Small Wars Journal

Preparing to Fight and Win Underground

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 9:51am

Preparing to Fight and Win Underground by Walker Mills - Modern War Institute

… The Marine Corps has no clear or developed doctrine or training for dealing with underground facilities. The Army published its first doctrinal publication related to subterranean warfare in November 2017, Small Unit Training in Subterranean Environments. But one of the best descriptions of subterranean warfare comes from the world of fiction—the hypothetical scenario in Max Brooks’s World War Z, a novel set in a future where small paramilitary units are fighting a zombie infestation in the catacombs beneath Paris. The US Army Asymmetric Warfare Group has produced two good handbooks—the Subterranean Warfare Handbook and the Subterranean Operations Handbook—which start to address subterranean warfare, but both fall short of establishing either a subterranean doctrine or comprehensive set of tactics, techniques, and procedures. Aside from these publications, there are also a scattering of theses and dissertations from military researchers and case studies of underground warfare. Taken as a whole, though, the sum of work the military has put into studying subterranean warfare pales in comparison to what is needed. We, as a Marine Corps, need to develop doctrine and a method for fighting underground and train our Marines to win in subterranean warfare….

Read on.