What is now categorized as the “cognitive domain” includes areas of influence in all sectors of society. Cognitive domain(s) should not be restricted to influence and information operations, social engineering and ‘winning hearts and minds' approaches, but expanded to include all areas where ideological attacks are possible.
“The cognitive war is a mostly hidden war, because it rarely involves direct confrontation or kinetic action. It involves a war of ideologies. If we fail to not only counter punch in this domain but build a sustained and proactive foundation to advance in the cognitive domain, we will have no other option then an eventual kinetic conflict. Kinetic capabilities can dictate an outcome but sustained long-term outcomes will remain solely dependent upon the ability to influence, affect, change, or impact the cognitive domain.”
For this article I will concentrate on China's reach which is masterful and extensive. Seemingly unrelated infiltration, one sided trade battles, cyber hacks and data sweeps in historically soft target sectors have exponentially extended China's domination of cognitive domains globally, and within the United States specifically. Let's examine five of their mission creeps and reach back areas of operation.