NATO’s New Mission: Peace Through Censorship

When pondering the ranks of institutions captured by leftist elitists, one of the most ominous is the American military. The left is brazenly proselytizing, neutering, and politicizing the American military with its DEI ideology—an inherently partisan, divisive assault designed to hollow out its historical warfighting spirit and value system. That the left would expand its political proselytizing into affiliated militaries within our alliances is to be expected. That these politically subversive assaults on our and our allied military must be opposed is imperative.

To wit: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

A transatlantic military alliance in search of a reason for perpetuating its existence, NATO was a prime target for left-wing capture and weaponization; consequently, embracing the left’s paranoid narratives, NATO seeks a new mission that placates the elites by asserting that, in stopping nebulously defined authoritarians, the first line of defense is censoring and controlling member states’ free citizens.

Thrice annually, NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre’s (JWC) Public Affairs Office publishes a magazine for its 31 members, “The Three Swords.” In Issue 39 of October 2023, Commander Cornelis van der Klaauw [hereinafter, “the Commander”], a Royal Netherlands Navy Subject Matter Expert in the Strategic Communications and Information Operations NATO Joint Warfare Centre, wrote, “To raise awareness of a new NATO concept that is in its infancy, but that will have a significant impact on individuals, groups, societies, and the way future wars are fought: cognitive warfare.”

In 2021, NATO initiated this “new concept’s” implementation, and the final concept is on the verge of being approved by NATO’s Military Committee. Evidently, that means it is time for the alliance to inform the free world that 2024 will usher in 1984.

Cognitive warfare is a fact of the modern age and everyone, whether civilian or military, is a potential target. Cognitive attacks are aimed at exploiting emotions rooted in our subconscious, bypassing our rational conscious mind. This is achieved by exploiting biases, fallacies, emotions and automatisms, but also through nanotechnology, biotechnology and information technology [NBIC].

Yeah, once that first shovelful of authoritarian disinformation is heaped upon our unwitting brains, we populist-peasants could become domestic threats, performing the enemy’s work for them gratis. Enter NATO, who knows what you are thinking even if you do not. As the Commander enlightens us:

In cognitive warfare, the ultimate aim is to alter our perception of reality and deceive our brain in order to affect our decision-making. We are commonly unaware of such attacks before it is too late and they have already affected their targets. Therefore, we must protect ourselves by raising awareness and developing a system of indicators and warnings that can provide real-time information. [Italics mine.]

This will sound familiar to those devotees of the Maoist DIE cult’s unconscious bias canard within the larger disinformation op of “systemic racism” (which can never end, lest all those credentialed H.R. apparatchiks lose their sinecures). Per the Commander, “cognitive warfare” is so pervasive, incessant, and unending that you do not consciously recognize it and will always need NATO to sniff and stamp it out.

While cognitive effects are not measurable in the typical sense, they do affect how we think, what we feel and how we act… They are taking place already now, and these attacks will continue to become more sophisticated. Several countries are developing NBIC capabilities and collecting data for use in targeting the cognitive dimension. These activities are supported by aspects such as datamining and data analytics, and are further combined with artificial intelligence. [All italics mine.]

Apparently, these cognitive attacks are so sophisticated that the author cannot cite a specific instance, though he does offer what might (someday) be considered such an attack—the “Havana Syndrome.” One can only suppose “cognitive warfare” is like pornography: one knows it when one sees it. But NATO has a handy list of those who are most susceptible to whatever cognitive warfare may or may not be employed against the free world’s citizenry:

The most vulnerable are individuals who feel a lack of belonging, feel marginalized, think they lack the ability to express their grievances or believe they are deprived of their rights. Usually this is combined with a lack of trust in governance and social structures. These perceptions can stem from ethical, racial, religious, economic or even historical reasons. Vulnerabilities are also the key when it comes to understanding how we can protect ourselves against a cognitive attack.

Yes, all pigs are equal, but some populist-pigs are more vulnerable than others. If you think this is a recipe for political repression, you are correct. Consider the handy list of potential domestic terrorists and traitors the Commander provides:

In Western societies, there are four fundamental vulnerabilities to consider:

• Government structure: The Western liberal democratic structure is vulnerable to cognitive attacks and at the same time limits the opportunity to detect and defend against these attacks.

Translation: Freedom is dangerous to the free world.

• The media and information landscape: Limited means or lack of willingness to share information openly, especially in combination with low literacy or underdeveloped critical thinking skills, opens up a critical vulnerability that can be exploited by adversaries.

Translation: The free world needs smart people to determine what information is safe for we numbskulls to consume. One cannot say “consider,” because our critical thinking skills are too underdeveloped to be trusted to do that.

• Social structures: Fragmented social structures and particularly echo chambers are vulnerable to false and misleading narratives. The lack of communication between people that only exchange information within their own communities is an easily exploited vulnerability.

If you think the Commander’s talking about the corporate media, progressive blogs, or MSNBC rather than conservative blogs and Fox News, see item four (below).

• Increasing level of populism: People who feel that they are not being heard or properly represented in institutions and that the “elite” is disregarding their concerns see populism as the solution to their problems, making them especially vulnerable to cognitive manipulation.

And there it is. As the Sex Pistols long ago identified: “the problem is you.” Note, too, the use of “feel”—not “think.” Seems we populist-peasants have this irrational, erroneous impression that the elites are getting richer and more powerful at our expense. Crazy, right?

In sum, the Commander argues that in cognitive warfare, everyone is a potential target, with populists being the most susceptible. Further, the reason cognitive attacks work is that they “achieve a specific aim without the target becoming aware of an attack. Generally, the damage is already done before the target realizes that it has been targeted.” Worse still, he declares, “In the future, there will only be one rule in warfare: There are no rules.”

So, how does NATO intend to protect our domestic one-percenters from we populist-peasants after we have been subconsciously riled up by authoritarians? By fighting for peace through censorship to attain “cognitive resilience” and “superiority.”

It bears repeating that, while he cannot cite a specific instance of the allegedly ongoing cognitive warfare, the Commander enumerates the technologies that can facilitate the devolving of free people into our authoritarian enemies’ pawns: social media platforms, smart devices, digital networks, gaming platforms (and their subcultures), virtual reality environments, digital spaces serving as echo chambers, and the Metaverse.

NATO plans on using “science” in the service of monitoring and censoring these technologies:

Knowing one’s vulnerabilities is important, but knowing when a cognitive attack is taking place is just as vital… For example, it is essential to maintain awareness about the information we unknowingly share that can be used against us. At the same time, technological solutions can help to identify cognitive attacks through algorithms and artificial intelligence, but also with real-time pattern and signature recognition. General awareness and technological solutions may alert us to cognitive attacks in good time and help us in determining the best way to respond. This brings us to the subject of creating cognitive resilience. [Italics mine.]

And that “best way to respond” to create “cognitive resilience” would be what, Commander?

Within the Cognitive Warfare Concept, cognitive resilience is defined as “the capacity to withstand and recover quickly from an adversarial cognitive attack through the effective preparation of groups and individuals.” …We must look at the current ways in which cognitive activities are conducted, and by which means. In order to keep the initiative, we need to anticipate possible future developments. Currently such future developments include ways to read thoughts and emotions, which can enable measurements of the effect of cognitive activities. Based on the result, models can be developed to improve decision-making, but also to identify weaknesses to exploit. [Italics mine.]

If you find this ominous, you are not a member of NATO’s bureaucracy. In fairness, the Commander does envision a day when peace through censorship will no longer be necessary. Why? Because one day science will disarm we populist-peasants before the authoritarian enemy can tailor our minds to suit its nefarious purposes:

THERE ARE OTHER RAPID developments in the fields of [NBIC]… One of the most promising projects is the development of embedded synthetic DNA or sDNA. This can be a useful alternative to silicon semiconductors. Currently it is possible to store 2.14 × 106 bytes of data on sDNA. This organic material could enable human-machine interfaces and is often seen as the 47th human chromosome.

…Furthermore, neural nanotechnology can be used to bring nano-sized robots close to a neuron via the bloodstream and make it possible to link the human brain directly (i.e. not intercepted by our senses) to a computer, making use of artificial intelligence in the process. But we must keep in mind that this is a two-way street: such an artificial intelligence will, in turn, be linked to a human brain. [Italics mine.]

“Hook me up, Commander! I’m ready to defend the brave new world!”

Speaking of “resilience,” in an act of legal positivism that would make the Warren Court blush, “resilience” provides the murky rationale upon which NATO justifies its new creepy mission to police free people and infringe on their liberties:

…Article 3 of the Washington Treaty, NATO’s founding document. It establishes the principle of resilience:

“In order more effectively to achieve the objectives of this Treaty, the Parties, separately and jointly, by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid, will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack.”

While we are still waiting for an instance of an armed attack, the Commander is not:

Article 3 includes supporting the continuity of government and the provision of essential services, among them resilient civil communications systems. This means that cognitive resilience, as an aspect of promoting and enhancing civil preparedness, requires that NATO plays a key role – but only in support of its member nations’ own efforts and not as a standalone actor. NATO nations differ in their cultural, social, technological and governmental structures and with that, their susceptibility to cognitive attacks. A tailored approach is needed to provide the right support to the nations. [Italics mine.]

Once more, the Commander insinuates that the freer the people, the more susceptible they are to being authoritarian dupes. Still, at least the Commander allows that NATO can only infringe on your rights if your local authoritarians invite them to do so. And they would never, ever do that. COVID lockdowns, schmockdowns…

When pondering the paranoiac prophecies and prescriptions of NATO’s Nostradamus, one could imagine the Commander being institutionalized. Instead, he will be lionized by his brass-spackled bureaucratic peers and the soulless sybarites schlepping the well-groomed grounds at the latest World Economic Forum.

In the cognitive warfare concept, NATO has embraced and refashioned the leftist ideology of the woke DIE cult, both based upon the communist lie of knowing one’s thoughts better than the individual. Ironically, everything the Commander claims about cognitive warfare can be fairly applied to the woke DIE Cult and its mandatory proselytization within every aspect of American (and many NATO members’) life. (As an aside, one cannot help but note how NATO’s cognitive warfare concept will be approved in 2024, i.e., during the U.S. presidential election.) But I digress…

Thus, NATO will seek to control the God-given rights of the free world’s member nations’ citizens (individually and/or collectively). Collective security devolves into collective suppression; “peace through strength” into “peace through censorship;” and NATO’s mission into that of the old Warsaw Pact—the subjugation of free people.

I, too, have a concept, though I admit it requires multi-tasking and I cannot claim it is new. How about NATO not placate the elites by censoring and suppressing free people, populist or otherwise? Instead, how about NATO actually protects America and our Free World allies’ citizens’ God-given rights and defeats the Axis of Authoritarianism confronting us in this new Cold War?

But what do I know? I’m a Republican populist-peasant who opposes censorship, communists, authoritarians, tyrants, and all enemies of our Constitution, foreign and domestic. Hey, wait a minute…

Maybe the Chi-coms made me say all that?!

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003-2012, and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars; and a Monday co-host of the “John Batchelor Radio Show,” among sundry media appearances.

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About Thaddeus G. McCotter

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003 to 2012 and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars, and a Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Show" among sundry media appearances.

Photo: Redacted document in English with censored words blacked-out.

Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for Huey65 Huey65 says:

    If we had halfway smart leaders, we would sever all ties with NATO and the United Nations. They are all communist, globalists dedicated to reducing the United States to just another country among many.

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