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Do Villages Still Matter

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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In 2014, the United Nations reported that there were 28 cities in the world with populations of over 10 million. In 2016, there were 34 of these megacities and by the year 2030 the UN estimates that there will be 41. As a result, concerns over rapid megacity growth have become the focus of U.S. military planners and strategists attempting to determine how to best operate in the future megacity environment. In light of these demographic shifts and in the face of rapid megacity growth, this research asks the question Do villages still matter Three case studies were chosen that cover a wide geographic range, selecting two contemporary cases in areas with some of the highest rates of urbanization. The historic case broadens the geographic scope of the study, but also provides historical insights into how each variable influenced success or failure once an insurgency occupied the urban terrain. Ultimately, this thesis concludes that in spite of megacity growth, if in tomorrows conflict the state chooses to take the fight to where the insurgent seeks refuge, it will likely occur in the mountains, jungles and deserts, for control of villages.

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