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Operational Art in the Megacity

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Technical Report,25 Jun 2018,23 May 2019

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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This monograph examines the practice of operational art within the urban operational environment and the implications on operations inside future megacity campaigns. It highlights shortfalls that exist in US Army and Joint doctrine as applied to a megacity when taking account for the immense complexity therein. It uses the 1994 Battle of Grozny in Chechnya to illustrate some of the challenges involved at the operational level and how improper use of operational art leads to failure. It also uses the 2004 Battles of Fallujah as an example of initial improper use of operational art and the subsequent success achieved through proper application and execution of operational art in a large urban environment. It uses these two case studies to highlight specific elements of operational art which are critical to understand and execute inside of a megacity to achieve success namely basing, operational reach, arranging operations and tempo. It concludes with recommendations to leaders and practitioners as to the best uses of these elements of operational art and their most efficient application to future conflict within megacities.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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