Accession Number:



Siege Operations for 21st Century Warfare

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Monograph]

Corporate Author:

US Army School for Advanced Military Studies

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



This monograph examines historical siege operations to identify alternative operational approaches to future urban operations by the US Army. The emerging operational environment will gradually increase the risks of assaulting urban areas. In the two case studies examined, Paris 1870-1871 and Beirut 1982, the attacking armies overcame similar risks by besieging the urban area and defeating the enemy primarily by isolation. The case study analysis suggests that, at the operational level, a siege enables an attacker to hold the initiative, to reduce risks, and to avoid fighting the battles which provide advantages to the defender. The two sieges studied also provide models on how to link tactical actions together to defeat the enemy by isolation and force their capitulation. US Army doctrine should re-introduce siege operations as one more option to defeat adversaries within urban terrain.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]