Madmen Approach for Stabilization Ops:

A Joint Forces Command-sponsored study recommends that the US military take a Madison Avenue-approach to enlist more support from locals in military operational theaters. The Rand Corp. authors believe their work still has some applications to operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. They espouse a combination of words and actions that start from a central premise: Know your target audience so you can satisfy their needs,” says lead author and behavioral scientist Todd Helmus. The report’s authors maintain that the US military can apply many of the same techniques used in commercial marketing—branding, instilling customer satisfaction, customer-informed decision-making, using influencers, and social marketing. The report considers the current US military “brand” used in Iraq—show of force—to be “ill-suited to earning local support.” (Find the report here.)