Glevum Associates

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Glevum USA is an American based "market research" company. [1]


Glevum Associates is a subcontractor of the Human Terrain System used by the U.S army among others. Glevum conducts market research for their clients in war zones or post-war zones where first hand information may otherwise be hard to obtain. They claim to provide invaluable, local, knowledge of these conflict areas. They do this by employing people familiar with the local area within these regions; these researchers then provide an in-depth analysis of that population. The results of this research are then fed back to Glevum’s research analysts, who are then are able to compile reports giving in-depth information on whatever area of interest was required by the client.

They have carried out research in Iraq and Afghanistan, through detailed processes which they have trademarked such as Face-to-Face Research Analysis (F2RAtm). Interviews are conducted with local populations to assess both how the people feel about their situation and what can be done to improve circumstances. This is achieved by ‘interviews, focus groups, observations, media monitoring and polls’*. The information once complied and analysed is then passed on to their clients so they might better understand the ‘motivations’ of the populace in the requested area.[2] Glevum’s rationale and justification for the research they conduct in Afghanistan and how they do it is that ‘One cannot learn how to navigate the human terrain in Afghanistan from the internet’.[3]

Andrew Garfield believes that without social science research, the war in Afghanistan cannot be won. What Glevum Associates does is to provide a human link between army, government and Afghan people. This unique relationship allows for discussions and deeper understanding of the main issues of the region. There is much apparent diversity between the regions in Afghanistan; some of the differences include the varying regional views on the Taliban. In one report which Glevum produced, it was shown that in certain areas of 1900 Afghans interviewed ‘97 per cent expressed support for the reconciliation with the Taliban’.* This article also highlighted that there was real fear of corruption within the government.[4]

This is a prime example of the benefits to both the army and government of having social research done in such a diverse area, as these types of results would most likely not have been volunteered. Research conducted by Glevum on voting patterns provides basic indicators on the factors which will influence people’s behaviour. It is visible in their published report that it is of clear concern to the Government and Army, who will be keen to know what contributing factors will influence voting patterns and also who their voters are, and what issues they find important. A copy of Glevum's Afghan Election Survey which can be found here.

It is important to remember that for Glevum, in order for peace to be restored in Afghanistan compromise, support and an in-depth understanding of social structures, religious beliefs, morals and values must be understood. This is why organisations such as this are valued by governments as vehicles to acquire this knowledge.

This view is clearly supported in an article by Jeff Haynes, vice president of business development for Glevum, who emphasises the importance of community development councils. These councils are run by members who have been voted in from the communities. This enables them to prioritise local areas of need as they know first hand what services and changes are required. They also address the concerns of corruption within the government as Haynes puts it ‘a sense of community ownership inhibits corruption and maintains accountability’.[5] A further example of the type of information which these surveys uncover can be seen in an article featured in the New York Times. Glevum was attributed to providing information on the growing feeling of unrest in Kandahar in Afghanistan, It documented the feelings of a lessening sense of security in the area, which before the invasion was held to be ‘the birth place and the power centre of the Taliban’ the results helped U.S officials to begin to understand the ties between the different communities and the Taliban which may require some sort of conference with them as a means of a peaceful resolution to minimise the levels of conflict with Kandahar. It is this qualitative research which Glevum claims gives the military a unique relationship with the communities. However the situation continues to be volatile and has resulted in the killing of the deputy major Azizullah Yarmal during prayer in April this year. Although the information has given guidance to the military who according to this article will now encourage forums between residents, military and elders to propose alternatives to the Taliban It calls into question whether this system is effective in practice.[6]

Other research Glevum has conducted has shown that within Afghanistan there is growing support for the Afghan Nation Army. This information allows for planning of the expansion of this Army, which would in turn allow for a reduction of the presence of U.S and United Nation troops. However it is key that for these changes to be implemented both the troops and governments must have the support of the Afghan people, the Nation Army must be able and willing to ‘protect the population and to fight corruption’* this will allow growing independence for the Afghan people to gain independence instead of relying on the Nato troops, and of course the changes in social attitudes to this and any other matters can by discovered by Glevum and their social research teams. [7]

Detailed examples of the types of information Glevum gathers for its clients and how it goes about collecting it can be found in their Kandahar Province Survey Report published in March 2010. In this report, Glevum interviewed 1994 individuals from nine districts; 56% male and 44% female. From the results gathered, Glevum determined that there was a lack of security in the area and an opinion of political corruption. They concluded this was driving people to present a lack of support for the government and in some cases, support for the Taliban based on findings regarding which groups were perceived by citizens as providing the most security. From this information, Glevum made a number of recommendations. These recommendations included implementing a campaign to address concerns such as the lack of security. The report states that it should be an Afghan campaign due to the fact these prove more successful within the country. It notes this is the case even if they are less effective. Glevum notes this can be done by making the Afghan army responsible ‘within capacity’ for creating a more stable and secure environment.[8]

Ownership and Personnel

All of the Glevum Associate's key personnel has links to government defence sector; they have either worked for governmental defence sector directly and/or been employed by a company that has been contracted to do work for this sector. Also several of the staff members mentioned below have a background in being involved with companies conducting cultural market research.

Andrew Garfield -The founder of Glevum Associates

Paul Serotkin - Executive Vice President, Operations and Finance

Alicia Boyd - Executive Vice President, Research

Colonel Jeff Haynes, USMC (Ret.) - Vice President, Business Development

Pascale Combelles Siegel - Senior Research Scientist

Laurie J. Adler - Senior Public Affairs Advisor

Links to the US Military

Glevum is a military contractor first and foremost, despite their public focus on social science research; their actual practices, results and motives have been discredited by social scientists, in particular by anthropologists.[9] There is some evidence to suggest Glevum may not be as independent as it suggests, based on its personnel, clients, and its ties to Glevum's former self, The Lincoln Group.

Vice President and owner Andrew Garfield has held senior roles in British military and then as a civilian intelligence officer. He is a visiting lecturer at military academies and universities on PSYOPS (psychological warfare) throughout Europe, and has also been involved in the training of senior US Army and Marine Commanders and their staffs on psychological warfare and ethnographic intelligence gathering. [10] Garfield and Senior PR Advisor Laurie J. Adler are former employees of the Lincoln Group, where they filled similar roles. Lincoln was uncovered to be paying Iraqi newspapers to publish propaganda and articles written by US troops, edited by Lincoln IOs to downplay any negative American involvement in 2005. At Lincoln, Garfield and Adler worked alongside Andrea Jackson, credited by some for devising the HTS. Glevum’s official website makes no mention or association of the pair's involvement with the Lincoln Group or any resultant controversy.[11]

Garfield and Jackson's former enterprise, The Lincoln Group, has produced millions of dollars worth of projects to aid the work of the MNF-I (US Iraq Forces). Following the end of major combat operations in Iraq in late 2003, MNF-I turned its attention and resources to building “positive relations” with insurgent and friendly Iraqis, rebuilding infrastructure, and create conditions for economic recovery. At this point, the US DOD is also seen PR as a vital tool for combating ground level insurgency, particularly the use of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices, e.g. roadside bombs). The Garfield led Lincoln group was one of 4 initials contractors awarded contracts to shore up the US’s PR campaigns in Iraq, however the work of the Lincoln Group went beyond the reach of standard PR, and made use of PsyOps as a vital component of its Iraq work, one of several aspects which has even come under criticism from PR bodies themselves.[12]

In 2005, the Lincoln Group was uncovered to be acting as a front group for the US Military, when the L.A. Times revealed that Lincoln had been paying Iraqi newspapers and radio stations to print/broadcast reports written by US Forces which depicted them in a flattering light. Articles were able to be planted cheaply, with some Iraqi editors reporting they published articles for free, where others reported being paid up to $1,200 per article. The moves were criticised by some senior military officers, who felt that the scandal was hypocritical, given many soldiers were fighting for a more open society with free speech and free media, whereas others felt that the backlash from the expose further endangered the lives of soldiers, and undermined the credibility and work many troops had undertaken up to that point. Despite US law forbidding the use of PsyOps to be used via American media outlets in military operations, the US Military found a constitutional loophole by contracting Garfield (a PsyOps expert) and the Lincoln Group to directly launch a PR/propaganda campaign carried out by a private contractor -albeit one with significant PsyOps expertise.[13]

The "privileged" position the Lincoln Group found themselves in Iraq hints at the high level of involvement between Lincoln and the US Military, which may be attributable to Garfield himself, or another former Lincoln now Glevum member. Glevum obviously has some degree of a close relationship with the US Military. Andrea Jackson, one of Garfield and Adler's former colleagues at Lincoln has been credited by some for being the architect behind the modern HTS operation in the US Military.[14] In its short history, Glevum has also been investigated under US Army regulation AR 15-6; a regulation which investigates the ethics, impartiality and evidence of military fact gathering, research and intelligence information. [15] While an investigation was started, it was apparently never completed, a source citing that "...Glevum [sic] has friends in high places." [16] Despite Glevum's relationship to the US Military, it has been argued that Glevum and Garfield in particular are not so much as interested in US foreign policy or ideological interests as much as they are with simply making money, with Garfield seemingly willing to distance himself from his PsyOps involvement and HTS background when it threatens a business opportunity, only to subsequently reverse his position when the opportunity calls for it. He has also been keen to point out the supposed financial benefits of an active HTS operation within a given combat zone, the implication that social science research will save lives and ultimately money for the Army, which will in turn, free up more funds to be dispensed to HTS contractors such as Glevum.[17]

Glevum’s “leadership team” is composed of a group of individuals with various defence related backgrounds. Of those listed on Glevum’s leadership team page, only Jeff Haynes, a recently retired USMC Colonel is listed as having some sort of official ranked command position within a military institution, where he served as a Colonel during his 24 years in the USMC[18] Despite his lack of business experience verbatim, Col Haynes holds the high position of Vice President of Business Development. His business development role may account for the large number of government and official military contracts Glevum has procured in its short history. The remainder of Glevum’s leadership team is made up of businesspeople, most of whom have worked extensively in private military contracting, military support staff such as Garfield, or communications/PR specialists such as Laurie J. Adler.

In July 2009, a Glevum study financed by the US Government, polled Afghanis in the build up to the Afghanistan election of which they forecast a comfortable victory for Hamid Karzai, which may be unsurprising, given the US government's support of Karazai's bid for Afghan President.[19]

Glevum does not seem to be uncomfortable with any supposed links to the US Military. Its listed clients on it's website lists 28 known clients, 26 of which are either fellow clients of the US Military, the US Government themselves, US Department of Defence led multinational operations, or the US Military, which makes up the majority of Glevum's clientele. Glevum's small body of work outside of its US Military links is solely in Australia.

Glevum Client Also client of US Military US Government US DOD Led Operation/Multinational US Military
BAE Systems x
Combined Joint Task Force – 101 (Multinational) x x
Combined Joint Task Force – 82 (Multinational) x x
Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan (Multinational, led by US General) x x
Counter IED Task Force x
Counter IED Task Force Iraq x
Courage Partners
Human Terrain System (HTS) x
Government of Australia
Leadership Development and Education for Sustained Peace (LDESP) x x
Naval Post Graduate School (NPS) x x
MPRI (a division of L-3) x
Multi National Division Baghdad x x x
Multi National Division North (MND-N) x x
Multi National Division South (MND-S) x x
Multi National Division West (MND-W) x x
PYSOP Task Force (POTF) Afghanistan x
PYSOP Task Force (POTF) Iraq x
Regional Command East (Multinational) x x
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) x
U.S. Department Of State x x
U.S. Embassy, Kabul x
United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) x
United States Special Operations Command Joint Military Information Support Command x


Glevum and the Human Terrain System comes under much criticism for the Social Science research that they conduct and raises issues as to whose benefit it is working towards, and whether the role of social scientists is appropriate in this field.

The Human Terrain System within which Glevum operates is critiqued by many people for many points. One of which is that the money being paid to the researchers is far more than the pay of those within the military. This is a point raised by John Stanton in an article he wrote entitled ‘US Army Promotes Waste, Fraud and Abuse in TRADOC Human Terrain Program’ he questions why “the US government pays 200K for a social scientist and pays the soldiers and officers less than 60K.”* This alone would seem to place more value of the work being conducted by the researchers, than the very people who are at more risk of losing their life in Afghanistan, the soldiers. In the same article he notes that Glevum is reportedly getting over 20 million dollars to conducts polls in Iraq in 2009 from the Human Terrain System so this is clearly a profitable operation. However is that what Social scientists should be concerned with? [20]

What was also disturbing was the footage of data being collected after an early morning raid. This footage linked through Glevum’s own web site to a BBC article, shows a home wrongly being entered on the suspicion of holding members of the Taliban. It in fact turned out to be a home sheltering 15 people including children. The occupants clearly distressed about having their home entered by armed soldiers were then made to answer questions and later in the same clip the troops were seen take swabs and fingerprints from local residents who were also were then photographed to allegedly allow the military identify ‘friend from foe’. The question has to be is this really the best way to gain the trust of the Afghan people? The local residents including local leaders were then later questioned in one community meeting as to why they were not providing information on local Taliban activity the whole clip seemed more like bullying than any real effort to work with the people.[21]

Yet another criticism of the Human Terrain System is that academic anthropology is concerned with the long term study of people. It is dedicated to understanding different communities and their ways of life and to observe and document behaviours but not to influence or interfere with those ways. What the HTS does with its social research is very different, the social scientists work to gain the trust of communities under the guise of merely wanting to gather information, which will then benefit the indigenous communities. However , this valuable information is relayed back to the military who then use the information provided as means to both control populations and to “see who is either supporting or is part of the insurgency”.[22]

This is clearly the case in Afghanistan, as they want to find Taliban members. Examples of these methods have been mentioned previously in the criticisms as communities are being catalogued by taking pictures and fingerprints etc. This is not a merely observing anthropological study. As mentioned earlier under ‘what they do’ Glevum has managed to gain information on where the strongest support for the Taliban is, the question is how did they gain this information? Would the Military have been able to gain this information by themselves? And if the answer is no, then the question becomes why not? What methods are Glevum using to gain this information?

Bickford also raises a deeply worrying issue about this type of Anthropology being used as a predictive tool, not only does it gain information but it allows organisations such as the military, to be able to predict how people will react in certain situations or the best way to manipulate specific communities as they understand their motivations.. Also a consideration is that if the Military know where the most support is for the Taliban then it is logical to suggest that they will then concentrate their efforts of interrogation and occupancy within these areas to discover members, plans and locations of those involved.

Perhaps one of the strongest critiques of these methods of social research is that those conducting studies have no accountability once this information is handed over, they no say over how the information is used. This means they also have no accountability over any events which transpire as a result of this information.[23]

Criticism also stems from the fact that anthropologists regard working with an organisation such as the Human Terrain system as unethical. They cite the possibility of their research subjects being exposed to danger as a result of this interaction as a reason for their position on the matter. It has been put forward that these initiatives are an attempt to use anthropological studies as a weapon in war and conflict. This is contradictory to what many anthropologists believe their line of work to stand for.[24]

R. J. Gonzalez (2007) put forward in his analysis of the incorporation of anthropologists into the field of war that their lives and those of their families and informants are being put at risk. In his article he asks the question, what is to stop the progression towards mercenary anthropology? This is due to the fact that with overt cooperation with counterinsurgency and military regimes being in practice at present, there is the possibility of this leading to covert cooperation and eventually the knowledge gathered, analysed and archived by anthropologists being used as a weapon.[25]

In counterargument to the notion that anthropologists conducting their work in war zones are not putting their lives in jeopardy to the same extent as soldiers in the military, social scientist Paula Loyd was killed in Afghanistan in November of 2008.[26] Her death was the third death of a social scientist on the field in an eight month period. Michael Bhatia and Nicole Sueveges were killed in bombings earlier in 2008 in Afghanistan and Iraq respectively. It is noted that Bhatia himself was an anthropologist who fell under criticism from his colleagues for the nature of the work he undertook as a result of his association with the US army. [27] The death of Paula Loyd was also subject to further controversy when one of her colleagues, a Human Terrain contractor was charged with the murder of her assailant in a revenge killing. It was also observed that the murder was carried out with a weapon normally provided to soldiers specifically trained in hand-to-hand combat rather than those affiliated with the Human Terrain System and it has been questioned as to why the officer was in possession of such a weapon.

There is also an apparent lack of diversity within the Human Terrain System. Eighty claims relating to Equal Opportunity, Discrimination and Sexual Harassment are open within the initiative which is cited as being demonstrative of poor management. The lack of diversity is further highlighted by the fact that a redesign programme being implemented and run from Fort Polk in Louisiana is being attended by only five members of the program, all of whom are white males.[28] The lack of diversity presents further conflict for social scientists to deal with due to the fact social science is concerned with examining society, often with the interest of making improvements. Working in an organisation run in such a manner which does not put a great emphasis on diversity and equal opportunities may put many social scientists at odds with their own beliefs and code of ethics.

The idea that the initiative is poorly managed is supported by the discrepancies in the training and recruitment aspect of the program as a whole. Students training for the program have voiced their beliefs that there is inadequate training for future assignments and that there is an exceptionally high level of stress associated with the organisation which resulted in the self hospitalisation of one Human Terrain System principal.[29]

Much of the criticism of the managerial aspect of the Human Terrain System is directed specifically towards Jeff Bowden, the Human Terrain System’s director and overseer of training. He has been described as lacking control of the initiative and dismissive to complaints and criticism to the point of discriminating against staff that should put a critical viewpoint forward. He has also been reported to put pressure on those working within the program to pledge their allegiance to him and formally criticise others who work or have worked within the company who take exception to the style in which Bowden runs it.[30]


"Glevum USA Website"


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