The Convergence - An Army Mad Scientist Podcast

19. The Psychology of Terrorism and Disinformation with Dr. Aleks Nesic

The Convergence - An Army Mad Scientist Podcast
19. The Psychology of Terrorism and Disinformation with Dr. Aleks Nesic
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In today’s podcast, Dr. Nesic discusses how humans remain at the center of great power competition — “everything else are simply mechanisms being used to influence the human element” — and how we must understand the human domain and synchronize social science in the non-kinetic, non-lethal space if we are to successfully out-compete our adversaries:

  • The Global War on Terror (GWOT) is far from over.  In the hybrid / asymmetric space, anything can be an instrument of war. We have to be realistic and understand the human element, which we do not yet fully grasp or comprehend.
  • We tend to look at technology as a problem, not at the people using the technology [with evil intent] as the problem. Advances in technology have allowed our adversaries to become disruptive anytime, anywhere. The so-called ‘technological disruption’ should be accepted as the new status quo, as a modus operandi, and no longer be viewed as something extraordinary.
  • Anthropology describes, but does not explain, the cultural lenses in the way that psychology does. Understanding the “why” of how people and groups act is important for operationalizing influence.
  • How do populations change over time? Look at the brain, the most complex organ that is still not fully understood. The brain is wired for resilience and trained for adaptation. We need to invest in the brains of our target audiences and use knowledge to build resilience against our adversaries’ bad influences.

Brought to you by The Army Mad Scientist Initiative of The Convergence - An Army Mad Scientist Podcast