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"So You Think the Army Can Avoid Fighting in Megacities?" Topic


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692 hits since 16 May 2017
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 May 2017 9:01 p.m. PST

"Over the past few months, MWI has published several articles exploring combat in megacities and examining the Army's preparation for such an operating environment. The response these articles have produced has brought into the open a debate—ongoing and almost shockingly intense—not about whether the Army is prepared for the unique complexities of dense, urban terrain, but about whether there would ever be a reason for the Army to even consider entering a megacity. A not insignificant minority—including some very smart and experienced people—has voiced some variation of the opinion above in comments sections, on social media, and in direct conversation. Although these opinions are at odds with the views of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley—who has said that the explosive growth of megacities gives him "very high degrees of confidence" that the Army will be fighting in urban areas in the future—they are typically thoughtful and always well-meaning. But they are also wrong.

The arguments that the Army need not devote time, manpower, or money to better preparing to operate in megacities are not uniform in their objections. But they do share a series of assumptions on which they're based, the flaws of which become apparent on closer examination.

Assumption: Megacities are just big cities, and thus pose the same challenges as cities but on a bigger scale…."
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Amicalement
Armand

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member17 May 2017 9:20 p.m. PST

Well, if we're going to fight in megacities…


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Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP17 May 2017 9:20 p.m. PST

I have a near-mint Maginot Line I'd like to offer for sale to these all-seeing generals.

Mako11 Inactive Member17 May 2017 10:08 p.m. PST

Yep, just surround them, and lay siege.

They'll surrender rather quickly, or starve.

There are other, faster weapons to defeat them too.

basileus6618 May 2017 5:51 a.m. PST

Blockade is difficult to sustain and doesn't guarantee results. See the Germans before Leningrad. Almost three years and they didn't get anything but starving 1 million people to death (or were two millions?). Of course, that could have been their goal all along, to starve Russian civilians.

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2017 8:27 a.m. PST

Escape From New York? Wall up the city and call it a prison?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2017 9:12 a.m. PST

(smile)


Amicalement
Armand

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2017 9:23 a.m. PST

Interesting that our thought pattern (as well as that of our military) is that we are making plans for attacking and occupying the city.

Perhaps we should think in terms of Starship Trooper's attack on the Skinnie Homeworld. Drop in smash anything that look interesting and pull out. Much like our armored Thunder Runs in Baghdad.

In both cases they showed the enemy that they could not effectively defend their city.

Mako11 Inactive Member18 May 2017 12:26 p.m. PST

Cut off the water supply – much faster working than starvation.

Just a few days, tops, for most, who don't have large stockpiles of water.

basileus6618 May 2017 8:24 p.m. PST

Cut off the water supply – much faster working than starvation.

Agreed… and yet I find the idea strangely disgusting, regardless of how useful it would prove to be. I can't stop but thinking that it would be innocent civilians the ones who would suffer most.

Mako11 Inactive Member19 May 2017 6:35 p.m. PST

Beats sending in entire corps of troops to be targets for the enemy, in a never ending shooting gallery, or IED-laced trap.

Warfare is a dirty, brutal business, and should be conducted quickly and ruthlessly to get your opponents to surrender totally, or to die for their cause, while your own troops survive.

Civvies always suffer the most.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2017 9:59 p.m. PST

Lenningrad was a long time ago, as warfare goes. I wonder if modern mega-cities would be more vulnerable, not less? And easier to starve out via blockade? Even a modern American city, they say, has no more than a week's food supply inside. What would WE do if transportation lines were cut and utilities were shut down? Could a modern city really cope for two years?

Anyway, very cynically and archly, I think all you need do is cut the TV cable and WiFi and most moderns would run shrieking for the exits.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa20 May 2017 12:46 a.m. PST

What do you do if several million people attempt to abandon it at the same time? The definition of megacity is 10 million plus, Leningrad had only 3 odd million, of which around a third were evacuated. Also it was never entirely sealed off. In terms of supplies readily available in modern western society I believe that its around 9 meals – 'just in time' probably has a lot to answer for! If a column of starving, desperate and possibly hostile refugees make it through, numbering in just the thousands, how much security does a typical forward logistics base, and potential source of food, actually have?

Legion 420 May 2017 2:14 p.m. PST

Cordon & By Pass …

SouthernPhantom29 Aug 2017 7:30 p.m. PST

Blockade it or demolish it with fuel-air explosives, then bypass. Give no quarter.

Legion 430 Aug 2017 9:34 a.m. PST

Not very PC S/Phantom … wink

StarCruiser01 Sep 2017 6:14 p.m. PST

"PC" depends on the nature of the conflict. If it's an all-out war of survival vs. an enemy that can't see reason…

Anything shy of a nuke should be under consideration.

Legion 414 Sep 2017 1:36 p.m. PST

I tend to agree … but still many would not … Plus as I have said, the US can do everything that needs to be done without Nucs.

But any "serious" threat, Nucs would have to be considered … for better or worse. In some OPLANs at least… However, I prefer no Nucs … just lots & lots of very accurate HE … lots & lots of it … From air, sea & land …

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2017 3:59 p.m. PST

Cut off the water supply – much faster working than starvation.

Agreed… and yet I find the idea strangely disgusting, regardless of how useful it would prove to be. I can't stop but thinking that it would be innocent civilians the ones who would suffer most.

Warfare is a dirty, brutal business, and should be conducted quickly and ruthlessly to get your opponents to surrender totally, or to die for their cause, while your own troops survive.

Civvies always suffer the most.

Yup, War sucks and we here on TMP know that from history.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2017 4:01 p.m. PST

Not very PC S/Phantom

You either fight a war to win or you don't.

You go all PC in a war you are not fighting to win.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2017 4:06 p.m. PST

Even a modern American city, they say, has no more than a week's food supply inside. What would WE do if transportation lines were cut and utilities were shut down? Could a modern city really cope for two years?

Depends on several factors, where the city is located, who is in the city and are you willing to eat some long pork.

But yes individuals in most of our major cities are unable to fend for themselves.

They do not know how to grow anything.

They do not know how to cook for themselves.

Long list of things they are unable to do.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2017 4:08 p.m. PST

Well we are seeing examples of impacts on major cities/population areas today.

Just look at what is happening on the islands hit by the hurricanes so far this year.

Looting, no food, no water, no power.

Legion 429 Sep 2017 10:42 a.m. PST

All good points Mithmee ! And you know what I think about the PC crowd ! huh? wink

Lookingglassman Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2017 8:12 p.m. PST

I see major city fights as a waste of fighting strength. If I was a general I would try to bypass a city or at least have enough forces to keep whatever is in there contained and continue my attack than get bogged down in a huge city fight which will grind my forces down.

Legion 429 Oct 2017 6:57 a.m. PST

Yep … that is just what I said … "Cordon & By Pass" … We have some good examples why not to engage in city fighting.
E.g. Stalingrad, Berlin, Manila, to name a few.

And more recently some place in the Mid East. But those cities/towns were small compared to the larger cities I already mentioned. But still fairly good examples why not to get involved in house2house, room2room, etc.

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