As Israeli ground forces mobilize for what appears to be a looming battle in Gaza to destroy Hamas military capability, how much can we predict about how that battle will play out? In this episode, John Amble is joined by Liam Collins and John Spencer to explore that question—specifically how an Israeli combined arms approach to the battle will most likely take shape.

As they argue, such an approach is vital to any military force conducting operations in urban terrain, like that which composes much of Gaza’s territory. Tanks offer mobile, protected firepower and are thus essential, but they must also be accompanied by infantry to provide security against antitank weapons. The indirect fire of artillery must be executed in close coordination with maneuvering ground forces in such densely packed spaced. Meanwhile, engineers will be called upon constantly to clear obstacles, establish hasty defensive positions, and provide breaching capability to the combined arms force. But as deeply important as combined arms operations are when fighting in cities, conducting them is also challenging, and they explain why.

Liam Collins and John Spencer are both retired US Army officers. Liam was the founding director of the Modern War Institute, and John currently serves as MWI’s chair of urban warfare studies. Together they have extensive and varied combat experience, and both have studied urban warfare and military operations around the world. They are the coauthors of Understanding Urban Warfare.

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Image credit: Israel Defense Forces