Thursday, March 16, 2017

If a City is the Battlefield

I dismissed the idea of creating a class of Army units geared for urban warfare in megacities. I prefer good soldiers in general purpose brigades even though I recognize the need for that urban combat skill set if needed. The author of that proposal discusses the organization for his proposed unit.

I will say, the author makes sense in this article. I will concede that a special unit would be useful to test concepts of operating in a city.

Since the author admits that this would be the spearhead  unit rather than the first of many, he clearly understands that the Army can't have enough of these units to do the job. Other general purpose units must be capable of learning and adapting for urban warfare on a large scale.

So let me concede this much: a test unit outside of our force pool would be useful to try out weapons, organization, and tactics.

But I would still rather have officers educated in this mission, with weapons stockpiled, and portions of our engineer units including urban operations skills in their core training in order to help general purpose Army (or Marine) units committed to urban combat.

One thing I wonder about is the author's view that Stryker and Bradley Fighting Vehicles would be sufficient for urban warfare in the brigade organization he outlines.

While these vehicles worked against irregulars and light infantry in Iraq, I have deep reservations about relying on those vehicles---especially the Strykers--for urban combat against a conventional enemy force with far better levels of support from heavy weaponry.

Perhaps we should adapt Israeli practice and make Abrams Fighting Vehicles to provide better protection in an urban environment.

And virtual infantry, of course.