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Lessons Worth Remembering: Combat In Urban Areas

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Technical Report,05 Jul 2015,26 May 2016

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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Empirical data elucidates that the worlds population is aggregating in cities at an alarming rate. In 1950, twenty-nine percent of the worlds population lived in urban areas. Today, this statistic stands at fifty-four percent. By 2030, when the worlds population is expected to be around 5 billion people, it is predicted that approximately sixty-one percent of the worlds population will live in cities. This dramatic change in world demographics requires the US Army to take an introspective look in how it plans to thrive in the worlds changing landscape. For centuries, armies have gravitated towards cities due to their operational and strategic importance in war. Cities possess political, religious, economical, and military power that largely cannot be ignored, or bypassed, by military commanders. History evinces a citys importance in war, and buttress the fact that urban warfare is nothing new. As the worlds population continues to grow, the likelihood the US Army will operate in an urban environment will precipitously increase. Thus, the US Army must understand the complexity that foments within urban areas, realize that indigenous groups are best at resolving local problems, accept operating decentralized, and value the importance of supreme firepower.

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