In Search of a Joint Urban Operational Concept
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Combat operations in the urban area are not new to warfare. The United States military conducted large-scale urban operations in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. During the last sixty years, the United States Army approached the urban area by rubbling or isolating the city. Joint forces need a new urban operational concept that achieves strategic aims without rubbling the city or causing politically unacceptable levels of non-combatant and friendly casualties. Current joint operational concepts such as Joint Vision 2020 do not provide a view of future warfare. Emerging operational concepts such as Rapid Decisive Operations depend on long-range surveillance and engagement of enemy forces to reduce the requirement of close combat. The search for a joint urban operational concept is analogous to the Russian search for a new method of warfare during the inter-war period of the World Wars. Operational Shock approached the enemy as a system and attacked its hierarchic nature attempting to create operational disunity. A survey of operational shock and systems theory revealed five critical aspects to creating this systemic effect. These aspects, attacking control, maneuver, simultaneity, depth, and achieving cognitive effects, were contrasted with the unique nature of the urban area. The Joint Force can create operational shock in the urban environment. Operational shock as an urban operational concept depends on selective influence. Selective influence with maneuver seeking operational advantage simultaneously through depth will shock the enemy systems critical functions. The utility of selective influence depends on a deep understanding of the battlespace to identify causality between critical point, action, and effect achieved.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics