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Marketing Framework in Support of Non-Lethal Fires

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Marketing Framework in Support of Non-Lethal Fires

by Lieutenant Colonel Morgan Mann

Marketing Framework in Support of Non-Lethal Fires (Full PDF Article)

The purpose of this paper is to put forth an alternative or augment to conventional military planning processes when incorporating non-lethal fires, effects and targeting. The tactical units of the joint force are now infused with many non-lethal 'enablers' and coordinating agencies with which to influence the battlespace. However, this augmentation does not come with the additional planning frameworks that can assist the commander and his staff to integrate and synchronize the additional tools and capabilities. Several planning concepts from corporate America may be able to assist.

In 2004 the Secretary of Defense developed a 6 phase concept for fighting the Long War. Four of the six phases involve primarily non-lethal activities, and 2 of these are likely to require a commitment of U.S. ground forces. Stabilization and the enablement of civil authority, phases 4 and 5 respectively, involve engagement with numerous hostile and non-hostile actors by tactical units. It will be brigades, battalions, and companies of the joint force that will plan and execute much of Phase 4 and 5 operations. They will do this by integrating non-lethal military enablers such as engineers, Civil Affairs, and Psychological Operation Teams. They will also need to coordinate with interagency teams such as Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) and US Agency for International Development (US AID), as well as non-government organizations (NGOs). Battalions will also shape the perceptions of various host nation actors by their own organic operations.

There are numerous techniques and procedures documented for the accurate and timely incorporation of lethal fires. From fire support plans, to execution matrices and targeting board mechanics, the services are masters of integrating lethal fires. However, the planning frameworks for our tactical units to conduct non-lethal fires and targeting are limited. Recently published field manuals such as Stability Operations (FM 3-07), Counterinsurgency Operations (FM 3-24/MCWP 3-33.5), and the Army's new Operations (FM 3-0) manual reference non-lethal fires as critical components to planning and executing operations; however, there is little in way of prescriptive help. There are doctrinal publications pertaining to Information Operations (FM 3-13 and JP 3-13) and Non-Lethal targeting but these publications are focused on Division and higher level units where there are dedicated staff's for non-lethal fires and effects. In addition to the lack of tools at the tactical level we also lack much of the joint or service specific doctrinal language to communicate what 'non-lethal' or 'non-kinetic' fires and targeting are, and how they are suppose to affect the battlespace. We seem to try to shoehorn non-lethal efforts into lethal fires language.

Marketing Framework in Support of Non-Lethal Fires (Full PDF Article)

About the Author(s)


jordon swain (not verified)

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 9:46pm


Great article. I teach marketing at West Point and plan on using this is my course. We teach the 5Cs and 4Ps and besides using the standard HBS case studies used by MBA programs like Kellogg and Wharton (where I went), we try to link to non lethal fire and recruiting efforts. I was writing my own article when I came across this- saved me some time! Gotta love when you can apply civilian education to improve military doctrine. You hit the nail right on the head and clearly show how MBA skills are useful on the battlefield. Now if the Armed Forces could start tracking folks based on their education--every FA30, Psyops officer or Psyops senior NCO should have a degree or at least several courses in business marketing! Again, great read. You're helping preapre cadets to excel!

Nancy Fritz (not verified)

Mon, 10/05/2009 - 12:34pm

excellent article Morgan.
Love, nancy

Christopher Paul (not verified)

Mon, 10/05/2009 - 9:14am

Nice piece. I just wanted to remind everyone that there is more support available for this concept. See the 2007 RAND report I co-authored with Todd Helmus and Russ Glenn: <i>Enlisting Madison Avenue: The Marketing Approach to Earning Popular Support in Theaters of Operation</i>. Full .pdf available at:

Dave Maxwell (not verified)

Sun, 10/04/2009 - 5:50pm


Please share with all of us the process you developed. Recommend you write a paper.



Matt Valkovic

Sun, 10/04/2009 - 5:37pm

Lt. Col Mann,

Sir, I really enjoyed this article about seeing the "non-lethal" fight through a business marketing lens. My battalion just got back from a year in northwest Baghdad and we think we cracked the nut on this question. I'd be happy to talk more about this with you off-line.

CPT Matt Valkovic
US Army