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Old 03-06-2016   #141
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Default Bringing big data to operations in the Yemen

Readers will know I am skeptical about the value of big data in future operations in mega-cities, so it was interesting to read this civilian project's use of mobile phone data in the Yemen to assess the impact of he Arab Spring.

There is a podcast on I-Tunes, behind a registration "wall".

Backed by highlights in an article:http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/...i-cell-phones/

A fuller article is in Foreign Policy, behind a registration "wall":https://www.foreignaffairs.com/artic.../yemen-calling
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Old 03-11-2016   #142
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Default An Analytic Framework for Operations in Dense Urban Areas

An Analytic Framework for Operations in Dense Urban Areas

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Old 03-15-2016   #143
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Default Assessing Physiological Response to Toxic Industrial Chemical Exposure in Megacities

Assessing Physiological Response to Toxic Industrial Chemical Exposure in Megacities

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Old 04-05-2016   #144
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Default TED Talk: How Megacities Change the Map of the World

TED Talk: How Megacities Change the Map of the World

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Old 04-07-2016   #145
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"New".* DDilegge and I started talking about this in 1998 or 1996, IIRC.

Quote:
The nearly five-year civil war in Syria has exposed some of the difficulties that military forces have conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance against terrorists and insurgents in crowded urban environments. These challenges, while not insurmountable, will continue to plague even the most advanced military forces, including the United States, as migration out of rural areas and into cities continues unabated.

For the foreseeable future, deterring and countering near-peer adversaries such as Russia and China will undoubtedly remain at the forefront of American grand strategy. But in addition to meeting the challenges associated with traditional and well-known state-based threats, the U.S. military will be expected to combat an array of violent non-state actors — a blanket term that includes well-established groups like Islamic State, al Qaeda and the transnational criminal gang MS-13 but also countless other and less well-known militias, insurgent groups and terrorist organizations.
http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debat...in-megacities/

See also
http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ght=megacities

*
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Old 04-13-2016   #146
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Default ‘Mad Scientist’ Megacities and Dense Urban Areas Conference

‘Mad Scientist’ Megacities and Dense Urban Areas Conference

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Old 06-08-2016   #147
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Default City without Joy: a review of urban operations

Just discovered this 2007 Australian paper by Professor Michael Evans, of the Australian Defence College, which was reviewed on SWJ Blog in 2008 by General Jim Molan (SWJ Blog link now redundant).

Jim Molan's Foreword ends with:
Quote:
As this fine Occasional Paper demonstrates, fighting in cities is a tough proposition, but it is not an impossible task for modern armed forces. What is required above all else is preparation and forethought. Dr Evans’ comprehensive study represents a valuable and important analysis of an area of the military art that is likely to exercise our minds increasingly in coming years. This is a publication that deserves a wide readership and I commend it to fellow military professionals.
Link to article:http://www.defence.gov.au/adc/public...withoutjoy.pdf

Link to SWJ Blog:http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/city-without-joy

In the Spring 2015 Parameters Michael Evans responded to other authors on megacities, in 'The Case against Megacities':http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute...15%20v45n1.pdf

I expect the two articles are best read together.

Finally Professor Evans and I have been friends since 1985, when he was in Zimbabwe, with the ZDF.
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Old 10-08-2016   #148
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Quote:
Even as the Army continues to sharpen its core warfighting skills inside tightening, unpredictable budgets, the service also must look to the future to prepare for a quickly changing, increasingly volatile battlefield, the Army’s top general said.

“We prioritized the present, and we mortgaged the future,” said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. “Frankly, the biggest challenge is having a predictable, steady stream of money to work with industry, [science and technology], and research and development, to accelerate, advance and explore these opportunities and options for the future.”
Quote:
To start, the world is “rapidly urbanizing,” Milley said. Today, between 50 percent and 60 percent of the world’s population live in urban areas, he said. By 2050, Milley predicts that will jump to 80 percent to 90 percent.

“You’re seeing a massive growth right now, as we speak, of megacities,” Milley said. “Today, an example of a megacity is Seoul, South Korea, with 27 million people, that has urban sprawl essentially from the [demilitarized zone] all the way south of Seoul, and it is this massive urban belt and complex.”

The Army has been designed, manned, trained and equipped for the last 241 years to operate primarily in rural areas, Milley said.

“In the future, I can say with very high degrees of confidence, the American Army is probably going to be fighting in urban areas,” he said. “We need to man, organize, train and equip the force for operations in urban areas, highly dense urban areas, and that’s a different construct. We’re not organized like that right now.”
http://www.defensenews.com/articles/...-in-megacities
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Old 10-29-2016   #149
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Quote:
The year is 2030. Forget about the flying cars, robot maids, and moving sidewalks we were promised. They’re not happening. But that doesn’t mean the future is a total unknown.
According to a startling Pentagon video obtained by The Intercept, the future of global cities will be an amalgam of the settings of “Escape from New York” and “Robocop” — with dashes of the “Warriors” and “Divergent” thrown in. It will be a world of Robert Kaplan-esque urban hellscapes — brutal and anarchic supercities filled with gangs of youth-gone-wild, a restive underclass, criminal syndicates, and bands of malicious hackers.
At least that’s the scenario outlined in “Megacities: Urban Future, the Emerging Complexity,” a five-minute video that has been used at the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations University. All that stands between the coming chaos and the good people of Lagos and Dhaka (or maybe even New York City) is the U.S. Army, according to the video, which The Intercept obtained via the Freedom of Information Act.
https://theintercept.com/2016/10/13/...iggest-cities/
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Old 10-30-2016   #150
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Default Attrition vs Exhaustion...

I don't get it (then again I don't get a lot of things) but I still don't see or, rather, cannot envisage, why a military would want to operate in cities. I can understand a domestic COIN / Law enforcement operation or counter-terrorism mission but seriously if you are an invading army why not just isolate a city and exhaust the offending inhabitants. No city can survive without a hinterland. Hell, if it worked for Caesar why not now? All I read and hear is a regurgitation of attritionist fetishes.
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Old 10-30-2016   #151
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Dr. Russell Glenn, Australian National University, presents, "Megacities: The Good; The Bad and the Ugly" during the 2016 Megacity Mad Scientist Conference at Arizona State University April 21-22, 2016


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgWm9BOVT3E
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Old 10-31-2016   #152
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Originally Posted by Windows97 View Post
I don't get it (then again I don't get a lot of things) but I still don't see or, rather, cannot envisage, why a military would want to operate in cities.
Because the enemy always gets a vote, particularly on where the game is played.
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Old 10-31-2016   #153
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Default Ugly places to fight in - not for everyone though

Windows 97,

Thanks and cited in part:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windows97 View Post
Dr. Russell Glenn, Australian National University, presents, "Megacities: The Good; The Bad and the Ugly"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgWm9BOVT3E
Having watched most of Dr Glenn's talk I do wonder if sufficient attention has been paid to relatively recent 'Third World' conflicts in large cities, I exclude the Soviet / Russian experience which has been looked at.

Two civil wars come to mind, one with significant external intervention and the second with IIRC with none. The fighting for years in Beirut, in the Syrian Civil War being the first; secondly the civil war in Congo Brazzaville:
Quote:
Congo's democratic progress was derailed in 1997 when Lissouba and Sassou started to fight for power in the civil war. As presidential elections scheduled for July 1997 approached, tensions between the Lissouba and Sassou camps mounted. On June 5, President Lissouba's government forces surrounded Sassou's compound in Brazzaville and Sassou ordered members of his private militia (known as "Cobras") to resist. Thus began a four-month conflict that destroyed or damaged much of Brazzaville and caused tens of thousands of civilian deaths.
Link:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_the_Congo

Yes mega-cities are 'talent magnets', surely they are also "poor people magnets"?

I expect anyone who ends up fighting in most 'Third World' cities will strive to reduce any uncontrolled electronic communications - if only to prevent global media reporting. No imagery, no news. Presumably some are watching what media lessons there are with the Syrian Civil War.
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Old 11-07-2016   #154
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CNN journalist discovers what it's like to be on the wrong side of a sophisticated MOUT ambush.
http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2016/...ped-isis-mosul
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Old 11-15-2016   #155
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How Russia Responds to Cities That Rebel The flattened city of Grozny in Chechnya evokes Aleppo’s siege today
Quote:
A trip to Grozny is an exercise in forgetting. This southern Russian city—the capital of the republic of Chechnya—was flattened in a government military offensive that began in late 1999. The aim was to return the breakaway, Muslim-majority region to Moscow’s control, and the block-by-block fight left no neighborhood untouched. U.N. monitors who arrived with humanitarian aid in late February 2000 described Grozny as a “devastated and still insecure wasteland,” where only about 21,000 civilians remained.
Today, Grozny is a thriving city of more than 283,000—and a flashy, Dubai-style showcase for Moscow’s ability to rebuild. Minutka Square, once the scene of a gruesome ambush, is now a big-box shopping center. The downtown, which had been leveled by artillery fire and Russian bombing, has been rebuilt with wide boulevards and a neon-lit center that features glass-and-steel skyscrapers and a glitzy high-rise hotel called Hotel Grozny City.
One man has presided over Grozny’s reconstruction: Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen president and trusted local strongman of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. Mr. Kadyrov remade Grozny and, in the process, created a cult of personality for himself. His image adorns billboards and posters in the city; a recent nightly news broadcast featured 21 straight minutes of footage of Mr. Kadyrov as he inspected security forces and held a meeting, plus a reading from his Instagram feed.
With the Russian military now poised to resume airstrikes on the Syrian city of Aleppo, Grozny also remains international shorthand for Russia’s destructive firepower and willingness to use scorched-earth tactics. As Secretary of State John Kerry said on Oct. 16, “There are still deep beliefs in a lot of people that Russia is simply pursuing a Grozny solution in Aleppo and is not prepared to truly engage in any way.”
http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-russ...bel-1478811150
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Old 11-18-2016   #156
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Quote:
As the operation to retake Mosul enters its second month on Thursday, Iraqi forces are preparing for prolonged, grueling urban combat.

They have slowed the tempo of their operations, advancing just a few hundred meters at a time. Iraqi forces have gathered troops many times the estimated 5,000 IS fighters in the city.
But hundreds of thousands of civilians still remain in the city. And the ferocity and magnitude of IS counterattacks and defenses in Mosul is unlike anything Iraqi forces have confronted in the fight against the militant group so far. As a result, overwhelming force can't bring swift victory, and the campaign is likely to take weeks
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/n...117-story.html
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Old 03-23-2017   #157
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Quote:
The Army's chief of staff said Tuesday that in about 10 years, the service must be ready to fight in megacities, a type of warfare that will require future units to resemble today's special operations forces.
Speaking at the Future of War Conference 2017 hosted by New America in Washington, D.C., Gen. Mark Milley said that the character of warfare will likely go through a fundamental shift over the next decade.
http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...ry.com+News%29
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #158
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Default RAND: Lessons from Israel's Wars in Gaza

This may have appeared elsewhere, so apologies if a duplicate. No time to open and read yet.

The introduction:
Quote:
For more than a decade now, Israel has clashed with Hamas in Gaza, in cycles of violence defined by periods of intense fighting followed by relative lulls. This report covers a five-year period of this conflict — from the end of Operation Cast Lead in 2009 to the end of Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Drawing on primary and secondary sources and an extensive set of interviews, it analyzes how an advanced military fought a determined, adaptive, hybrid adversary. It describes how the Israel Defense Force (IDF) operationally, organizationally, and technologically evolved to meet asymmetric threats. Most broadly, this report details the IDF's increasing challenge of striking a delicate balance between the intense international legal public scrutiny and the hard operational realities of modern urban warfare. In this respect, this report's title — "From Cast Lead to Protective Edge" — captures more than just the names of the two operations that chronologically bracket its scope; it also describes the tension the IDF confronted between the military necessities driving maximalist uses of force and the political imperative for more restrained operations. This report draws a series of lessons from the Israeli experience for the U.S. Army and the joint force: from the importance of armored vehicles and active protection systems to the limitations of airpower in urban terrain and of conventional militaries to deter nonstate actors.
Link:http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1888.html?

Hat tip to WoTR where the RAND author has a commentary:https://warontherocks.com/2017/08/fi...-wars-in-gaza/
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