||Massacre in Fallujah:
. . . . . .
Most of our efforts and resources dedicated to conflict are only tangentially relevant to the central nature of conflict, especially the types of conflict that we now face. Human action is shaped, and wars are ultimately won and lost, in the cognitive domain. In view of this, all of our warfighting efforts should focus on ultimately achieving victory in that domain. Our existing doctrine and concept development work acknowledge the
cognitive domain in passing; but do not focus on it, or acknowledge its primacy in war. As a consequence of this, there tend to be huge gaps in our offensive and defensive
preparations for war and for military operations other than war, especially in the area of
information operations (in its broadest sense). All of our preparations for conflict, starting with concept and doctrine development, should be structured with the need to dominate and win in the cognitive domain as both the point of departure and ultimate goal.
• • • • •
“Wars are ultimately won and lost,
in the cognitive domain”
Conflict centered on the cognitive domain will strongly resemble "Political Warfare" in the sense that totalitarians have traditionally used that term. It will recognize the
primacy of politics (as shaped by psychology and sociology), and the overarching need to orchestrate the employment of all instruments of national power (including the military, including in war) in order to influence key actors, organizations, and nations (friendly, hostile, and neutral) through their political constituencies. The objective is not merely to destroy the adversary militarily, but to engulf him in every dimension (diplomatically,
politically, socially, through information, militarily, and economically), depriving him of
freedom of movement and decision, and eventually of coherence and will. In this way, resistance and aggression are rendered impractical, and in effect, the outcomes of
battles, campaigns, and wars will be decided before they begin. Our approach to Political Warfare should be updated and tailored to the realities of the 21st century and to the needs and interests of a capitalist democratic republic (the United States), and its allies.
The U.S. military today exploits advances in information technology to pursue “Information Operations” as a means of supporting military operations generally, and
increasingly defines Information Operations in terms of competition for the domination of
cyberspace. This is exactly wrong. Because the center of gravity in any war lies in the
cognitive domain, all operations (military and non-military) should support Information
Operations (including all means of conveying information, not artificially limited to the narrow field of cyberspace). No actions of ours in the physical domain, and certainly none in cyberspace, will play a decisive role in influencing the actions of residents of
Fallujah, or those like them in other lands and in future times. In order to do that, we must set out early to shape their perceptions by engaging broadly, continuously, and vigorously throughout the cognitive domain. We must not again allow an enemy to win by
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