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Video: MWI’s John Spencer on Urban Warfare via the Modern War Institute

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In this video titled ‘Urban Warfare: The Future is Here’ via the Modern War Institute, Major John Spencer (US Army) gives a talk on urban warfare at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

John starts by discussing the increase of global urbanisation, where more and more people are moving to cities (180,000 per day), and the impact of this unprecedented growth, including overstressed infrastructure and increasing violence, including political violence (insurgency, terrorism, revolutions).

John discusses the capabilities required for training in urban operations, offering that there is currently no capability in the US designed for the urban environment, only adaptations to existing capabilities.

John offers three recommendations to improve training for urban operations:

  1. ‘Come out of the woods’. Train in a realistic urban training environment, replicating the complexities unique to urban operations.
  2. Study the past.
  3. ‘Urban lens’ – A need for experts in urban operations.

This video provides the viewer with an understanding of the many complex challenges posed to militaries operating in urban terrain, both now and in the future, and how armies can pre-emptively adapt to ensure they are better are operating in urban environments.


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