There is no equivalent scholarly research on this subject in the civil sphere and we suspect, based on our research, that there is none in military circles either.12. When looking for an example of how political equivocality and strategic lassitude can exert a baleful influence on tactics in urban operations, it is hard to beat what took place on the morning of Oct. 23, 1983: A truck packed with 12,000 pounds of TNT was driven by a Shiite commando into the headquarters of the 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit in Beirut, where it exploded, killing 241 Americans almost instantaneously. More importantly, the next high-intensity urban fight will probably be the first one where combatants on both sides will wear highly effective, modern body armor. Notably, technological advances in the form of precision-fire weapons supported by unmanned aerial vehicles reduce the requirement for conventional artillery, even if they do not replace them altogether. Likewise, the effect on financial markets was a powerful factor driving political and military decision-making. Despite Goering’s bombast, there is a kernel of truth to what he said: Stalingrad was undeniably stupendous and practically incomparable. Arguably, no army knows this as well as Israel’s. This makes them wont to devote more resources to them than their strategic value merits. The strength of its grasp on the military mind and the defense policy establishment, however, is not. Neither is any Western army up to such a task without an extraordinary concentration of effort that is politically implausible and therefore strategically tenuous. While continuing to practice their current tactics for low-intensity conflict, military units should also start thinking about how they will fight against an enemy like Russia, China or North Korea. The reason the words “urban guerilla” cannot yet be replaced with “British soldier” in Marighella’s quote is the misalignment of policy with strategic realities and tactical common sense. Problems of logistics, as always, feature prominently. A large quantity of arms and ammunition was also seized from abandoned and surrendered Spanish armories. Mogadishu. And is it actually achievable by military force, whatever its size? In fact, it only compounded the tragedy. 9. 91 Clausewitz was not the first to repeat this sentiment, but his formulation of it is especially adroitly put, “the mistakes that come from kindness are the very worst.” See, Clausewitz, On War, 84. One of the main conclusions of important scholars like Hills is that, although tactics of urban warfare have changed little, the strategic context has evolved considerably as a result of globalization, demography, and urbanization. 68 American colleagues, including Col. Douglas Winter, chair of the Department of Military Strategy, Planning, and Operations U.S. Army War College at the Changing Character of Warfare conference, Oxford University, June 27, 2019, and Maj. It is wrong, however, to place the blame for the confusion one sees in contemporary counter-insurgency theory and practice on the peculiarities of the urban environment. That this battle involved swords and clubs rather than M-4s and AK-47s matters little — just replace “archers” and “arrows” with “close combat attack” and “armed aviation” and the scene has an obvious contemporary resonance. One can see this, for example, in the memoirs of Vladimir Peniakoff, one of the most colorful officers of British military history, who was commander of “Popski’s Private Army” — a legendary desert reconnaissance and raiding force in North Africa. 85 Sean Kimmons, “Army Combat Fitness Test Set to Become New PT Test of Record in Late 2020,” Army News Service, July 9, 2018, https://www.army.mil/article/208189/army_combat_fitness_test_set_to_become_new_pt_test_of_record_in_late_2020. 4 (1996): 25, https://doi.org/10.1080/03071849608446045. 2, trans. Military operations invariably have an impact on the urban landscape — even small arms can be devastating to structures — and there is no straightforward, correct answer to whether and to what extent it is acceptable to damage a city in pursuit of a political objective. Both the American and British armed forces, among others, have shifted the emphasis of physical training away from the high endurance forced march toward developing all around stronger soldiers who are trained in the sort of repeated anaerobic bursts of activity typically required in urban operations, like hauling themselves, their equipment, and perhaps wounded comrades, over walls and through windows.85 Still, more could be done. Britain has a degree of access to CENZUB in accordance with the 2010 Lancaster House Treaty on defense and security cooperation between the two countries, which could offset the relatively low quality of its own facilities. Urban Warfare. I have by no means neglected urban warfare, or maneuvering on small cramped maps however. 55 The historiography of the Jaffa battle is complex and contested. These examples serve as an important reminder to practitioners of the centuries of military and strategic wisdom accrued by their predecessors who faced similar dilemmas — and sometimes even solved them. Even in the Libyan deserts, on the tracts of the desolate Sahara, a military commander is still operating amid a civilian population that may exert a direct impact on his operations. He is now working on a new book entitled Walled Worlds, which explores the contemporary resurgence of fortification strategies. 31 For a discussion of the merits of the traitorous appellation of Flavius, see William den Hollander, “Was Josephus a ‘Jewish Benedict Arnold?’” Mosaic, Nov. 14, 2014, https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/uncategorized/2014/11/was-josephus-a-jewish-benedict-arnold/?print. In a March 2017 NATO urban warfare game, for instance, the teams played with 39 different hypothetical and actual technologies. The reference to interpretation and reinterpretation of space shows the influence of postmodern and post-structuralist theory, which was popular in Israeli military thinking at the time. 4 Krulak writes in his article that “we” will be drawn into such wars, referring to the United States Marine Corps. (Imagine, for example, a raid on Radio Mille Collines, effectively the command-and-control system of the massacre of the Rwandan Tutsis.) It adapts. What the above illustrates is that changes in civilian technologies — including robotics and microelectronics, miniaturization of batteries, and communications — enabled a nonstate actor, the Islamic State, to acquire one of the primary advantages of airpower (i.e., aerial reconnaissance) at a fraction of the cost of an air force. Robert Traill (London: Houlston and Stoneman, 1851), 143. 72 See, “Preparing for More Urban Warfare,” Economist, Jan. 25, 2018. He has written about counter-insurgency, combat, and the entwined Darwinian relationship between adversaries. Urban terrain poses a number of challenges for combat operations. Defenders may have the advantage of detailed local knowledge of the area, right down to the layout inside of buildings and means of travel not shown on maps. As for what is the “right” environment, based on our interviews it comes down to three factors: authenticity, scale, and recoverability of lessons. If this represents a change, then it is one of degree not of fundamentals and is manageable with the right mindset — one that is sensitive to both opportunities and threats — and with bold and creative leadership. All of this will take place under the unblinking stare of the camera, bringing the local to the global stage and the global to the local stage. 65 William F. Owen, “Killing Your Way to Control,” British Army Review, no. Why not the city? They, too, stood to the last.49. Moreover, the tactics of the Jewish rebels differed little from those of, say, Islamic State insurgents in the months-long battle for Mosul in Iraq. In fact, Popham had acted independently on his own judgment as a commander, having convinced himself that the people of the region were “groaning under the tyranny” of Spain and eager for liberation. and ground line communications. That this battle involved swords and clubs rather than M-4s and AK-47s matters little — just replace “archers” and “arrows” with “close combat attack” and “armed aviation” and the scene has an obvious contemporary resonance. Sun Tzu advised fighting in cities only if “absolutely necessary, as a last resort.”16 For 2,500 years, generals have happily agreed with the strategic wisdom of this maxim, whether or not they have read ancient Chinese military philosophy. Instead, lack of will has tended to be more typical of urban battles in recent years. Many of the challenges of urban warfare are not new; nor, unfortunately, are the options soldiers have to confront these challenges. More recent examples similarly suggest that the assumption of the high demands of manpower in urban operations is exaggerated. Learning the hard lessons that a tenacious adversary can teach and armed conflict serves to cement is part of war.50 For example, one might contrast the battles of Caen and Groningen, the former in June 1944 and the latter in April 1945. These war-ravaged cities are but a few examples of a growing trend in global conflict, where more and more of the world’s most violent conflicts are being fought in densely populated urban areas, at a tremendously high cost to the civilians living there. Though the density of habitation may change, war remains a human endeavor that takes place among people.42 When it comes to warfare on land, there is no unpeopled place where combat can occur without reference to noncombatants, as though in a gladiatorial ring where bloodied fighters are clearly sequestered from the onlookers.43. 5. Beyond being an efficient method of killing the enemy, this approach could allow the attacking force to gain geographically distinct, localized control in a short timeframe. As a case in point, Britain embarked more or less enthusiastically on the Iraq War, with Parliament voting 412 in favor and 149 against in 2003.23 However, by August 2013, the Cameron government’s proposal to join American-led air strikes in Syria was defeated narrowly by a vote of 285 to 272. This stems, it is argued, from the size and geographical and architectural complexity of the environment. It quickly learns to keep infantry off narrow streets that are easily raked by fire from entrenched positions, and to move forward by “mouseholing,” using the outer walls and roofs of buildings as natural cover under which to approach enemy positions and blow them up. 13 Carl Von Clausewitz, On War, ed. The current doctrine of strict control measures and positive control is no longer entirely fit for purpose, fixed as it is in the ground-holding concepts of land warfare. Sounds fantastic in theory. The Jews, constantly increasing in numbers, and possessing many advantages in their knowledge of the streets, wounded many of the enemy, and drove them before them by repeated charges; while the Romans continued to resist mainly from sheer necessity, as they could not escape in mass owing to the narrowness of the breach; and had not Titus brought up fresh succours, all who had entered would probably have been cut down. Pistol. The report concludes that camouflage and deception can be tactically significant in urban warfare provided that effective materials are provided … 77 Interview with former senior Russian Ministry of Defence official, Moscow, Oct. 6, 2017. In a sense, this training has an element of “free play” in that while scripted in a way, the CENZUB staff creates conditions for free thinking on both sides.71. 81 David E. Johnson, M. Wade Markel, and Brian Shannon, The 2008 Battle of Sadr City: Reimagining Urban Combat (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2013), 108, https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR160.html. 99 Urban Warfare Study Day at British Army, Land Warfare Centre, Warminster, July 10, 2018. Second, in April 1945, elements of the 2nd Canadian Division defeated a German force of equal size that was trying to hold on to the Dutch city of Groningen. Second, cities are imbued with a symbolic resonance that makes them dangerous objectives for politicians. But tactical and operational victories are made up of small-team successes. The whole facility is controlled through a central monitoring station that can track and record all elements of large units through exercises for after-action review.72. Modern military doctrine for CQB and Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) traces its origin to hostage rescue tactics. 5. The defending force can only determine the tactics of the attacking force so long as the attacker does not put the defender under cognitive as well as physical pressure. These injunctions would, we believe, result in operations more truly in line with the maneuvrist approach that is now frequently invoked but is not actively practiced. The bulk of this section is based on extended visits to a range of such facilities in several countries, as well as interviews with training staff to identify the central problems and best practices. Gaza. Unfortunately, by the time that these treasures had arrived in Britain and reinforcements had been dispatched, events had already turned decidedly for the worse. One of the major problems with using Stalingrad as a benchmark is that it was extremely unusual in the strength of its political symbolism. The characteristics of an average city include tall buildings, narrow alleys, sewage tunnels and possibly a subway system. He is currently studying for an MBA at Warwick Business School and next year will be establishing and then commanding a new battalion of Gurkha Specialized Infantry. Additionally, they want this information in a form that they can, quite literally, walk through with their subordinate commanders during the planning phase of an operation — and for all of this to happen more swiftly and accurately than for the opponent. It consists of around 6oo different buildings, including five mosques, a casbah, a clinic, a town hall, and an eight-story apartment building. A point remarked upon by the post-2006 Lebanon War report on the perceived Israeli failings there. In the urban context, a main benefit of a high-tempo maneuver operation over a methodical firepower-driven one is that the former deprives the defenders of the time to fortify, particularly by employing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which have proven a difficult challenge for attacking forces, as well as a serious impediment to post-war rebuilding efforts. You have to favor to in this announce The Literature Network: This site is organized alphabetically by author. Peniakoff would have asked for the same thing, as would have Wellington, or Marlborough, or any of the great captains of history all the way back to Alexander the Great. Spencer was a company commander in the Sadr City battle and also served in Iraq in 2015–16 as an adviser on barrier systems. In practice, technology is too often an impediment when it is employed to reinforce a top-down, positive-control oriented command model that squelches small unit initiative. Methodologies of strict cause and effect in complex problems of warfare, urban or otherwise, ought to be distrusted. 1 (Winter 2018): 18–22. Aleppo. Then what? In some ways, the urban environment is a rewarding one in which to fight because those best prepared to leverage the neutral environmental factors can use them to magnify their comparative strengths. The better trained and better equipped soldier should be comfortable in the chaos of the city — or at any rate as comfortable as he or she would be in any other environment. Does the training area look — and ideally feel, sound, and smell — like the real thing? This would be a major impediment to anyone contemplating fighting in a city, and is a clear case of Stalingrad-itis. This, essentially, is the essence of the aforementioned “strategic corporal” effect. Currently it is based upon extant military doctrine — and, presumably, on the private advice of generals to policymakers — which says that urban conflict requires an approach that is reliant upon massive firepower and overwhelming manpower. Finally, the dependence of some adversaries on one or more urban areas for their own sustainment — logistics, popular support, and so on — are potential centers of gravity that can be attacked. Urban warfare is combat conducted in urban areas such as towns and cities. This would, of course, require enough soldiers to achieve multiple, simultaneous actions and in so doing create a situation complex enough to overwhelm the enemy’s ability to comprehend it. The key feature of this facility is meant to be its relatively large and impressively realistic civilian population. Some potential solutions are already emerging in military engineering conferences and in the marketing brochures of firms selling defensive barriers and counter-mobility systems, the latter very often focused on changes to urban infrastructure for domestic counter-terrorism purposes.96 One of these firms, Kenno, a Finnish manufacturer of laser-welded, steel-sandwich components, has, with the Finnish army, developed what is essentially a surface-mounted, reusable, modular fortress that can be assembled without specialist tools by a small team in a few hours.97. For starters, it produces less actual — as opposed to perceived — risk to the soldier because a fractured and retreating enemy is less able to coordinate resistance than one that is continually given time and space in which to reorganize and to evolve new tactics.103 It also reduces the demand for indirect (i.e., non-precision) fire. In this approach, the commander would have to effectively wash his hands of the ability to affect the outcome once the soldier has made contact with the enemy. More Jews died of the starvation brought on by the zealots than were killed by the Romans in the collective punishment that followed the defeat of the revolt. The underpinning logic of this doctrine is twofold. Whether this orthodoxy is correct is debatable. Yet, civilians may be evacuated, limiting their exposure to harm, and it is sometimes possible to fight in a way that mitigates collateral damage, even when civilians are present throughout the battle. In The Jungle is Neutral, the classic account of three years of behind-the-lines jungle fighting against the Japanese in Malaya during World War II, the British soldier F. Spencer Chapman attributed his success to the principle that the environment is intrinsically neither good nor bad but neutral. Then the exercise is run again. “Baladia” camp, Tze’elim Israeli Defense Forces training area, Oct. 21, 2015. Fourth, fighting in cities consumes far more troops than planners usually imagine while the urban environment diminishes the advantages of superior conventional weaponry, mobility, and training.37 Beevor concludes that “there is something pitiless about urban warfare.” All of these lessons, including particularly the last one, are surely true of Stalingrad, and, in one form or another, one finds them repeated in British, American, and NATO doctrine.38 The trouble is, however, that none of these lessons are generalizable, and thus it can be misleading when they are treated as such. 73 The base can be seen in this report by Gunnar Breske: ‘Häuserkampf in Schnöggersburg- Bundeswehr baut Geisterstadt,” Tagesthemen, ARD television, Oct. 2, 2015, in German but with English subtitles, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDzUWFrbmMI. 76 J. Hawk, Daniel Deiss, and Edwin Watson, “Russia Defense Report: Fighting the Next War,” South Front, March 19, 2016, https://southfront.org/russia-defense-report-fighting-the-next-war/. See, Winograd Commission: The Commission to Investigate the Events of the 2006 Lebanon Campaign, State of Israel, January 2008 [in Hebrew]. “The battle always goes to the quickest,” was how the famous German general, Erwin Rommel, once put it.78 Yet, whereas most Western armies have plenty of big spaces with varied natural terrain in which to experiment and practice how to do these things, the same is not true with regard to urban environments. 90 “China Is Trying to Turn Itself Into a Country of 19 Super-Regions,” Economist, June 23, 2018, https://www.economist.com/china/2018/06/23/china-is-trying-to-turn-itself-into-a-country-of-19-super-regions?frsc=dg%7Ce. The Future of Urban Warfare Margarita Konaev 11 militaries into urban areas.6 Another important aspect of urban warfare, both ancient and modern, is the significant amount of manpower, resources, and time it demands, as well as the high costs it exudes. This is why,a few years ago, I decided to start studying urban warfare. The history of warfare is littered with instances of urban fighting. There is little here that should offend or frighten modern commanders. We have a mighty epic of an incomparable struggle, the struggle of the Nibelungs. Pricing. Hugo Stanford-Tuck is a lieutenant colonel in the British Army’s Royal Gurkha Rifles, a light infantry regiment specializing in air assault and jungle operations. American and British environmental doctrine emphasizes the significant operational challenges that this environment presents.2 In truth, however, the urban setting is neutral. Trap your pursuers in an apartment complex or cul-de-sac. Contrary to what is often supposed, urban warfare is not more difficult than other types of warfare. It is, rather, that strategists today will be better able to deal with such challenges if they are clear-eyed about what is new and what is not, and what lessons can be generalized — so long as they do not sever themselves entirely from the experience and knowledge of the past. Beevor claims that the urban environment is intrinsically difficult. Does he or she experience minor pain or an inconvenience or simply a loss of pride from being defeated? However, except for a few one-off and ad hoc consultations with waterworks and sewage utilities, we came across no systematic engagement by regular forces with a range of urban specialists, whether licit or (as we would suggest that they also do) semi-licit or illicit ones. John Pimlott (London: Wrens Park, 2003), 133. those tactics deemed relevant to urban warfare: e.g.. aerial reconnaissance. British doctrine describes the near future of war alliteratively as congested, cluttered, connected, contested, and constrained.6 Likewise, the notable strategic thinker David Kilcullen goes for three related Cs: crowded, complex, and coastal.7. Can exercises be recorded and played back (as, for example, one might see in some video games), so that all commanders can learn from mistakes and successes, their own as well as others’? Interestingly, the simulation system at Mulino was originally supposed to be provided by Rheinmetall, presumably a variant of the Legatus system, under a €100 million contract from which the Germans withdrew after the imposition of sanctions in 2014. See also Eyal Weizman, “Walking Through Walls: Soldiers as Architects in the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict,” Lecture at the Arxipelago of Exception conference, Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, Nov. 11, 2005. Initiative especially is an indispensable quality. Urban warfare is very different from conventional combat in the open. Beginning with the British 22nd Special Air Service Regiment (SAS), counterterrorist units became the experts in room clearing and CQB. Good militaries increase in competence as they fight. To say that this is difficult would be an understatement, as the last 18 years have shown. It was not a strategically planned gambit. There are so many examples to the contrary that, at best, it might be said that this is sometimes the case. The challenges faced by the British Army in Basra in 2005 were not all that different from those that it faced in Buenos Aires 200 years earlier. Control measures are essential, but they need to be simple, robust, and as unrestrictive as possible. Likewise, to say that present-day strategists exaggerate how much they are affected by the connectedness, complexity, and sheer riskiness of the world relative to their forebears is not to say that they do not face challenges. Duration. chap. There was a media dimension as well: first, in the enthusiastic celebration of Popham — who was acutely conscious of his celebrity — and second, in the public pillorying of Whitelocke. How then to give Western forces the ability to operate confidently in cities, and to innovate and develop new methods that maintain and extend the gap in competence between them and their likely opponents? 6 Strategic Trends Programme: Future Operating Environment 2035, U.K. Urban warfare tactics Urban warfare is fought within the constraints of the urban terrain. 53 Weizman, Hollow Land. Here, we suggest a rather prosaic, albeit fundamental, reform: the substantial upgrading of training protocols, urban warfare facilities, and tactical training systems to allow armed forces to better familiarize themselves with urban warfare, and to practice and experiment in convincing settings that can accommodate large combined-arms teams. Or wait for instructions Publications, 2000 ), 143 3 ( 2019. 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