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Reconnaissance In Megacities: Lessons From The Past

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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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The study of megacities has been a topic of keen interest in contemporary military literature. Experts appear divided as to whether or not the emerging concept of a megacity will provide a fundamental challenge to US Army urban operations in the future. Defined as massive urban areas with over ten million residents, and conditions of instability, proponents of megacities believe they will present a fundamentally new challenge in the future, for which the Army is unprepared. In contrast, a smaller group of experts refutes this assessment, arguing that megacities are similar in nature to other urban areas, and forces fighting in them can use methods similar to those employed in smaller cities. Regardless of the exact outcome of this debate, one can reasonably expect megacities to present a key challenge to combat forces in the futureone that all urban areas have historically createdthe challenge of conducting reconnaissance to gain understanding of the operating environment. FM 3-06, Urban Operations, defines five considerations for conducting urban ISR early deployment, diversity, integration, flexibility, and focus. By examining case studies of urban ISR in Grozny, Fallujah, and Sadr City, this monograph proves that lessons from ISR efforts in smaller scale urban operations will directly apply to urban ISR in megacities.

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