Urban warfare in the new millennium: how will it be different?

Every single TV military pundit I’ve seen has warned that urban street fighting is a dreadful, dangerous, unattractive option for the Coalition forces. Except one.

One fascinating guy (whose name I forgot) on Charlie Rose (I think) – damn, I’m watching too much warTV – said that we might be surprised at how effective and painless the battle for the streets of Baghdad might turn out.

He said (paraphrasing by me): “Let me assure you, this will NOT be like the urban street fighting we’ve seen in WWII and Somolia. Our military has given this problem a lot of attention in the past decade and is prepared to deal with it.”

Hmmm… now that’s intriguing, I thought to myself. Especially since this guy was a journalist or writer, not some good-spin Pentagon mouthpiece.

So, does the US military have a trick or two up it’s sleeve regarding hi-tech weaponry or tactics in urban combat situations? And what might those tricks be?

Oh, one more thing I should have added… I’d like to keep this in GQ, so let’s limit posts to hard facts, or at least well-informed speculation. Wild, crazy guesses need not apply. Thanks to all in advance.

I would think that detailed images of the area from our satelites and spy planes (and possibly those little remote-controll hovering camera things I’ve seen on the discovery channel) would give us nice detailed maps of all the streets and likely places for ambushes.

I’d bet on two things:

  1. personal weapons with cameras functioning as sights. Just poke your gun around the corner and check out what’s there in your little eyepiece. Shoot if necessary. Presumably it would also have night vision capability.

  2. Like Sock Munkey said, mini-RPVs.

And to a much lesser extent:
Armed and armored robots – I’m guessing we’ll see test deployment of a few of these.

UAV’s with advanced thermal imaging gear could definitely help pinpoint enemy troops at night. Ambushes would be more difficult and many buildings could be tear gassed and or flashbanged into submission rather than forcing entry.

Unfortunately there is only so much technology can do for you in difficult terrain with limited visbility. Small arms firefights will be unavoidable. Comes with the territory.

I’ll go with ** Boyo Jim ** in that we’ll see robots (or at least remote-controlled vehicles) either in the current war or in a near future situation. Basically, I see a situation where you surround a urban area with conventual weapons and forces, and then set up and send, in mass, tens of thousands of remote-controlled vehicles to take out enemey forces. Of course, this type of force is still 10-15 years away, though we could technically build it now, it would take time to train and deploy these type of forces.

in Urban Warfare we are behind the Israelis . The Israelis had a weapon that blows open doors from a remote location eight years before we did so if you want to know what new weapons will be used look at what new weapons Israel is using