UN: Growth of slums boosting natural disaster risk

At least 900 million people now live in shantytowns and other makeshift settlements in cities vulnerable to disasters such as cyclones, flooding or earthquakes, the report said. Those populations are growing at a rate of about 25 million a year, it said.
India, China and other parts of Asia were at a particularly high risk from so-called "megadisasters" such as last year's Cyclone Nargis, which killed an estimated 140,000 people in Myanmar, and the massive quake in China that claimed nearly 90,000 lives and left 5 million people homeless.
More from the UN: http://www.un.org/esa/population/pub...lights_web.pdf

The world urban population is expected nearly to double by 2050, increasing from 3.3 billion in 2007 to 6.4 billion in 2050. By mid-century the world urban population will likely be the same size as the world’s total population in 2004. Virtually all of the world’s population growth will be absorbed by the urban areas of the less developed regions, whose population is projected to increase from 2.4 billion in 2007 to 5.3 billion in 2050.The urban population of the more developed regions is projected to increase modestly, from 0.9 billion in 2007 to 1.1 billion in 2050.
The developing world continues to gain a growing share of the world's wealth, and generally that growth occurs disproportionately in major urban clusters, drawing in migrants from the countryside looking to get a share. Most developing countries seemed to have proved inept, or unable, to manage the large inflows of these folks, which produces that shantytowns and such.

So even if the US makes a decision to reduce its international commitments - and there isn't any indication that we ARE doing that - it seems that there will be more threats to our national interests from urban instability world-wide. Either directly (ie 'failed states) or as these areas exercise political strength (ie Hugo Chavez).

There are lots of implications, but specific to the military I'm curious what this means for future strategy, not just the traditional warfighting vs "armed social work" debate, but also urban combat vs jungles/mountains (more Iraqs - fewer Afghanistans).