The US Army is still embroiled in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria but is already planning on the next one, battling it out in mega cities. And the model that their using is being patterned after US Special Operations forces.
Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley stated this week that military will have ten years to prepare for combat in what he categorized as mega cities with a population of 10 million people in the surrounding urban area and said that the structure of Special Operations Forces will be the key to operating in the next great conflict.
“What this means then — and I have discussed this with the Army leadership — we are going to have to … optimize the Army for urban warfare. […] The Army will definitely have to organize differently, probably into smaller, more compartmented groups,” Gen Milley said at the Future of War Conference 2017.
“We will have to have, what I think, is a lot of relatively small formations that are networked and can leverage Air Force and naval-delivered joint fires.”
“If you think of how some of our special operations operate today, that may be a preview of how large your Army operates in the future,” the officer continued. “That doesn’t mean you do away with battalions and brigades, but the fighting element will probably end up having to be a much smaller entity. […] If you stay stationary for any length of time, say more than a couple of hours, you are probably going to get killed.”
Milley was speaking at the Future of War Conference 2017 in Washington, D.C and stated that while divisions and brigades will still play a large role in the military, the smaller units, the battalions will play a big role in urban combat.
But he warned that the Army will not become “Special Forces on steroids.”
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Photo courtesy DOD