Small Wars Journal

urban operations

Army’s ‘Google Earth on Steroids’ to Include Inside of Buildings

Army’s ‘Google Earth on Steroids’ to Include Inside of Buildings by Stew Magnuson - National Defense Magazine

The Army’s ambitious plan to re-create the world in fine resolution for its new training and simulation program will include the inside of buildings, a researcher working on the program said May 15.

The Synthetic Training Environment intends to train all warfighting functions as well as the human dimensions of warfare, which include interacting with locals. It will be flexible, support repetition and be available at the point of need, according to the Army. Current training and simulation systems are not interoperable, affordable or realistic enough, the Army has said. To get at the latter problem, the service wants to create One World Terrain software to duplicate complex environments including large cities.

Terrain capture and reconstruction will allow soldiers to further gather information and make more detailed simulations of their environments, said Jason Knowles, director of geospatial science and technology at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technology, an Army affiliated research center. The institute is part of a cross-functional team working on the One World Terrain project…

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SWJED Sun, 05/19/2019 - 11:07am
4 New Weapons for Urban Combat: Part 2 of 2 SWJED Fri, 04/05/2019 - 7:10am
In part 1 two new weapons platforms were suggested as a way to incorporate drones into traditional weapons platforms. In this article, I look at four platforms which can be developed using existing technology in order to prepare America’s Army for urban combat.

Philippine Forces Cleared this City of Islamist Militants in 2017. It’s Still a Ghost Town.

Philippine Forces Cleared this City of Islamist Militants in 2017. It’s Still a Ghost Town. Story by Shibani Mahtani and Regine Cabato, Photos by Hannah Reyes Morales, Video by Jason Aldag – Washington Post

At the edge of a bridge leading into the heart of the devastation from a 2017 siege against Islamic State-linked militants, an electric-blue billboard stands apart from the ruins.

“Marawi will rise again! Soon . . .” it proudly declares in rainbow-colored letters.

 

So far, it sounds like an empty promise.

 

More than a year since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared the city liberated, Marawi looks almost as it did when the bombs and bullets stopped flying in October 2017, following five months of urban combat.

 

Not a single new structure has been built. Almost none of the debris has been cleared. Snakes and mosquitoes infest the bright-green canopy of weeds engulfing the ruins. The odd stray dog has taken refuge inside battle-ravaged buildings.

 

About 100,000 people displaced from the Marawi violence are unable to return home, living with relatives or in camps across the southern island of Mindanao. This predominantly Muslim region has seen clashes for decades between Philippine security forces and various groups of insurgents and militants, including the Abu Sayyaf.

 

Marawi, however, stands apart…

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New SWJ Book - Blood and Concrete: 21st Century Conflict in Urban Centers and Megacities SWJED Mon, 01/14/2019 - 3:35pm
Just released - "Blood and Concrete: 21st Century Conflict in Urban Centers and Megacities" provides a foundation for understanding urban operations and sustaining urban warfare research. This "Small Wars Journal" (SWJ) Anthology documents over a decade of writings on urban conflict.
“Fragile” Cities: What We are Getting Wrong and Why it is Important to Get it Right SWJED Mon, 11/05/2018 - 12:50am
To map potential scenarios resulting from risks associated with contemporary challenges, we need to consider alternative explanations to scarcity-induced contention and dystopic visions of conflict in cities.

SWJ Book Review – “Underground Warfare”

Tunnel warfare is now becoming a contemporary concern as seen in its use by AQIM (al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb) in Mali, and by Hamas for smuggling, terrorism, and increasingly as a means of urban warfare in Gaza, Syria, and Iraq. Among other things, underground warfare is likely to merge with urban operations and proliferate in the megacity battles of tomorrow. Richemond-Barak does an excellent job of building a foundation for addressing these tactical, operational, and strategic challenges.

About the Author(s)

Surrounded, Yet Unaware: Achieving Isolation in Future Urban Terrain

This article identifies future complications in achieving physical and psychological isolation, which both historically and doctrinally are so essential to successfully achieving military objectives in urban terrain. Furthermore, this article outlines tactical leader application of a new urban operational framework to understand and achieve both physical and psychological isolation in this future environment.

About the Author(s)

A Flexible Data-Centric Approach for Modeling and Analyzing Hyper Connected Megacities SWJED Fri, 07/14/2017 - 6:27am

TRADOC Mad Scientist Project: Megacities - or more generally Dense Urban Areas - will emerge at the epicenter of future events necessitating military intervention.