Soldiers and Marines fighting in populated urban environments have to assume that their actions are being closely monitored by the public, according to new military doctrine published last week. They need to have “an expectation of observation.”
Increased transparency surrounding military operations in populated areas must be anticipated and factored into operational plans, the new doctrine instructs.
“Soldiers/Marines are likely to have their activities recorded in real time and shared instantly both locally and globally. In sum, friendly forces must have an expectation of observation for many of their activities and must employ information operations to deal with this reality effectively.”
This can be a matter of some urgency considering that “Under media scrutiny, the action of one Soldier/Marine has significant strategic implications.”
See Urban Operations, ATP 3-06, US Army, US Marine Corps, December 7, 2017.
“Currently more than 50 percent of the world population lives in urban areas and is likely to increase to 70 percent by 2050, making military operations in cities both inevitable and the norm,” the document states.
Inevitable or not, urban military combat presents a variety of challenges.
“Urban operations often reduce the relative advantage of technological superiority, weapons ranges, and firepower.”
“Moreover, because there is risk of high civilian casualties, commanders are generally required to protect civilians, render aid, and minimize damage to infrastructure. These requirements can reduce resources available to defeat the enemy, often creating difficult choices for the commander.”
“Military operations that devastate large amounts of infrastructure may result in more civilian casualties than directly caused by combat itself. Excessive U.S. destruction of infrastructure that causes widespread suffering amongst people may turn initially neutral or positive sentiment toward U.S. forces into hostility that can rapidly mobilize populations and change the nature of the military problem.”
“Destroying an urban area to save it is not an option for commanders.”
To empower new voices to start their career in nuclear weapons studies, the Federation of American Scientists launched the New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship. Here’s what our inaugural cohort accomplished.
Common frameworks for evaluating proposals leave this utility function implicit, often evaluating aspects of risk, uncertainty, and potential value independently and qualitatively.
The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.