In this podcast, via the Modern War Institute (MWI), Dr Russell Glenn discusses the challenges of the urban battlefield and how the US military should be preparing for future operations in this terrain. Dr Glenn’s advice is also relevant to the Australian Army as we continue to develop our skills operating in this complex environment.
Dr Glenn begins by explaining the difference between the terms urban area, dense urban terrain, and mega cities, and describes the characteristics of each. He then discusses the key feature of the urban environment: density. This includes population, avenues of approach, mobility corridors and communications options.
Dr Glenn discusses how history can assist us in understanding urban operations. This includes urban fighting during WWII, where he highlights the tactical lessons learnt including: operating amongst civilians, selection of ammunition (for reduction of collateral damage) and manoeuvring within buildings.
Dr Glenn also considers the complexities that operating amongst civilians within the urban environment presents. He stresses that further study needs to occur in order to understand the operational and strategic effects of modern urban operations and to fully appreciate the second and third order effects of tactical decisions made within the urban environment.
This podcast is a great resource to spark discussion or as a primer for QDE activities. It is no suprise that MWI have highlighted this as one of their favourite podcasts.