Temporary stand alone for maximum visibility. Well-done article on Urban Warfare and 'things not to do'.

For those with WSJ access,


WASHINGTON—American military units that participated in the decisive battle for Mosul against Islamic State militants were hampered by difficulties in sharing imagery and sometimes had different understandings of what was happening on the battlefield, according to a new U.S. Army study of the operation.

That conclusion is part of a broader military assessment that raises concerns about the military’s response to Islamic State’s drone threat, the use of private contractors, the Army’s training for urban warfare and how American forces communicated with Mosul’s trapped residents.
Some of the salient points.

But the report, which focused more on battlefield tactics than the development of the overall strategy, identified significant deficiencies as well. The Army, it noted, was slow to respond to the threat posed by Islamic State’s drones. “The U.S. Army lacks a comprehensive approach to urgent, emerging battlefield challenges,” the report state.

Another potential vulnerability was the Army’s reliance on contractors, the report notes. Private contractors have played an important role in logistical support, but they have generally operated in rear areas. The study questioned whether it is too risky to use them to service teams of military advisors on a dangerous battlefield.

“The U.S. Army needs to reconsider the risks associated with continued use of contractors in expeditionary warfare,” the report states.

The Army’s standard training for urban warfare, the report added, didn’t adequately replicate the difficulty in maneuvering through Mosul’s narrow streets against a dug-in and well armed enemy. “Urban training scenarios are too limited and sterile to replicate conditions such as those experienced in Mosul,” it states.

The intense fighting inside Mosul also posed a challenge for medical care. It was difficult for Medevac helicopters to land safely in the city and the rubbled streets sometimes made it hard to transport the wounded by vehicle. As a result, surgical hospitals may need to be closer to the front lines.