#158 Brian Godwin on Countering Cognitive Warfare

#158 Brian Godwin on Countering Cognitive Warfare

The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association.

During this episode, US Army Brian Godwin discusses his thesis: From Perception to Protection: Countering Cognitive Warfare in the U.S. Army. His study seeks to address the critical question of how the U.S. Army can protect the force against cognitive warfare, with a specific focus on understanding the strategies and tactics employed by China and Russia. It employs a qualitative comparative case study method, examining China’s cognitive warfare campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election. The study reveals significant gaps and limitations in the Army’s existing Doctrine, Training, Leadership and Education, and Policies (DTLP). These areas provide minimal defense against cognitive warfare, indicating a vulnerability of the force. In response to these findings, this thesis proposes several key recommendations to strengthen the Army’s resilience against cognitive warfare, including the prioritization of media literacy in Army training and education, revisions of DTLP to effectively counter cognitive warfare, the application of inoculation theory to boost psychological resilience, and the cultivation of active relationships with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners.


Link to full show notes and resources

Guest Bio

MAJ Brian Godwin is a native of Tampa, Florida. Commissioned in 2011 from the University of Tampa in Tampa, FL, MAJ Godwin has served in a range of duty positions in both Field Artillery and Signal branches including Fire Direction Officer, Fire Support Officer, Special Operations Battalion S-6, Brigade S-6, Division Information Assurance Manager, Signal Advisor to Afghan forces in Helmand, Afghanistan, and as a Staff Officer in the NATO Communications and Information Agency in Mons, Belgium. He is a graduate of the Field Artillery Basic Officer Leaders’ Course, the Signal Captain’s Career Course, and Basic Airborne Course. He is currently an Information Advantage Scholar at the Army’s Command and General Staff Officer Course.

MAJ Godwin’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (1 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (1OLC), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2 Stars), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO Medal (1 Star), Combat Action Badge and Parachutist Badge. He also holds a Parachutist Badge from Germany.

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