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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 Man in The Tank Wins: IDF Armor, Part 2

10/15/2021
In this episode, the second in a two-part series, John Spencer continues his conversation with retired Brig. Gen. Yom Tov Tamir. In the previous episode, he reflected on his long career as an armor officer in the Israel Defense Forces, in which he held positions from tank commander to division commander. Part two picks up with a description of his experiences during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, including the last battle of the war, the Battle of Suez, which ended disastrously. Based on his...

Duration:00:27:42

The Man in The Tank Wins: IDF Armor, Part 1

10/1/2021
In this episode, the first in a two-part series, John Spencer is joined by retired Maj. Gen. Yom Tov Tamir. He served a long career in the Israel Defense Forces as an armor officer holding positions from tank commander to division commander. In 1973, he was an armor battalion commander during the Yom Kippur War. In part one of the conversation, he reflects on his career as an armor officer—from a secret trip to Germany in 1964 to learn about American tanks, through his service in the 1967...

Duration:00:44:26

Book Talk: Dr. Anthony King on Urban Warfare in the Twenty-First Century

9/17/2021
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by Dr. Anthony King, a professor of war studies at the University of Warwick and the author of a new book, Urban Warfare in the Twenty-First Century. He talks about his book, including an important conclusion: because of discernible trends in urbanization, weapons development, and the size of modern military forces, Western militaries will be unable to avoid fighting in cities in the future.

Duration:00:38:58

Discovering Jerusalem’s Hidden Lessons for Urban and Underground Warfare

9/3/2021
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by Ze’ev Orenstein, director of international affairs at the City of David Foundation. He explains the history of ancient Jerusalem and the discovery of the City of David—the lost and original city of Jerusalem and a place of importance to billions of people today. Over its four-thousand-year history, the city has been deeply shaped by a variety of forces, including urban planning, warfare, and underground operations—the conversation even includes the...

Duration:02:03:44

Deep Futures and Urban Warfare

7/23/2021
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by retired Colonel Kevin Felix. He served 30 years in the US Army, with his last assignment as chief of Army Capabilities and Integration Center's Future Warfare Division. He describes the Army’s different approaches for thinking about and studying the future of warfare, including major efforts beginning in 2014 to focus on global urbanization, including by incorporating it into wargames like Unified Quest. The discussion highlights the complex...

Duration:00:38:48

Urban Breaching

7/9/2021
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Garner, an instructor for the Urban Mobility Breacher Course, which is a part of the US Army Engineer School. As a tactical task, breaching can be challenging. That becomes especially true in the unique conditions of dense urban terrain. Staff Sgt. Garner explains how the course trains soldiers to understand and overcome those challenges, and the importance of having urban breaching capabilities in units.

Duration:00:34:22

Policing a Major City

6/25/2021
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by 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

Rebuilding Fallujah

6/11/2021
A few episodes ago, John Spencer spoke to retired Colonel Leonard DeFrancisci about his Marine Corps civil affairs detachment's role during the Second Battle of Fallujah. He joins the Urban Warfare Project Podcast once again to continue the conversation, this time describing the massive coalition effort to rebuild the city after intense fighting and major destruction of the urban battle.

Duration:00:37:59

Underground Warfare in Israel and Gaza

5/28/2021
During the recent outbreak of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, many of the Israeli strikes targeted Hamas tunnels. That raises a range of important questions. What advantages do subterranean environments lend to combatants? What military challenges do tunnels pose? More broadly, 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...

Duration:00:50:54

Italian Stalingrad: The Battle of Ortona

5/14/2021
In this episode, Canadian Army Major Jayson Geroux joins to discuss the 1943 Battle of Ortona. Sometimes called the “Italian Stalingrad,” the battle took place in the town of Ortona, on Italy's Adriatic coast, during World War II. Maj. Geroux walks listeners through the battle, which pitted a Canadian infantry brigade against German paratroopers, and highlights lessons from the fighting that should inform the way we think about urban warfare and the potential for peer conflict in dense urban...

Duration:00:58:08

Civil Affairs and the Second Battle of Fallujah

4/30/2021
In this episode, John Spencer speaks to retired Colonel Leonard DeFrancisci. In 2004, he was a civil affairs detachment commander for the Marine Corps' Regimental Combat Team 1 during the Second Battle of Fallujah, Iraq. He describes the role of civil affairs in the lead-up to that battle and the activities undertaken by civil affairs forces during the fighting. His story highlights the special capabilities civil affairs soldiers and Marines can bring to even a high-intensity urban battle.

Duration:00:39:01

The Army's Next-Generation Combat Vehicle

4/16/2021
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by Major General Ross Coffman, director of Army Futures Command's Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team. He describes the team's objectives and the projects it has underway as it works toward a replacement for the M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle—actually a family of manned and unmanned robotics that will shape the future battlefield. He also discusses the different environments in which future combat vehicle capabilities are...

Duration:00:35:06

Urban Warfare at Echelons Above Brigade

4/2/2021
The Army has three "dirt" combat training centers that are focused on training units at the brigade combat team level and below. A fourth, the Mission Command Training Program, is geared toward training higher echelons—Army divisions, corps, and component commands. In this episode, John Spencer is joined by Col. Shane Morgan, commander of the MCTP, who described the MCTP mission and how they work to train units at these echelons for the challenges of the future operational...

Duration:00:37:53

What Does Army Doctrine Say About Urban Warfare?

3/20/2021
In this episode of the Urban Warfare Project Podcast, from the Modern War Institute at West Point, John Spencer is joined by Col. Rich Creed, director of the Army’s Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate.

Duration:01:16:36

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