In Dossier No. 42, produced with the support of the Augustus Foundation, Emanuel Pietrobon describes the latest frontier of hybrid warfare, namely cognitive warfare, highlighting the threats to Italy as well.




  • The new hybrid wars encompass the waging of conflicts remotely fought with nonlethal weapons. This is the case with cognitive operations, the latest frontier of hybrid wars, which attack a society's information environment to sow discord and weaken it.
  • The expectation of those pursuing cognitive operations is a Sun Tzu-like victory: an overpowered enemy without the need to fight him.
  • Russia and China have waged cognitive operations to foment divisions within Western societies, polarizing them and stirring up pre-existing contrasts.
  • The IRA, a group linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, has used social media in the Trump administration years to stir up discord in the U.S., particularly targeting African-Americans to inflame racial tensions.
  • TikTok is accused of being a cognitive operation of China. While the Chinese version promotes edifying content, abroad TikTok is spreading wokeism, anti-social behavior and other ideas that weaken target societies.
  • Liberal democracies are particularly vulnerable to cognitive operations, but to date there is a lack of prevention and deterrence strategies. Italy should focus on developing critical thinking in young people and controlling what happens on the Internet.


Dossier 42 - Guerra cognitiva
+ post

Geopolitical analyst, foreign policy consultant and author. Graduate in Area and global studies for international cooperation (University of Turin), educated between Italy, Poland, Portugal and Russia. Specialized in hybrid warfare, Latin American issues and post-Soviet space.