Chinese Military Studying Influence Operations Against U.S.

The RAND Corporation published testimony from policy researcher Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga regarding the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) efforts into “cyber-enabled influence operations” (IO).

By adopting “cognitive domain operations,” the Chinese military is focused on a “psychological or cognitive decision to surrender, as compared with the 20th century construct of total warfare and complete physical exhaustion of adversary military capabilities and resources,” according to Beauchamp-Mustafaga.

The CCP has used “synthetic information,” which was described as the production of “inauthentic content based on some amount of original information,” as well as social media algorithms, to enable “precision cognitive attacks.”

The testimony referred to an article explaining that ChatGPT’s data processing ability supports “precision cognitive attacks” by creating a profile of an individual based on the data it gathers.

Another influence operation the CCP allegedly participates in is the creation of “information cocoons,” which seek to undermine the “influence of mainstream values, further polarizing and dividing society.”

The testimony again referred to ChatGPT, as the AI tool is believed to eventually “subtly influence” its users over time and affect their behavior.

“Despite the evident interest by PLA [People’s Liberation Army] researchers, so far there is no direct evidence of specific PLA adoption to operationalize generative AI for cyber-enabled IO,” the document added. “This might simply be a limitation of open-source research or perhaps a reflection of slow adoption of this new technology, or it could suggest that the PLA has decided generative AI is not worth pursuing.”

A 2022 Pentagon report discussed China’s military developments, including influence operations.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) “conducts influence operations that target media organizations, business, academic, cultural institutions, and policy communities of the United States, other countries, and international organizations to shape public discourse and achieve outcomes favorable to its strategic and military objectives,” the report explained.

American Faith reported that China is also developing military technology that disrupts brain functions.

A report detailing China’s “NeuroStrike” program, written by senior fellow at the East Asian Institute of the National University of Singapore Ryan Clarke, former Army microbiologist now with Feitan College Ziaoxu Sean Lin, and former Air Force intelligence officer L.J. Eads, argued that the CCP uses “NeuroStrike” as a means of psychological warfare.

“NeuroStrike,” according to the report, refers to the “engineered targeting of warfighter and civilian brains using distinct non-kinetic technology” to inhibit one’s brain processes.

Although NeuroStrike capabilities are considered to be a “standard” part of military function, the report explains that the CCP’s “weaponization of neuroscience extends well beyond the scope and understanding of classical microwave weapons.”