The world is urbanizing, and doing so quickly. By 2030, 60 percent of the global population will live in cities. At the same time, the US military remains committed to maintaining the capability to conduct an immensely wide range of operations—from humanitarian assistance and noncombatant evacuation to security force assistance and high-intensity conflict. With these two facts taken together, it’s not hard to see why Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley recently declared, “In the future, I can say with very high degrees of confidence, the American Army is probably going to be fighting in urban areas.”

But many questions remain. Is it, in fact, a given, that US forces will find themselves fighting in dense urban terrain? Are current tactics, techniques, and procedures already sufficient to fight and win on city streets? Does technological innovation hold the key to solving military problems in urban areas? If so, what technologies will dominate?

To begin to get a handle on these and other unknown variables, MWI is crowd-sourcing opinions on the topic. Specifically, we’re looking for responses that answer a fundamental question: what are the unique characteristics and challenges of urban warfare? Tweet your response to this question, along with the hashtag #UrbanWarfareProject. We’ll collect all responses, have our panel of military experts select their favorites, and then put those finalists up into a poll for readers to vote on.

We’ll be collecting the tweets until the end of this week, so don’t forget to include the #UrbanWarfareProject hashtag!


Image credit: yeowatzup (adapted by MWI)