Due to space constraints, only the
executive summary for this article was published in the
July 2005 volume of the
SWJ Magazine. The full
article is provided here.
The Role of Simulations
and the Urban Resolve Experiment
Editor’s Note (from SWJ Magazine).
Dr. Wielhouwer’s excellent article is posted
in its full length on our website.
It includes a concise discussion of the “urbanization trend” of future
war, and reports thoroughly on the Joint Urban Operations concept and
the direction of JFCOM’s Urban Resolve. As Dr. Wielhouwer states, “we
have seen the future war, and it is urban.” Please read his complete
article on our site for valuable insights into the future Joint
Operations in urban areas have long perplexed
military planners, and military analyses predict extensive urban
operations for the foreseeable future. Even analyses of the recent urban
operations in Iraq recommend significant revision of future training
efforts for the conduct of urban operations, emphasizing the need for
improved modeling and simulation of urban terrain. While the historic
approach has generally been to avoid cities or wage massive campaigns of
attrition, it is clear that urban areas can not be avoided and that
modern sensibilities chafe at widespread collateral damage.
This paper discusses recent developments in the
area of joint urban operations concept development and experimentation,
arguing that initiatives under way at U.S. Joint Forces Command have
great potential for improving preparation for urban conflict. The paper
first discusses the context for new thinking and doctrine on joint urban
operations, including analysis of recent data on patterns of global
urbanization and U.S. troop deployment and responses. The strategies
being used for assessing urban operations concepts are presented,
including preliminary detailed results from the ongoing Urban Resolve
experiment and its application of cutting-edge modeling and simulation
Briefly, Urban Resolve’s breakthrough
first phase, completed in October, 2004, convinced senior leaders that
its experimental approach and tools could be applied across a wider
range of venues to assist the Defense Department with current ‘real
world’ problems. Urban Resolve has thus been expanded to assess
nascent urban capabilities and to immediately address current
challenges, such as the unconventional use of mortars in Iraqi cities.
Urban Resolve and its associated modeling and simulation
capabilities are thus important support elements in the current approach
to training and preparing U.S. forces for joint urban operations.
Download the full article.
Dr. Peter Wielhouwer is in the Command and
Operations Group for JFCOM / J9 with General Dynamics Advanced