morale and cohesion, as well as forming or deconstructing operational capabilities” It encompasses six technologies, divided across two categories (Cognition, which includes technologies that affect someone’s ability to think and function; and subliminal cognition that covers technologies that target a person’s underlying emotions, knowledge, willpower and beliefs). In particular, “Chinese innovation is poised to pursue synergies among brain science, artificial intelligence (AI), and biotechnology that may have far-reaching implications for its future military power and aggregate national competitiveness.”
46 The goal of cognitive operations is to achieve the “mind superiority” by using information to influence an adversary’s cognitive functions, spanning from peacetime public opinion to wartime decision-making.
47 Chinese strategists predict that the pace and complexity of operations will increase dramatically, as the form or character of warfare continues to evolve. As a result, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) strategists are concerned about the intense cognitive challenges that future commanders will face, especially considering the importance of optimising coordination and human-machine fusion or integration. These trends have necessarily increased the PLA’s interest in the military relevance not only of artificial intelligence, but also of brain science and new directions in interdisciplinary biological technologies, ranging from biosensing and biomaterials to human enhancement options. The shift from computerisation to intelligentisation is seen as requiring the improvement of human cognitive performance to keep pace with the complexity of warfare” .
48 As part of its Cognitive Domain of Operations, China has defined “Military Brain Science (MBS) as a cutting-edge innovative science that uses potential military application as the guidance. It can bring a series of fundamental changes to the concept of combat and combat methods, creating a whole new “brain war” combat style and redefining the battlefield.”49 The pursuit of advances in the field of MBS is likely to provide cutting edge advances to China.The development of MBS by China benefits from a multidisciplinary approach between human sciences, medicine, anthropology, psychology etc. and also benefits from “civil” advances in the field, civilian research benefiting military research by design. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 27 of 45 “The sphere of operations will be expanded from the physical domain and the information domain to the domain of consciousness, the human brain will become a new combat space.” He Fuchu, “The Future Direction of the New Global Revolution in Military Affairs. It’s about Humans A cognitive attack is not a threat that can be countered in the air, on land, at sea, in cyberspace, or in space. Rather, it may well be happening in any or all of these domains, for onesimple reason: humans are the contested domain. As previously demonstrated, the human is very often the main vulnerability and it should be acknowledged in order to protect NATO’s human capital but also to be able to benefit from our adversaries’s vulnerabilities. “Cognition is natively included in the Human Domain, thus a cognitive domain would be too restrictive”, claimed August Cole and Hervé Le Guyader in “NATO’s 6th domain” and: “…the Human Domain is the one defining us as individuals and structuring our societies. It has its own specific complexity compared to other domains, because of the large number of sciences it’s based upon (…) and these are those our adversaries are focusing on to identify our centres of gravity, our vulnerabilities.” .
50 The practice of war shows that although physical domain warfare can weaken the military capabilities of the enemy, it cannot achieve all the purposes of war. In the face of new contradictions and problems in ideology, religious belief and national identity, advanced weapons and technologies may be useless and their effects can even create new enemies. It is therefore difficult if not impossible to solve the problem of the cognitive domain by physical domain warfare alone. The importance of the Human Environment The Human Domain is not solely focusing of the military human capital. It encompasses the human capital of a theatre of operations as a whole (civilian populations, ethnic groups, leaders…), but also the concepts closely related to humans such as leadership, organisation, decision-making processes, perceptions and behaviour. Eventually the desired effect should be defined within the Human Domain (aka the desired behaviour we want to achieve: collaboration/ cooperation, competition, conflict). “To win (the future) war, the military must be culturally knowledgeable enough to thrive in an alien environment” .
51 In the 21st century, strategic advantage will come from how to engage with people, understand them, and access political, economic, cultural and social networks to achieve a position of relative advantage that complements the sole military force. These interactions are not reducible to the physical boundaries of land, air, sea, cyber and space, which tend to focus on geography and terrain characteristics. They represent a network of networks that define power and interests in a connected world. The actor that best understands local contexts and builds a network around relationships that harness local capabilities is more likely to win. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 28 of 45 “Victory will be defined more in terms of capturing the psycho-cultural rather than the geographical high ground. Understanding and empathy will be important weapons of war.” Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales For the historian Alan Beyerchen, social sciences will be the amplifier of the 21st century’s wars.
52 In the past wars, the problem was that the human factor could not be a significant amplifier simply because its influence was limited and difficult to exploit; humans were considered more as constants than as variables. Certainly, soldiers could be improved through training, selection, psychological adaptation and, more recently, education. But in the end, the human factor was reduced to numbers. The larger the army, the greater the chance of winning the war, although the action of a great strategist could counterbalance this argument. Tomorrow, to have better soldiers and more effective humans will be key. Last, the recent developments in science, all kinds of science, including science related to the human domain, have empowered anyone, whether individuals or committed minorities, with potential devastating power at their disposal. It has created a situation never seen before in the history of mankind , where individuals or small groups may jeopardise the success of 53 military operations. The crucible of Data Sciences and Human Sciences The combination of Social Sciences and System Engineering will be key in helping military analysts to improve the production of intelligence for the sake of decision-making .
54 The Human Domain of Operations refers to the whole human environment, whether friend of foe. In a digital age it is equally important to understand first NATO’s own human strengths and vulnerabilities before the ones of adversaries. Since everyone is much more vulnerable than before everyone needs to acknowledge that one may endanger the security of the overall. Hence, a deep understanding of the adversary’s human capital (i.e. the human environment of the military operation) will be more crucial than ever. “If kinetic power cannot defeat the enemy, (…) psychology and related behavioural and social sciences stand to fill the void.55” “Achieving the strategic outcomes of war will necessarily go through expanding the dialogue around the social sciences of warfare alongside the “physical sciences” of warfare..(…) it will go through understanding, influence or exercise control within the “human domain”.
56 Leveraging social sciences will be central to the development of the Human Domain Plan of Operations. It will support the combat operations by providing potential courses of action for the whole surrounding Human Environment including enemy forces, but also determining key human elements such as the Cognitive center of gravity, the desired behaviour as the end state. Understanding the target’s goals, strengths, and vulnerabilities is paramount to an operation for enduring strategic outcomes. The deeper the understanding of the human environment, the greater will be the freedom of action and relative advantage. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 29 of 45 Psychology and social sciences have always been essential to warfare, and while warfare is moving away from kinetic operations, they might be the new game changer. Psychology, for instance, can help to understand the personal motives of terrorist groups and the social dynamics that make them so attractive to the (mostly) young men who join their ranks. As an example, the picture below depicts a methodology (called Weber) applied to the study of terrorist groups in Sahel. It combines Social Sciences and System Engineering in order to help predicting the behaviours of terrorist groups. The tool allows the decision-makers to assess the evolution of actors through behavioural patterns according to several criteria and social science parameters, and ultimately to anticipate courses of action.
57 The analysis, turned towards understanding the other in the broad sense (and often nonWestern), cannot do without anthropology. Social and cultural anthropology is a formidable tool for the analyst, the best way to avoid yielding to one of the most common biases of intelligence, ethnocentrism, i.e. the inability to get rid of mental structures and representations of one’s own cultural environment. Cognitive sciences can be leveraged to enhance training at every level, especially in order to improve the ability to make decisions in complex tactical situations. Cognitive sciences can be employed in the creation of highly efficient and flexible training programs that can respond to fast-changing problems. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 30 of 45 Legal and ethical aspects Legal aspects The development, production and use of Cognitive Technologies for military purposes raise questions as to whether, and to what extent, existing legal instruments apply. That is, how the relevant provisions are to be interpreted and applied in light of the specific technological characteristics and to what extent international law can sufficiently respond to the legal challenges involved with the advent of such technology. It is essential to ensure that international law and accepted norms will be able to take into account the development of cognitive technologies. Specifically, to ensure that such technologies are capable of being used in accordance with applicable law and accepted international norms. NATO, through its various apparatus, should work at establishing a common understanding of how cognitive weapons might be employed to be compliant with the law and accepted international norms. Equally, NATO should consider how the Law of Armed Conflict (LoAC) would apply to the use of cognitive technologies in any armed conflict in order to ensure that any future development has a framework from which to work within. Full compliance with the rules and principles of LoAC is essential. Given the complexity and contextual nature of the potential legal issues raised by Cognitive technologies and techniques, and the constraints associated with this NATO sponsored study, further work will be required to analyse this issue fully. Therefore, it is recommended that such work be conducted by an appropriate body and that NATO Nations collaborate in establishing a set of norms and expectations about the use and development of Cognitive technologies. The immediate focus being how they might be used within extant legal frameworks and the Law of Armed Conflict. Ethics This area of research – human enhancement and cognitive weapons – is likely to be the subject of major ethical and legal challenges, but we cannot afford to be on the back foot when international actors are already developing strategies and capabilities to employ them. There is a need to consider these challenges as there is not only the possibility that these human enhancement technologies are deliberately used for malicious purposes, but there may be implications for the ability of military personnel to respect the law of armed conflict. It is equally important to recognise the potential side effects (such as speech impairment, memory impairment, increased aggression, depression and suicide) of these technologies. For example, if any cognitive enhancement technology were to undermine the capacity of a subject to comply with the law of armed conflict, it would be a source of very serious concern. The development, and use of, cognitive technologies present numerous ethical challenges as well as ethical benefits, such as recovery from Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Policy makers should take these challenges seriously as they develop policy about Cognitive Technologies, explore issues in greater depth and determine if other ethical issues may arise as this, and other related, technology develops. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 31 of 45 Recommendations for NATO The need for cooperation.While the objective of Cognitive Warfare is to harm societies and not only the military, this type of warfare resembles to “shadow wars” and requires a whole-of-government approach to warfare. As previously stated, the modern concept of war is not about weapons but about influence. To shape perceptions and control the narrative during this type of war, battle will have to be fought in the cognitive domain with a whole-of-government approach at the national level. This will require improved coordination between the use of force and the other levers of power across government. This could mean changes to how defence is resourced, equipped, and organised in order to offer military options below the threshold of armed conflict and improve the military contribution to resilience. For NATO, the development of actions in the cognitive domain also requires a sustained cooperation between Allies in order to ensure an overall coherence, to build credibility and to allow a concerted defense. Within the military, expertise on anthropology, ethnography, history, psychology among other areas will be more than ever required to cooperate with the military, in order to derive qualitative insights from quantitative data, as an example. In other words, if the declaration of a new field of combat consecrates the new importance of humans, it is more about rethinking the interaction between the hard sciences and the social sciences. The rise of cognitive technologies has endowed human with superior analysis and accuracy. In order to deliver timely and robust decisions, it will not be a question of relying solely on human cognitive capacities but of cross engineering systems with social sciences (sociology, anthropology, criminology, political science…) in order to face complex and multifaceted situations. The modelisation of human dynamics as part of what is known as Computational Social Science will allow the use of knowledge from social sciences and relating to the behaviour of social entities, whether enemies or allies. By mapping the human environment, strategists and key military leaders will be provided reliable information to decide on the right strategy. Definition of the Human Domain Thus defined by NATO’s major adversaries, the mastery of the field of perceptions is an abstract space where understanding of oneself (strengths and weaknesses), of the other (adversary, enemy, human environment), psychological dimension, intelligence collection, search for ascendancy (influence, taking and conservation of the initiative) and capacity to reduce the will of the adversary are mixed. Within the context of multi-domain operations, the human domain is arguably the most important domain, but it is often the most overlooked. Recent wars have shown the inability to achieve the strategic goals (e.g. in Afghanistan) but also to understand foreign and complex human environments. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 32 of 45 Cognitive warfare was forced upon the Western liberal democracies by challenging international actors who have strategised to avoid the military confrontation, thus blurring the line between peace and war by targeting the weakest element: humans. CW which includes the increasing use of NBICs for military purposes may provide a sure way of military dominance in a near future. “Military power is of course one essential segment of security. But global security refers to a broad range of threats, risks, policy responses that span political, economic, societal, health (including cognitive health!) and environmental dimensions, none of these being covered by your current domains of operations! Some international actors already use weapons that precisely target these dimensions, while keeping their traditional kinetic arsenal in reserve as long as they possibly can. NATO, if it wishes to survive, has to embrace this continuum and claim as its responsibility, together with its allies to, seamlessly, achieve superiority all across it.”58 Raising awareness among Allies While advances in technology have always resulted in changes in military organisations and doctrines, the rapid advancements in technology, in particular in brain science and NBIC, should force NATO to take action and give a greater consideration to the emergence of the threats that represents Cognitive Warfare. Not all NATO nations have recognised this changing character of conflicts. Declaring the Human as sixth domain of operations is a way to raise awareness among the NATO Nations. NATO should consider further integrating Human situational awareness in the traditional situation awareness processes of the Alliance. Anticipating the trends There is evidence that adversaries have already understood the potential of developing human-related technologies. Declaring the Human Domain as a sixth domain of operations has the potential to reveal possible vulnerabilities, which could otherwise amplify rapidly. It is not too late to face the problem and help keep the dominance in the field of cognition. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 33 of 45 The Human Domain of operations could tentatively be defined as “the sphere of interest in which strategies and operations can be designed and implemented that, by targeting the cognitive capacities of individuals and/or communities with a set of specific tools and techniques, in particular digital ones, will influence their perception and tamper with their reasoning capacities, hence gaining control of their decision making, perception and behaviour levers in order to achieve desired effects.” Delays in declaring the Human Domain as a domain of operations may lead to fight the last war. Given that the process of declaring a new domain of operations is a lengthy process and given the sensitivity of the topic, NATO needs to be fast in focusing on political/military responses while capacity/threats of our opponents are still low. Finally, ethical problems should be raised. Since there is no agreed international legal framework in the field of neurosciences, NATO may play a role in pushing to establish an international legal framework that meets the NATO Nations’ ethical standards. Accelerating information sharing Accelerated information sharing among Alliance members may help faster integration of interoperability, to assure coherence across multi-domain operations. Information sharing may also assist some nations in catching up in this area. In particular, surveillance of ongoing international activities in brain science, and their potential dual-use in military and intelligence operations should be undertaken and shared between Allies along with identification and quantification of current and near-term risks and threats posed by such enterprises. Establishing DOTMLPFI components upstream The first step is to define the “human domain” in military doctrine and use the definition toconduct a full spectrum of capability development analysis, optimising the military for the most likely 21st century contingencies. Since the Human Domain complements the five others, each capability development should include the specificities of modern threats, including those related to cognitive warfare and, more generally, the sixth domain of operations. The Human Domain is not an end in itself but a means to achieve our strategic objectives and to respond to a type of conflict that the military is not accustomed to dealing with. Dedication of resources for developing and sustaining NATO Nations capabilities to prevent escalation of future risk and threat by: 1) continued surveillance; 2) organisational and systemic preparedness; 3) coherence in any/all entities necessary to remain apace with, and/or ahead of tactical and strategic competitors’ and adversary’s capabilities in this space. Impact on Warfare Development By essence, defining a new domain of operations and all the capabilities and concepts that go along with it, is part of ACT’s mission. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 34 of 45 ACT should lead a further in-depth study with a focus on: • Advancements on brain science initiatives that may be developed and used for nonkinetic and kinetic engagements. • Different ethical systems that govern neuroscientific research and development. This will mandate a rigorous, more granular, and dialectical approach to negotiate and resolve issues and domains of ethical dissonance in multi- and international biosecurity discourses. • Ongoing review and evaluation of national intellectual property laws, both in relation to international law(s), and in scrutiny of potential commercial veiling of dual-use enterprises. • Identification and quantification of current and near-term risks and threats posed by such enterprise(s) • Better recognizing the use of social and human sciences in relation with “hard” sciences to better understand the human environment (internal and external) • Include the cognitive dimension in every NATO exercises by leveraging new tools and techniques such as immersive technologies Along with those studies, anticipating the first response (such as the creation of a new NATO COE or rethink and adapt the structure by strengthening branches as required) and defining a common agreed taxonomy (Cognitive Dominance/Superiority/Cognitive Center of Gravity etc…) will be key tasks for ACT to help NATO keep the military edge. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 35 of 45 Conclusion Failing to thwart the cognitive efforts of NATO’s opponents would condemn Western liberal societies to lose the next war without a fight. If NATO fails to build a sustainable and proactive basis for progress in the cognitive domain, it may have no other option than kinetic conflict. Kinetic capabilities may dictate a tactical or operational outcome, but victory in the long run will remain solely dependent on the ability to influence, affect, change or impact the cognitive domain. Because the factors that affect the cognitive domain can be involved in all aspects of human society through the areas of will, concept, psychology and thinking among other, so that particular kind of warfare penetrates into all fields of society. It can be foreseen that the future information warfare will start from the cognitive domain first, to seize the political and diplomatic strategic initiative, but it will also end in the cognitive realm. Preparing for high-intensity warfare remains highly relevant, but international actors providing NATO with specific strategic security challenges have strategised to avoid confronting NATO in kinetic conflicts and chose an indirect form of warfare. Information plays a key role in this indirect form of warfare but the advent of cognitive warfare is different from simple Information Warfare: it is a war through information, the real target being the human mind, and beyond the human per se. Moreover, progresses in NBIC make it possible to extend propaganda and influencing strategies. The sophistication of NBIC-fueled hybrid attacks today represent an unprecedented level of threat inasmuch they target the most vital infrastructure everyone relies on: the human mind . 59 Cognitive warfare may well be the missing element that allows the transition from military victory on the battlefield to lasting political success. The human domain might well be the decisive domain, wherein multi-domain operations achieve the commander’s effect. The five first domains can give tactical and operational victories; only the human domain can achieve the final and full victory. “Recognising the human domain and generating concepts and capabilities to gain advantage therein would be a disruptive innovation.”
Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 36 of 45 “Today’s progresses in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science (NBIC), boosted by the seemingly unstoppable march of a triumphant troika made of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and civilisational “digital addiction” have created a much more ominous prospect: an embedded fifth column, where everyone, unbeknownst to him or her, is behaving according to the plans of one of our competitors.” August Cole, Hervé Le Guyader NATO’s 6th Domain Bibliography and Sources Essays August Cole, Hervé Le Guyader, NATO 6th Domain of Operations, September 2020 Dr. James Giordano, Emerging Neuroscience and Technology (NeuroS/T): Current and Near-Term Risks and Threats to NATO Biosecurity, October 2020 Article Nicolas Israël and Sébastien-Yves Laurent, “Analysis Facing Worldwide Jihadist Violence and Conflicts. What to do?” September 2020 Online Collaboration with Johns Hopkins University “Cognitive Biotechnology, Altering the Human Experience”, Sep 2020 “Cognitive Warfare, an attack on truth and thoughts”, Sep 2020 Under the direction of Professor Lawrence Aronhnime Contributors: Alonso Bernal, Cameron Carter, Melanie Kemp, Ujwal Arunkumar Taranath, Klinzman Vaz, Ishpreet Singh, Kathy Cao, Olivia Madreperla Experiments DTEX (Disruptive Technology Experiment) – 7 October 2020 NATO Innovation Hub Disruptive Technology Experiment (DTEX) on disinformation. Under the direction of Girish Sreevatsan Nandakumar (Old Dominion University) Hackathon “Hacking the Mind” Run by Dr. Kristina Soukupova and the Czech Republic Defense and Security Innovation Hub, October 2020. https://www.hackthemind.cz Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 37 of 45 Annex 1 Nation State Case Study 1: The weaponisation of neurosciences in China. As described in the Five-Year Plans (FYPs) and other national strategies, China has identified and acknowledged the technical, economic, medical, military, and political value of the brain sciences, and has initiated efforts to expand its current neuroS/T programs. China utilises broader strategic planning horizons than other nations and attempts to combine efforts from government, academic, and commercial sectors (i.e., the “triple helix”) to accomplish cooperation and centralisation of national agendas. This coordination enables research projects andobjectives to be used for a range of applications and outcomes (e.g., medical, social, military). As noted by Moo Ming Poo, director of China’s Brain Project, China’s growing aging population is contributing to an increasing incidence and prevalence of dementia and other neurological diseases. In their most recent FYP, China addressed economic and productivity concerns fostered by this aging population, with a call to develop medical approaches for neurological disorders and to expand research infrastructure in neuro S/T. This growing academic environment has been leveraged to attract and solicit multi-national collaboration. In this way, China is affecting international neuroS/T through 1) research tourism; 2) control of intellectual property; 3) medical tourism; 4) and influence in global scientific thought. While these strategies are not exclusive to neuroS/T; they may be more opportunistic in the brain sciences because the field isnew, expanding rapidly, and its markets are growing, and being defined by both share- and stake-holder interests. Research tourism involves strategically recruiting renowned, experienced scientists (mostly from Western countries), as well as junior scientists to contribute to and promote the growth, innovation, and prestige of Chinese scientific and technological enterprises. This is apparent by two primary efforts. First, initiatives such as the Thousand Talents Program (launched in 2008) and other programs (e.g., Hundred Person Program, Spring Light Program, Youth Thousand Talents Program, etc.) aim to attract foreign researchers, nurture and sustain domestic talent, and bring back Chinese scientists who have studied or worked abroad. Further, China’s ethical research guidelines are, in some domains, somewhat more permissive than those in the West (e.g., unrestricted human and/or non-human primate experimentation), and the director of China’s Brain Project, Mu-Ming Poo, has stated that this capability to engage research that may not be (ethically) viable elsewhere may (and should) explicitly attract international scientists to conduct research in China. Second, China continues to engage with leading international brain research institutions to foster greater cooperation. These cooperative and collective research efforts enable China to Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 38 of 45 achieve a more even “playing field” in the brain sciences. China leverages intellectual property (IP) policy and law to advance (and veil) neuroS/T and other biotechnologies in several ways. First, via exploitation of their patent process by creating a “patent thicket”. The Chinese patent system focuses on the end-utility of a product (e.g., a specific neurological function in a device), rather than emphasising the initial innovative idea in contrast to the U.S. system. Thisenables Chinese companies and/or institutions to copy or outrightly usurp foreign patents and products. Moreover, Chinese patent laws allow international research products and ideas to be used in China “for the benefit of public health,” or for “a major technological advancement.” Second, the aforementioned coordination of brain science institutions and the corporate sector establishes compulsory licensing under Chinese IP and patent laws. This strategy (i.e., “lawfare”) allows Chinese academic and corporate enterprises to have economic and legal support, while reciprocally enabling China to direct national research agendas and directives through these international neuroS/T collaborations. China enforces its patent and IP rights worldwide, which can create market saturation of significant and innovative products, and could create international dependence upon Chinese neuroS/T. Further, Chinese companies have been heavily investing in knowledge industries, including artificial intelligence enterprises, and academic book and journal partnerships. For example, TenCent established a partnership with Springer Nature to engage in various educational products. This will allow a significant stake in future narratives and dissemination of scientific and technological discoveries. Medical tourism is explicit or implicit attraction and solicitation of international individuals or groups to seek interventions that are either only available, or more affordable in a particular locale. Certainly, China has a presence in this market, and at present, available procedures range from the relatively sublime, such as using deep brain stimulation to treat drug addiction, to the seemingly “science-fictional”, such as the recently proposed body-to-head transplant to be conducted at Harbin Medical University in collaboration with Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero. China can advance and develop areas of neuroS/T in ways that other countries cannot or will not, through homogenising a strong integrated “bench to bedside” capability and use of non-Western ethical guidelines. China may specifically target treatments for diseases that may have a high global impact, and/or could offer procedures that are not available in other countries (for either socio-political or ethical reasons). Such medical tourism could create an international dependence on Chinese markets as individuals become reliant on products and services available only in China, in addition to those that are “made in China” for ubiquitous use elsewhere. China’s growing biomedical industry, ongoing striving for innovation, and expanding manufacturing capabilities have positioned their pharmaceutical and technology companies to prominence in world markets. Such positioning – and the somewhat permissive ethics that enable particular aspects and types of experimentation – may be seductive to international scientists to engage research, and/or commercial biomedical production within China’s sovereign borders. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 39 of 45 Through these tactics of economic infiltration and saturation, China can create power hierarchies that induce strategically latent “bio-political” effects that influence real and perceived positional dominance of global markets. China is not the only country that has differing ethical codes for governing research. Of note is that Russia has been, and continues to devote resources to neuroS/T, and while not uniformly allied with China, has developed projects and programs that enable the use of neurodata for non-kinetic and/or kinetic applications. Such projects, programs, and operations can be conducted independently and/or collaboratively to exercise purchase over competitors and adversaries so as to achieve greater hegemony and power. Therefore, NATO, and its international allies must 4) recognise the reality of other countries’ science and technological capabilities; 5) evaluate what current and near-term trends portend for global positions, influence, and power; 6) and decide how to address differing ethical and policy views on innovation, research, and product development. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 40 of 45 Annex 2 Nation State Case Study 2: The Russian National Technology Initiative61 Russian President Vladimir Putin has explicitly stated intent to implement an aggressive modernisation plan via the National Technology Initiative (NTI). Designed to grant an overmatch advantage in both commercial and military domains against Russia’s current and nearterm future key competitors, the NTI has been viewed as somewhat hampered by the nation’s legacy of government control, unchanging economic complexity, bureaucratic inefficiency and overall lack of transparency. However, there are apparent disparities between such assessment of the NTI and its capabilities, and Russia’s continued invention and successful deployment of advanced technologies. Unlike the overt claims and predictions made by China’s scientific and political communities about the development and exercise of neuroS/T to re-balance global power, explication and demonstration(s) of Russian efforts in neuroS/T tend to be subtle, and detailed information about surveillance and extent of such enterprise and activity is, for the most part, restricted to the classified domain. In general, Russian endeavours in this space tend to build upon prior work conducted under the Soviet Union, and while not broad in focus, have gained relative sophistication and capability in particular areas that have high applicability in non-kinetic disruptive engagements. Russia’s employments of weaponised information, and neurotropic agents have remained rather low-key, if not clandestine (and perhaps covert), often entail nation-state or non-state actors as proxies, and are veiled by a successful misinformation campaign to prevent accurate assessment of their existing and developing science and technologies. Military science and technology efforts of the USSR were advanced and sustained primarily due to the extensive military-industrial complex which, by the mid-1970s through 1980s, is estimated to have employed up to twenty percent of the workforce. This enabled the USSR to become a world leader in science and technology, ranked by the U.S. research community as second in the world for clandestine S&T programs (only because the overall Soviet system of research and development (R&D) was exceptionally inefficient, even within the military sector). The collapse of the USSR ended the Soviet military-industrial complex, which resulted in significant decreases in overall spending and state support for R&D programs. Any newly implemented reforms of the post-Soviet state were relatively modest, generating suboptimal R&D results at best. During this time, Russian R&D declined by approximately 60% and aside from the Ministries’ involvement with the military sector, there was a paucity of direct cooperation between Russian R&D institutions and operational S&T enterprises. This limited interaction, was further compounded by a lack of resources, inability to bring new technologyto markets, absent protections for intellectual property, and “brain drain” exodus of talented researchers to nations with more modern, cutting-edged programs with better pay and opportunities for advancement. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 41 of 45 Recognising the inherent problems with the monoculture of the Russian economic and S&T ecosystems, the Putin government initiated a process of steering Russia toward more lucrative, high-tech enterprises. The NTI is ambitious, with goals to fully realise a series of S&T/ R&D advancements by 2035. The central objective of the NTI is establish “the program for creation of fundamentally new markets and the creation of conditions for global technological leadership of Russia by 2035.” To this end, NTI Experts and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) identified nine emerging high-tech markets for prime focus and penetrance, including neuroscience and technology (i.e., what the ASI termed “NeuroNet”). Substantive investment in this market is aimed at overcoming the post-Soviet “resource curse”, by capitalising on the changes in global technology markets – and engagement sectors – to expand both economic and military/intelligence priorities and capabilities. According to the ASI, NeuroNet is focused upon “distributed artificial elements of consciousness and mentality”, withRussia’s prioritisation of neuroS/T being a key factor operative in influence operations directed and global economies and power. Non-kinetic operations represent the most viable intersection and exercise of these commercial, military, and political priorities, capabilities, and foci of global influence and effect(s). Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 42 of 45 Notes Robert P. Kozloski, https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/02/01/knowing_your 1 – self_is_key_in_cognitive_warfare_112992.html, February 2018 Green, Stuart A. “Cognitive Warfare.” The Augean Stables , Joint Military Intelligence College, July 2008, 2 http://www.theaugeanstables.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Green-Cognitive-Warfare.pdf. Clint Watts, (2018 ) Messing with the Enemy, HarperCollins 3 As defined by Wikipedia, a sock puppet or sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. It 4 usually refers to the Russian online activism during the US electoral campaign 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Sock_puppet_account https://www.belfercenter.org/sites/default/files/2019-11/CognitiveWarfare.pdf 5 Dr Zac Rogers, in Mad Scientist 158, (July 2019), https://madsciblog.tradoc.army.mil/158-in-the-cognitive- 6 war-the-weapon-is-you/ 7 August Cole-Hervé Le Guyader, NATO 6th Domain of Operation, 2020 Ibid. 8 Alicia Wanless, Michael Berk (2017), Participatory Propaganda: The Engagement of Audiences in the Spread of 9 Persuasive Communications: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329281610_Participatory_Propaganda_The_Engagement_of_Audiences_in_the_Spread_of_Persuasive_Communications 10 Jacques Ellul, (1962) Propaganda, Edition Armand Colin Matt Chessen, The MADCOM Future: How AI will enhance computational propaganda, The Atlantic Council, 11 Sep 2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/al_economics 12 Shoshana Zuboff, (2019) The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Public Affairs 13 Peter W. Singer, Emerson T. Brooking (2018) LikeWar The Weaponisation of Social Media, HMH Edition page 14 95 Victoria Fineberg, (August 2014 ) Behavioural Economics of Cyberspace Operations, Journal of Cyber Security 15 and Information Systems Volume: 2 Shoshana Zuboff, (2019) The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Public Affairs 16 17 Michael J Mazarr, (July 2020) Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, Virtual Territorial Integrity: The Next International Norm, in Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, IISS 18 Bernard Claverie and Barbara Kowalczuk, Cyberpsychology, Study for the Innovation Hub, July 2018 Dr Zac Rogers, in Mad Scientist 158, (July 2019), https://madsciblog.tradoc.army.mil/158-in-the-cognitive- 19 war-the-weapon-is-you/ Haselton MG, Nettle D, Andrews PW (2005). “The evolution of cognitive bias.”. In Buss DM (ed.). The Handbook 20 of Evolutionary Psychology Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 43 of 45 Wikipedia lists more than 180 different cognitive biases: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_bias 21 Lora Pitman (2019)“The Trojan horse in your Head: Cognitive Threats and how to counter them” ODU Digital 22 Commons Robert P. Kozloski, https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/02/01/knowing_your 23 – self_is_key_in_cognitive_warfare_112992.html, February 2018 Peter W. Singer, Emerson T. Brooking (2018) LikeWar The Weaponisation of Social Media, HMH Edition page 24 165 Dominique Moïsi (2010) The Geopolitics of Emotion, Edition Anchor. 25 26 Christophe Jacquemart (2012), Fusion Froide Edition Fogg, B.J. (2003). Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. Morgan Kauf 27 – mann Publishers. 28 https://mwi.usma.edu/mwi-video-brain-battlefield-future-dr-james-giordano/ Maryanne Wolf, (2007)“Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain” HarperCollins 29 Bernard Stiegler, https://www.observatoireb2vdesmemoires.fr/publications/video-minute-memoire-vers- 30 une-utilisation-raisonnee-du-big-data 2019 31 https://pphr.princeton.edu/2017/04/30/are-video-games-really-mindless/ 32“Never has a medium been so potent for beauty and so vulnerable to creepiness. Virtual reality will test us. It will amplify our character more than other media ever have.” Jaron Lanier, (2018) Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality, Picador Edition Philosopher Thomas Metzinger: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2079601-virtual-reality-could-be-an- 33 ethical-minefield-are-we-ready/ Gayannée Kedia, Lasana Harris, Gert-Jan Lelieveld and Lotte van Dillen, (2017) From the Brain to the Field: 34 The Applications of Social Neuroscience to Economics, Health and Law 35 Pr. Li-Jun Hou, Director of People’s Liberation Army 202nd Hospital, (May 2018), Chinese Journal of Traumatology, 36 For more on the definition of “dual use” in neuro S/T, see Dr. James Giordano’s essay October 2020 National Research Council and National Academy of Engineering. 2014. Emerging and Readily Available 37 Technologies and National Security: A Framework for Addressing Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues. Ibid. 38 39 Giordano J. (2014). Intersections of “big data”, neuroscience and national security: Technical issues and derivative concerns. In: Cabayan H et al. (eds.) A New Information Paradigm? From Genes to “Big Data”, and Instagrams to Persistent Surveillance: Implications for National Security, p. 46-48. Department of Defense; Strategic Multilayer Assessment Group- Joint Staff/J-3/Pentagon Strategic Studies Group. Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions 40 DeFranco JP, DiEuliis D, Bremseth LR, Snow JJ. Giordano J. (2019). Emerging technologies for disruptive ef 41 – fects in non-kinetic engagements. HDIAC Currents 6(2): 49-54. Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 44 of 45 Parag Khanna, Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilisation (New York Random House, 2016) 42 43 Megan Bell, An Approachable Look at the Human Domain and why we should care (2019), https://othjournal.com/ 2019/06/17/an-approachable-look-at-the-human-domain-and-why-we-should-care/ Vladimir Vasilyevich Karyakin, (2012) “The Era of a New Generation of Warriors—Information and Strategic 44 Warriors— Has Arrived,” Moscow, Russia, Nezavisimaya Gazeta Online, in Russian, April 22, 2011, FBIS SOV GILES, SHERR et SEABOYER (2018), Russian Reflexive Control, Royal Military College of Canada, Defence 45 Research and Development Canada. 46 Elsa B. Kania, Prism Vol.8, N.3, 2019 Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, China Brief, (Sep 2019) https://jamestown.org/program/cognitive-domain- 47 operations-the-plas-new-holistic-concept-for-influence-operations/ Ibid. 48 Hai Jin, Li-Jun Hou, Zheng-Guo Wang, (May 2018 )Military Brain Science – How to influence future wars, 49 Chinese Journal of Traumatology 50 August Cole, Hervé Le Guyader, NATO ’s 6th Domain, September 2020 51 Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales, (2006), http://armedforcesjournal.com/clausewitz-and-world-war-iv/ 52 Alan Beyerchen, “Clausewitz, Nonlinearity and the Unpredictability of War,” International Security, 17:3 (Winter, 1992) 53 August Cole, Hervé Le Guyader, NATO ’s 6th Domain, September 2020 “Analysis Facing Worldwide Jihadist Violence and Conflicts. What to do?” Article for the Innovation Hub, 54 Nicolas Israël and Sébastien-Yves LAURENT, September 2020 https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/head-strong/201408/psychology-and-less-lethal-military-strategy
55 – 56 Generals Odierno, Amos and Mc Raven, Strategic Landpower, NPS Publication 2014 “Analysis Facing Worldwide Jihadist Violence and Conflicts. What to do?” Article for the Innovation Hub, 57 Nicolas Israël and Sébastien-Yves LAURENT, September 2020 58 August Cole, Hervé Le Guyader, NATO 6th Domain of Operations, September 2020 59 Hervé Le Guyader, the Weaponisation of Neurosciences, Innovation Hub Warfighting Study February 2020 Ibid. 60 Ibid. 61 Innovation Hub – Nov 2020 Page 45 of 45
Activities are being organized around the world — by victims of Electronic Torture worldwide– to inform the public that Aug 29th is “Targeted Individual Day.” For the first time ever Professor Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, will present to the 75th UN General Assembly Session in October his report on “Cybertorture” which are Forms of Computerized Remote Electronic Torture (CyberTorture) against Illegally Targeted Individuals worldwide.
UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Special Rapporteur on torture revealed during the 43rd HRC that Cyber technology is not only used for internet and 5G. It is also used to target individuals remotely – through intimidation, harassment and public shaming.
On the 28th of February in Geneva, Professor Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel Inhuman Degrading Treatment and Punishment, has officially confirmed that cyber torture exists and investigation is now underway on how to tackle it legally.
Electromagnetic radiation, radar, and surveillance technology are used to transfer sounds and thoughts into people’s brain. UN started their investigation after receiving thousands of testimonies from so-called “targeted individuals” (TIs).
Professor Nils Melzer is an expert in international law and since 2016 he holds the Human Rights Chair at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. His team has found evidence that Cyber technology is used to inflict severe mental and physical sufferings.
“Judges think that physical torture is more serious than cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” he told the Guardian on 21 February. “Torture is simply the deliberate instrumentalization of pain and suffering.” These psychological torture methods are often used “to circumvent the ban on torture because they don’t leave any visible marks”. (1)
Cyber psychological systems like cognitive radio are used to interrupt human perceptions and memory. They can also be used to spy on people violating personal integrity which could lead to corruption and slavery in society. Cyber torture is also called no-touch torture or brain-machine interface.
One way to handle this situation is to regulate new technologies and use AI control mechanisms by independent and impartial investigators. The evidence gathered could then be used to convict criminals easier and quicker in the future.
Professor Meltzer and his team is now underway to create an international legal framework covering cyber technologies that can cause torture which previously was hard to prove. In the future it may be necessary to establish Radio Frequency Spectrum police in order to protect humanity from cyber terrorism. Nils Meltzer also revealed to me personally that the HRC will release several reports on this subject soon in the future.
On February 28, 2020, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Nils Melzer, issued his World Report on “Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” This report included a definition of “Cybertorture,” the Crime Against Humanity where millions of targeted victims worldwide are remotely assaulted with Electromagnetic Weapons in actions directed via computer, often from Supercomputers.
1. A particular area of concern, which does not appear to have received sufficient attention, is the possible use of various forms of information and communication technology (“cybertechnology”) for the purposes of torture. Although the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the internet has been repeatedly addressed by the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/32/L.20; A/HRC/38/L.10/Rev.1), torture has been understood primarily as a tool used to obstruct the exercise of the right to freedom of expression on the internet, and not as a violation of human rights that could be committed through the use of cybertechnology.
2. This seems surprising given that some of the characteristics of cyber-space make it an environment highly conducive to abuse and exploitation, most notably a vast power asymmetry, virtually guaranteed anonymity, and almost complete impunity. States, corporate actors and organized criminals not only have the capacity to conduct cyberoperations inflicting severe suffering on countless individuals, but may well decide to do so for any of the purposes of torture. It is therefore necessary to briefly explore, in a preliminary manner, the conceivability and basic contours of what could be described as “cybertorture”.
3. In practice, cybertechnology already plays the role of an “enabler” in the perpetration of both physical and psychological forms of torture, most notably through the collection and transmission of surveillance information and instructions to interrogators, through the dissemination of audio or video recordings of torture or murder for the purposes of intimidation, or even live streaming of child sexual abuse “on demand” of voyeuristic clients (A/HRC/28/56, para.71), and increasingly also through the remote control or manipulation of stun belts (A/72/178, para.51), medical implants and, conceivably, nanotechnological or neurotechnological devices.1 Cybertechnology can also be used to inflict, or contribute to, severe mental suffering while avoiding the conduit of the physical body, most notably through intimidation, harassment, surveillance, public shaming and defamation, as well as appropriation, deletion or manipulation of information.
4. The delivery of serious threats through anonymous phone calls has long been a widespread method of remotely inflicting fear. With the advent of the internet, State security services in particular have been reported to use cybertechnology, both in their own territory and abroad, for the systematic surveillance of a wide range of individuals and/or for direct interference with their unhindered access to cyber technology.2 Electronic communication services, social media platforms and search engines provide an ideal environment both for the anonymous delivery of targeted threats, sexual harassment and extortion and for the mass dissemination of intimidating, defamatory, degrading, deceptive or discriminatory narratives.
5. Individuals or groups systematically targeted by cybersurveillance and cyberharassment are generally left without any effective means of defence, escape, or self-protection and, at least in this respect, often find themselves in a situation of “powerlessness” comparable to physical custody. Depending on the circumstances, the physical absence and anonymity of the perpetrator may even exacerbate the victim’s emotions of helplessness, loss of control, and vulnerability, not unlike the stress-augmenting effect of blindfolding or hooding during physical torture. Likewise, the generalized shame inflicted by public exposure, defamation and degradation can be just as traumatic as direct humiliation by perpetrators in a closed environment.3 As various studies on cyber-bullying have shown, already harassment in comparatively limited environments can expose targeted individuals to extremely elevated and prolonged levels of anxiety, stress, social isolation and depression, and significantly increases the risk of suicide.4 Arguably, therefore, much more systematic, government-sponsored threats and harassment delivered through cybertechnologies not only entail a situation of effective powerlessness, but may well inflict levels of anxiety, stress, shame and guilt amounting to “severe mental suffering” as required for a finding of torture.5
6. More generally, in order to ensure the adequate implementation of the prohibition of torture and related legal obligations in present and future circumstances, its interpretation should evolve in line with new challenges and capabilities arising in relation to emerging technologies not only in cyberspace, but also in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology and neurotechnology, or pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences, including so-called “human enhancement”.
1. Al Elmondi, “Next-generation nonsurgical neurotechnology”, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, available at www.darpa.mil/p…/next-generation-nonsurgical-neurotechnology.
2 See Human Rights Council resolutions 32/13 and 38/7. See, most notably, the 2013 disclosures by Edward Snowden of the global surveillance activities conducted by the United States National Security Agency and its international partners, see Ewan Macaskill and Gabriel Dance, “NSA files: decoded – what the revelations mean for you”, The Guardian, 1 November 2013.
3 Pau Pérez-Sales, “Internet and torture” (forthcoming).
4 Ann John and others, “Self-harm, suicidal behaviours, and cyberbullying in children and young people: systematic review”, Journal of Medical Internet Research, vol. 20, No. 4 (2018); Rosario Ortega and others, “The emotional impact of bullying and cyberbullying on victims: a European cross-national study”, Aggressive Behavior, vol. 38, No. 5 (September/October 2012).
5 Samantha Newbery and Ali Dehghantanha, “A torture-free cyber space: a human right”, 2017.
THE SENTIENT WORLD SIMULATION: UPLOADING YOUR MIND TO A DIGITAL WORLD
It was with the development of the first supercomputers, system for controlling the mind; brain and behavior was established. This was a part of the new science of cybernetics, which became public 1948 when the American professor Norbert Wiener published his book with the same title. The researchers’ project of mind control is most often classified as behavior or cognitive manipulation. Already from the beginning, more than half a century ago, it was possible to intercept thoughts, memories, and sensory functions such as sight or hearing. Cybernetics was also the first science that could not only measure and analyze what it came in contact with, but also change these processes. From the early beginning it was a debate about the issue.
The scientific magazine Science had 14-pages in their 1956 November issue under the heading “Some Issues Concerning the Control of Human Behavior”, and Professor Carl R Rogers said: “We can choose to use our growing knowledge to enslave people in ways never dreamed of before, controlling them by means so carefully selected that they will perhaps never be aware of their loss of personhood”. He added the possibility for political use: “Of all the dictatorships espoused by utopists, this is the most profound, and incipient dictators might well find in this utopia a guidebook of political practice…”but mentioned the probable misuse in democratic countries. This scared many. In the USA books were published, articles written and speeches held by leading people about the danger. The threat of exploitation of humans by a remote control technology became apparent. The American professor of psychiatry Joost Meerloo, released his book “The Rape of the Mind” (1956) in which he said:“The tragic facts of political experiences in our age make it all too clear that applied psychological technique can brainwash entire nations and reduce their citizens to a kind of mindless robotism which becomes for them a normal way of living.”
The EU´s Ethical Board with the Swedish Professor Hermerén as chairman protested and wrote in their 2005-declaration to the EU-Commission: “Implants used for changing the identity, memory, self perception and perception of others should be forbidden”. But the Swedish military research (FOI) declares in their report of activities that their aim is to direct the cognitive functions of people for a life time: “FOI develops systems with emphasis on the interaction between people and technology. The goal is that the systems be designed that human cognitive potential, i.e. the ability to perceive, understand, and sorting information can be utilized for´maximum system effect.” An implanted nightmare of this new kind will become permanent if not made public by mass media. This development can only continue as long as it takes place without public knowledge. Journalists, social activists and sensible politicians, among others, will not want to live their lives with an electronic leash attached to their brain, like a kind of cattle, any more than the rest of the population do. It has to be the responsibility of all of us to make this public if we want to live as human beings, in freedom and with human rights in the 21st century here on Earth.
ADVISOR REVEALS CONSCIOUS A.I. SUPERCOMPUTERS USED FOR MIND CONTROL
DARPA, European Human Brain Project, and Pentagon advisor Dr. James Giordano describes neuronanorobotic Brain to computer interface mind control weapons for remote monitoring and manipulation of brains neural circuitry. This allows an individuals consciousness to be cloned.
This allows an individuals consciousness to be cloned onto a their very own digital avatar in a Sentient World Simulation on a supercomputer. A direct link between a targeted individual and their digital avatar exists so that everything done in the real world occurs in the computer simulation. By manipulating the digital avatar in the computer simulation a persons thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, and behavior are manipulated in the real world. This is remote mind control. 21st Century MK ULTRA. This is not a conspiracy theory. This is not a joke. This is the real life matrix! For more of my videos on this topic click the links below: Enter the matrix: They Control Your Mind Through Your Virtual Avatar In The Sentient World Simulation.
Violations of Basic Human Rights or International Law…
Curtis Bell, Senior Scientist Emeritus at Oregon Health and Science University, has recently circulated a document which he is promoting as a “Pledge by Neuroscientists to Refuse to Participate in the Application of Neuroscience to Violations of Basic Human Rights or International Law.” The full pledge is reproduced below, and can be accessed here. While individuals may wish to sign the pledge, what we view as most important is to develop a conversation regarding the merits of what Curtis has suggested. Specifically, while many responsible neuroscientists may agree with the overall sentiment, they may not agree with all aspects of the pledge as written. Whether you agree or not, this issue merits feedback from members of the neuroscience community in general and the neuroethics community in particular.
Pledge by Neuroscientists to Refuse to Participate in the Application of Neuroscience to Violations of Basic Human Rights or International Law.
Neuroscientist Dr. James Giordano. Neuro-Weapons. Directed Energy Weapons. Brain Implants.