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Urban Warfare Project
44 minutes | 3 days ago
Beneath the Streets
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.
43 minutes | 17 days ago
The Second Battle of Fallujah and the Future of Urban Warfare
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 in the future.
59 minutes | a month ago
All I Want for Christmas is an Urban Warfare Capability Set
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.
39 minutes | a month ago
Seeing Through Walls
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 local map of interior spaces, to create visual representations of the dismounted battlespace to enable real-time situational awareness in urban environments.
49 minutes | 2 months ago
Why Is Urban Warfare So Challenging?
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.
27 minutes | 2 months ago
Explosive Ordnance Disposal and the City
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.
37 minutes | 3 months ago
Urban Warfare and Military Ethics
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 warfighters and ethicists.
35 minutes | 3 months ago
Defending the City of Ubungsdorf
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 interoperability, and the urban aspects of the center and the training that US units—along with those of allies and partners—undergo there.
31 minutes | 4 months ago
A Roundtable Discussion with Three Leading Experts on Urban Warfare
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 Col. Patrick Mahaney. AUSA was generous enough to allow us to publish the conversation here, as well. It's a fascinating conversation with three remarkably accomplished individuals who have each contributed significantly to the way the Army conceptualizes the challenges associated with urban warfare.
37 minutes | 4 months ago
Russia's Urban Warfare Tech
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 development.
49 minutes | 5 months ago
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.
40 minutes | 5 months ago
Urban Policing 101
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.
35 minutes | 6 months ago
Multi-Domain Operations at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center
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.
29 minutes | 6 months ago
Understanding Global Cities
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 assume concrete, localized forms.
49 minutes | 6 months ago
Attacking the City of Dara Lam
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.
19 minutes | 7 months ago
A Talk With The US Army’s Underground Warfare Expert
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 challenges that arise when soldiers have to enter underground environments.
29 minutes | 7 months ago
A Senior Enlisted Perspective on Combat in Megacities
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 research based on his experience as a senior enlisted leader in the Army, and the Army’s general preparedness for operations in megacities.
69 minutes | 8 months ago
Attacking the City of Razish
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by three guests. Col. Michael Simmering is the Commander Operations Group at the National Training Center. Lt. Col. Andrew Steadman and Lt. Neil Col. Myers are both observer controllers there. They discuss the urban operations training available at NTC—including the culminating event, the attack on Razish—and describe their observations from watching brigades attack the city every rotation.
48 minutes | 8 months ago
Fighting ISIS in the City
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by Maj. Gen. Roger Noble. An officer in the Australian Army, in 2016 he served as the deputy commanding general of the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve. He shares insights, lessons, and personal experiences about overcoming the unique challenges Iraqi forces and their coalition partners confronted during recent urban battles such as the fight to liberate Mosul from ISIS in 2016.
53 minutes | 9 months ago
Is Urban Combat the Great Equalizer?
This episode features John Spencer's discussion with Col. Douglas Winton, chair of the Department of Military Strategy, Planning, and Operations at the US Army War College. They tackle the question of whether urban terrain strips a militarily superior attacking force of its advantages and grants a weaker, defending force a degree of parity.
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