Old Tactic, New Threat: The Use of the Siege as an Answer to High Casualties of Urban Combat
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
Pagination or Media Count:
For the past decade, the Marine Corps has been studying the problem of urban combat. The projected statistic that 85 of the worlds population will be living in urban areas near the littorals by 2025 means that urban combat will be more and more of a reality. This trend was evidenced by the recent battle of Falluja, where Marine and Army casualties in the opening days of the battle were in the hundreds. The Marine Corps must deal with the high casualties of Military Operations in Urban Terrain MOUT expected in the future by reviving a tactic as old as warfare itself the siege. A siege is defined as the surrounding of a town or fortified place in an effort to seize it. In ancient days a Siege had the same elements as it does today forces first isolate the city by sweeping all areas surrounding and blocking all access routes establish a base of operations construct two lines of concentric fortifications, the first line to protect the besiegers from sorties from the city and the second line to protect them from relief forces. Firepower and offers to surrender could then be used to force capitulation of the defenders. When executed effectively the siege can accomplish several things degrade enemy combat power force enemy surrender and through information warfare, maintain favorable publicworld opinion by not destroying the city. History provides examples where sieges were used by the attacker to do these things.
- Humanities and History
- Unconventional Warfare