Small Wars Journal

urban environment

Baghdad's Green Zone, a Barometer of War and Peace

Baghdad's Green Zone, a Barometer of War and Peace by Bassem Mroue – Associated Press

BAGHDAD — Baghdad's Green Zone has been a barometer for tension and conflict in Iraq for nearly two decades.

The 4-square mile (10-square kilometer) heavily guarded strip on the banks of the Tigris River was known as "Little America" following the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. It then became a hated symbol of the country's inequality, fueling the perception among Iraqis that their government is out of touch.

The sealed-off area, with its palm trees and monuments, is home to the gigantic U.S. Embassy in Iraq, one of the largest diplomatic missions in the world. It has also been home to successive Iraqi governments and is off limits to most Iraqis.

Various attempts and promises by the Iraqi government to open the area to traffic over the past years have failed to materialize, because of persistent security concerns.

Here's a look at the Green Zone, past and present...

Continue on for the full AP Baghdad overview.

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…

Read on.

New SWJ Book - Blood and Concrete: 21st Century Conflict in Urban Centers and Megacities

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.

About the Author(s)

The Challenge of Africa’s Cities

Africa’s cities are an assault on the senses. They are filled with a flow of human activity that can appear equal parts vibrant and dystopian. One need only transit Lagos’s Third Mainland Bridge or Kinshasa’s Boulevard Lumumba to get a sense of this frenetic pace and the complex ecosystem of social and economic interaction that allows African urban dwellers to survive and even thrive.

About the Author(s)

Bridging Abysses: Arizona State University’s Road Map for Developing a Dense Urban Area Studies/Megacities Center of Excellence

As of 2018, over half the world now lives in Dense Urban Areas (DUAs). DUAs are exactly what the label suggests; areas of high human population density that may or may not achieve megacity levels but share urban morphology characteristics such as GDP levels per capita, rate of demographic growth, and historical origins.

About the Author(s)