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Urban Warfare Project

News & Politics Podcasts

As the world becomes more urban, military forces must be prepared for cities to become battlefields. The Urban Warfare Project podcast, from the Modern War Institute at West Point, features conversations with practitioners and scholars and sets out to explore the unique characteristics of urban warfare.

As the world becomes more urban, military forces must be prepared for cities to become battlefields. The Urban Warfare Project podcast, from the Modern War Institute at West Point, features conversations with practitioners and scholars and sets out to explore the unique characteristics of urban warfare.

Location:

United States

Description:

As the world becomes more urban, military forces must be prepared for cities to become battlefields. The Urban Warfare Project podcast, from the Modern War Institute at West Point, features conversations with practitioners and scholars and sets out to explore the unique characteristics of urban warfare.

Language:

English


Episodes

The Battle of Marawi

3/4/2021
In this episode Dr. Charles Knight joings John Spencer to discuss the Battle of Marawi. A senior lecturer in terrorism, asymmetric conflict, and urban operations at Charles Sturt University and a senior researcher at the University of New South Wales, Dr. Knight has researched and and written about the 2017 battle, in which the Philippine Army fought against Islamic State fighters over the course of five months. With the two sides fighting through the streets, alleys, and buildings of...

Duration:00:48:54

The Future of Urban Warfare Training

2/18/2021
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by Rob Taylor, company director of 4GD, a UK-based organization that specializes in developing unique close-combat training facilities—what the company calls "SmartFacilities." He describes those training facilities, how the physical aspects of training can be integrated into synthetic, "integrated reality" environments, and more.

Duration:00:41:38

The Battle of Ramadi, 2006–2007

2/4/2021
In this episode, Dr. Louis DiMarco, a professor of military history at the US Army Command and General Staff College, presents a short lecture on the 2006 Battle of Ramadi, Iraq. He describes the context of the fighting and many of the key players involved. He also explains the concepts that were used to turn the city of Ramadi, widely known as the “the deadliest city in Iraq,” into a comparative model of stability that guided the way counterinsurgency operations were conducted across the...

Duration:00:29:35

Beneath the Streets

1/21/2021
Why are subterranean environments so uniquely challenging for military forces? And why is underground warfare occurring increasingly frequently? Dr. Daphne Richemond-Barak—author of the book Underground Warfare and creator of the International Working Group on Subterranean Warfare—joins this episode to discuss these and other questions about the subterranean dimension of urban warfare.

Duration:00:44:09

The Second Battle of Fallujah and the Future of Urban Warfare

1/7/2021
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by Lt. Gen. James Rainey. He is the commander of the US Army's Combined Arms Center, and in 2004, he was the battalion commander of 2nd Battalion, 7th Calvary Regiment during the Second Battle of Fallujah. Lt. Gen. Rainey discusses the context, planning, and execution of the battle, and shares his thoughts on the unique challenges of conducting high-intensity combat in dense urban terrain and what missions the Army may be required to conduct in cities...

Duration:00:48:40

All I Want for Christmas is an Urban Warfare Capability Set

12/25/2020
As the chair of urban warfare studies at MWI, John Spencer spends a lot of time thinking about the gaps between the tasks that soldiers will be required to perform in urban environments and the capabilities currently available to them. This episode features a discussion about twelve of those capabilities that he particularly would like to see the US military integrate—it's the twelve days of urban warfare Christmas.

Duration:01:01:23

Seeing Through Walls

12/10/2020
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by Alex Giles. He is the chief commercial officer for ICENI Labs, science and technology research that recently won a competition—the "Seeing into the Unknown: Situational Awareness in Dense Urban Environments Online Challenge"—organized by the US National Security Innovation Network. The ICENI Labs Team Tercio’s solution involved a system of technologies, including their "sense through the wall" radar technology to build a three-dimensional volumetric...

Duration:00:36:02

Why Is Urban Warfare So Challenging?

11/26/2020
This episode takes a slight departure from the format typical of the Urban Warfare Project Podcast. John Spencer—the podcast's regular host and a leading expert on the subject of urban warfare—joins as the guest to take a comprehensive look at the subject of urban warfare. The conversation explores why it's so challenging, why the US military struggles with those challenges, and what steps can be taken to overcome them.

Duration:00:51:56

Explosive Ordnance Disposal and the City

11/12/2020
Like many military functions, the challenges of explosive ordnance disposal are compounded by urban terrain. This episode explorse those challenges. Host John Spencer is joined by Master Sgt. Michael Kidd an experienced leader in Army EOD with over sixteen years of service.

Duration:00:28:29

Urban Warfare and Military Ethics

10/29/2020
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by Dr. Deane Baker, an associate professor at the University of New South Wales, Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy. He specializes in the ethics of armed conflict. He discusses his research on military ethics and how ethical dilemmas present themselves on the battlefield. In particular, he explains why urban warfare creates a context that generates unique ethical concerns—concerns that remain unresolved and are of interest to both...

Duration:00:41:20

Defending the City of Ubungsdorf

10/15/2020
This episode features a conversation with Col. Joseph Hilbert, who recently completed a two-year assignment as the commander of the Operations Group at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center—one of three US Army combat training centers, and the only one based outside the United States. JMRC is unique in the multinational composition of units it supports and its particular focus on Europe. Col. Hilbert discusses JMRC's special attributes, some of the challenges of multinational...

Duration:00:36:37

A Roundtable Discussion with Three Leading Experts on Urban Warfare

10/2/2020
This is a special episode of the Urban Warfare Project Podcast. The Association of the United States Army hosts a podcasts called Army Matters, which regularly brings together a select group of thought leaders to discuss a topic of pressing interest to the Army. One recent conversation was focused on the subject of urban warfare. John Spencer, MWI's chair of urban warfare studies and host of the Urban Warfare Project Podcast, was invited to take part, along with Dr. Russell Glenn and retired...

Duration:00:28:04

Russia's Urban Warfare Tech

9/17/2020
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by Samuel Bendett. An analyst with the Center for Naval Analyses, he specializes in Russian unmanned military systems and artificial intelligence. In the conversation, he discusses his work tracking Russian technological advancements. He also describes various unmanned aerial and ground vehicles Russia is experimenting with for urban combat and explains how lessons learned from Russia's recent experiences fighting in Syria is impacting Russian force...

Duration:00:37:26

Smart Cities

9/3/2020
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by Dr. Sokwoo Rhee. The Associate Director of Cyber-Physical Systems Innovation at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, he is currently leading the Global City Teams Challenge, a program that aims to create a replicable and scalable model for collaborative incubation and deployment of Internet of Things and Cyber-Physical Systems solutions to improve the quality of life in smart cities around the world.

Duration:00:53:07

Urban Policing 101

8/20/2020
In this episode of MWI’s Urban Warfare Project Podcast, John Spencer is joined the Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski to discuss urban policing. In the conversation, Chief Niski explains the basics of urban policing, how the size of the police force and frequency of patrols in dense urban areas is determined, technologies that can be used to assist in urban policing, and recommendations for the military about advising police forces.

Duration:00:45:44

Multi-Domain Operations at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center

8/6/2020
This episode features a conversation with Nicholas Marchuk, the special operations forces training and testing development lead at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center. Unlike other US Army urban training sites, Muscatatuck is not a mock city, but real urban terrain that includes everything from a five-story hospital, a jail, and a water plant to urban pattern-of-life features like a closed cell phone and cyber network.

Duration:00:36:11

Understanding Global Cities

7/23/2020
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by Dr. Saskia Sassen, the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. She is the author of eight books, including Cities in a World Economy and The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, and the editor or co-editor of three books, most recently Cities at War: Global Insecurity and Urban Resistance. She joins to discuss her research on global cities, a term she coined to describe cities in which a multiplicity of globalization processes...

Duration:00:27:36

Attacking the City of Dara Lam

7/9/2020
This episode features a conversation with Col. David Gardner, the commander of the Operations Group at the Army's Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He explains the types of urban training available to units, including attacks against the mock cities of Shughart-Gordon and Dara Lam. He also describes some of the challenges he sees units most frequently confront during their execution of large-scale urban training exercises.

Duration:00:55:52

A Talk With The US Army’s Underground Warfare Expert

6/25/2020
In this episode of MWI’s Urban Warfare Project Podcast, John Spencer is joined by retired Sgt. Maj. Joe Vega. He works for the US Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group and is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced experts in underground warfare. In the conversation, you’ll hear him discuss the history of the Army’s interest in underground warfare and the current work being done to prepare the Army for subterranean operations. He also explains some of the special considerations and unique...

Duration:00:22:09

A Senior Enlisted Perspective on Combat in Megacities

6/11/2020
This episode of the Urban Warfare Project Podcast features a conversation with Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Hendrex. Currently serving as the command sergeant major of III Corps and Fort Hood, Texas, he was previously a member of the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Strategic Studies Group. During that assignment, he was part of a megacities concept team that researched the Army’s preparedness to conduct operation in megacities. He discusses his research, the unique perspective he brought to that...

Duration:00:35:18