Author Biography

Garrett Martin is a research fellow in the Department of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School and a graduate student at UCLA. His primary research interests are in grand strategy, collective identities, institutions, and Chinese state influence in American society.



Subject Area Keywords

China, Hegemony, Identity, Information operations, Irregular warfare, National security, Social media, Sociocultural dynamics in security


The information technology era has opened a myriad of new battlespaces through which nations engage each other. China has advanced their “three warfares” doctrine – political warfare, public opinion warfare, and legal warfare – behind a robust and aggressive economic agenda. Direct financial investment and tightly controlled access to both their large consumer market and cheap labor force has given them considerable leverage in key sectors of American industry, particularly those in the communication sphere. The narrative crafting capabilities increasingly acquired by China are beginning to appear as genuine cultural hegemony. This indicates an ability to shape the American collective consciousness by shifting values and behaviors, and ultimately weaken the social bonds within the population. This article thus frames the nature of warfare in the information age as the strategic devaluing of social capital. This reframing of adversarial strategies may be helpful to countering such efforts by providing new insight into the tactics currently employed.


I would like to sincerely thank my fellowship advisors, Cecilia Panella and Leo Blanken, for their patience and guidance in the editing process. I would also like to thank my reviewers for their tremendous insight.