Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Time to create a Mega City Combat Unit?

Thanks to Sarabvir Singh for the link!

Note:  I hate the idea and think its crazy beyond imagination.  Fighting in a mega city?  We're not talking about a Western mega city (I think).  We're talking about a mega city in the Middle East, Asia or Africa.  That my friends is a nightmare.  But we have people actively talking about it.  I continue to be mystified by the thinking which brings me to the article.

via Modern War Institute.
But despite the clear recognition that armed forces will increasingly be required to fight in urban areas, no army has committed to train, organize, and equip forces specifically to operate in cities. It is time for the US Army to do just that.

A 2016 United Nations report estimated 54.5 percent of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By 2030, that percentage is projected to rise to 60 percent. As a result of this rural-to-urban migration, cities themselves are growing. In 2016, there were 512 cities with at least one million inhabitants globally. By 2030, a projected 662 cities will have at least one million residents. And the number of “megacities” in the world—those with ten million residents or more—is projected to grow from thirty-one to forty-one in the same period.

In 2014, the chief of staff of the Army’s Strategic Studies Group (SSG) chose megacities to be the organizing theme for its yearlong research projects. Concept teams looked at the unique characteristics and challenges of a megacity, future maneuver and mobility concepts, Army force design considerations, personnel talent management, and other topics, assessing the requirements for operating in megacities. The conclusions of the SSG research are clear: megacities are unavoidable, they are potentially the most challenging environment the Army has ever faced, and the Army is unprepared to operate in them. The SSG also recommended that the Army, charged with the mandate of preparing forces for sustained operations on land, take the lead in training, organizing, and equipping forces for megacities.

As William Adamson noted in his 2015 Parameters article, “Megacities and the US Army,” the research conducted by the SSG was not the first to take a long and hard look at the challenges of large urban areas. Adamson highlighted a 2000 Government Accounting Office report, which noted that “despite a growing unease that the urban environment is a known vulnerability of US forces, DoD has not made a major commitment to dramatically improve urban capabilities.” Shortly after this, the 2001 Defense Planning Guidance commissioned a study and eighteen-month project that resulted in the Joint Urban Operations (JUO) Master Plan 2012–2017.
Story here.

Major Spencer, the author, is a Ranger...and SOCOM is awe struck with the idea of operating in this type of environment.  I highly recommend you read the entire article for yourself but from what I was able to gleam he's talking about forming specialized 5k man brigades and equipping to fight in this terrain.

Like I said, read the entire article but its been wargamed and this stood out to me...
the wargame specified that a brigade conduct three operations in a megacity—joint forcible entry, major combat, and subsequent stability operations—without unacceptable levels of military or civilian casualties.
This is Krulak's 3 block war but on steroids.

The idea of doing such a thing with "unacceptable levels of military and civilian casualties" is wall pounding.  How can this be done?  History has shown (even recent history) that a city fight will be perhaps the most vicious we've ever seen.

And we're  talking about doing a forcible entry into a mega city...making our way thru sewage infested slums that have shacks built upon shacks, making our way thru the suburbs (where we will face continued resistance after the hookers, drug dealers and gang members in the slums are dealt with...and then the same but better dressed in the suburbs) all while dealing with civilians simply caught in the middle of the fighting and evacuating them while continuing with the assault...till we reach the city center and then have to assault our way thru the rest of the town?

This is a crazy idea.

Why any planner would even consider such an idea is beyond me.  Some missions are simply too hard, will cost too much in lives and just aren't worth it.

Fighting in a mega city is such a mission.

NOTE:  Below are pics of slums just outside cities in Brazil and India.  This is what our troops will have to wade thru before they begin to REACH THE START of their jumping off point to the objective!

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