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Cognitive Exploitation: A Solution for Defeating Violent Non-State Actors in the Future Operating Environment

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Technical Report,26 Jun 2017,24 May 2018

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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Violent Non-State actors, driven by nationalist, ethnic, andor religious ideologies, will continue to threaten US national security interests in the future operating environment. Due to the proliferation of technology, VNSAs will acquire advanced warfighting capabilities and reduce the US Armys ability to generate overmatch. Thus, friendly forces must look towards non-material solutions as means of creating positions of relative advantage. A VNSAs ideology offer friendly forces the opportunity to create opportunities for exploitation on the battlefield. Understanding a VNSAs ideology allows friendly forces to generate ambiguity-decreasing deception, whereby a VNSAs preconceptions about themselves and the OE cause the VNSA to place itself in positions of relative disadvantage. This monograph will explore the relationship between VNSAs ideologies, social psychology, and current military deception doctrine to asses VNSAs vulnerability to cognitive exploitation, and recommends friendly forces first seek to understand how a VNSA thinks, rather than merely analyzing capabilities, when developing tactical solutions.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Psychology

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