West Point’s Modern War Institute Calls For “Megacities Combat Unit”

By Nicholas West

As the world hurtles toward highly-controlled living environments, encouraged by such globalist doctrines as Agenda 21 and its version 2.0 known as the 2030 Agenda, central planners need to contend with conflicting realities. One reality is high-tech, powered and tracked by the Smart Grid and policed by AI systems and their robot/drone enforcers; the other reality is the one that presents itself most clearly today – an increasing population, a greater disparity between rich and poor, and a breakdown of infrastructure that heralds a devolution of living conditions in many of the world’s largest cities.

As the world’s largest cities continue to grow, and as the technocratic Smart Grid crossover is still decades from full completion, world planners find themselves increasingly outnumbered by the disenfranchised masses who either cannot adapt to new technologies and centralized living, or who are part of a growing number of people who fear the loss of privacy and self-sufficiency and will not adapt as instructed.

Perhaps the best evidence of this concern is the increasingly urgent tone coming from those just below the top-most power structure – those who will be on the front lines of getting humanity across the threshold into what is now only a theoretical vision for technocratic utopia as a perfectly managed human cattle farm.

The main challenge can be summed up in one word that is frequently used by strategists to outline the challenges ahead: complexity. The following Pentagon video was featured by The Intercept and portrays the chilling atmosphere presented by sheer numbers and those who would enter such environments in the pursuit of order.

In many places we already have seen the clashes that inevitably result from the strain outlined above. During this time of transition where natural forces do battle with artificial efforts to direct the future, we find these types of dangers accelerating. It certainly cannot be discounted that for all of the successes that the agents of disorder can claim, the realization of their form of order is becoming tenuous at best. And they know it.

Drills such as “Unified Quest” run yearly by the U.S. Army took a sharper turn in 2014 toward addressing the problem of combat in megacities – defined as cities with more than 10 million people, of which there already are nearly 25 and projected to total near 40 by the year 2025. The Pentagon’s own solicitation early last year called “Thunderstorm Spiral” was a request for “help from technological innovators to take on the future of warfare.” This appeared to indicate that in addition to boots on the ground, an additional pervasive centralized intelligence apparatus would be needed to properly plan for troop movements through such dense but vast environments that also would be made up of networks underground.

The most recent call for more attention to be paid to a future of megacities comes from West Point scholar and former Ranger Instructor, John Spencer, whose article has been republished in full below with my emphasis added.

It’s Time to Create a Megacities Combat Unit

By John Spencer

Every year, more and more of the world’s population moves into cities. The number of megacities is growing exponentially. Both of these global patterns and their inevitable consequences for military operations are well documented. Yet we still do not have units that are even remotely prepared to operate in megacities. If we want to find success on the urban battlefields the US Army will inevitably find itself fighting on in the future, that needs to change.

Throughout history, military forces either sought to avoid or simply had no need to engage in urban combat. Most military doctrine, and the strategic theory it is built upon, encourages land forces to bypass, lay siege to, or—if required—isolate and slowly clear cities from the outside in. The great armies of the world have historically fought for cities rather than in cities, a distinction with a significant difference. In cases where military forces had no choice but to operate within cities, the environment, almost without exception, proved very costly in both military and civilian casualties. Today, many armies have accepted that global population growth and urbanization trends will increasingly force military operations into crowded cities, and military forces must therefore be capable of conducting the full range of operations in large, dense urban areas. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley recently remarked that the Army “has been designed, manned, trained and equipped for the last 241 years to operate primarily in rural areas.” But that is about to change. Milley continued:

In the future, I can say with very high degrees of confidence, the American Army is probably going to be fighting in urban areas. . . . We need to man, organize, train and equip the force for operations in urban areas, highly dense urban areas, and that’s a different construct. We’re not organized like that right now.

But despite the clear recognition that armed forces will increasingly be required to fight in urban areas, no army has committed to train, organize, and equip forces specifically to operate in cities. It is time for the US Army to do just that.

A 2016 United Nations report estimated 54.5 percent of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By 2030, that percentage is projected to rise to 60 percent. As a result of this rural-to-urban migration, cities themselves are growing. In 2016, there were 512 cities with at least one million inhabitants globally. By 2030, a projected 662 cities will have at least one million residents. And the number of “megacities” in the world—those with ten million residents or more—is projected to grow from thirty-one to forty-one in the same period.

In 2014, the chief of staff of the Army’s Strategic Studies Group (SSG) chose megacities to be the organizing theme for its yearlong research projects. Concept teams looked at the unique characteristics and challenges of a megacity, future maneuver and mobility concepts, Army force design considerations, personnel talent management, and other topics, assessing the requirements for operating in megacities. The conclusions of the SSG research are clear: megacities are unavoidable, they are potentially the most challenging environment the Army has ever faced, and the Army is unprepared to operate in them. The SSG also recommended that the Army, charged with the mandate of preparing forces for sustained operations on land, take the lead in training, organizing, and equipping forces for megacities.

As William Adamson noted in his 2015 Parameters article, “Megacities and the US Army,” the research conducted by the SSG was not the first to take a long and hard look at the challenges of large urban areas. Adamson highlighted a 2000 Government Accounting Office report, which noted that “despite a growing unease that the urban environment is a known vulnerability of US forces, DoD has not made a major commitment to dramatically improve urban capabilities.” Shortly after this, the 2001 Defense Planning Guidance commissioned a study and eighteen-month project that resulted in the Joint Urban Operations (JUO) Master Plan 2012–2017.

Interest in the megacities problem did not stop after the SSG study. The Army’s 2014 Unified Quest wargames included megacities scenarios in its study of future operational environments. The US Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Mad Scientist project continues to look at technological solutions to the challenges posed by megacities. Multiple organizations and agencies continue to assess the Army’s capabilities gaps through the standard Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership, Personnel Facilities, and Policy (DOTMLPF-P) framework.

But despite all of this study, no change has been made to the Army of today to prepare for tomorrow’s operations in megacities—a tomorrow that could be here very soon.

One ongoing military study of megacities is the NATO Urbanization Project. Initiated in 2014, it is a conceptual study of potential crisis situations in urban systems, consequences of urbanization, and the impact on NATO military operations. The project includes seventeen NATO nations, sixteen NATO Centers of Excellence, and representatives of academia and industry.

In the project’s most recent experiment, the NATO team conducted a wargame to determine the capabilities needed to achieve the goals of three likely missions in 2035: response to mass migration, natural disaster, and inner-city turmoil. Within these missions, the wargame specified that a brigade conduct three operations in a megacity—joint forcible entry, major combat, and subsequent stability operations—without unacceptable levels of military or civilian casualties. On top of identifying capabilities gaps in mobility, command and control, and intelligence, the study found that normal employment concepts and force packages for a brigade were wholly inadequate. In future experiments, game participants will be given 5,000 personnel (the high end of a conventional brigade’s manpower) and asked to design a force specifically for the urban environment.

Training, manning, and equipping a 5,000-soldier force to specialize in urban operations would be a novel concept; no military force in the world has attempted this endeavor despite the well-documented challenges of military operations in dense urban terrain.

The US Army purposely avoids specialization. The Army’s Brigade Combat Team (BCT) structure of light infantry, mechanized infantry, and armored formations are specifically designed for global deployment to conduct any and all missions. While these “general purpose forces” may be designed for major combat operations against near-peer adversaries, they are expected to be able to adapt their force structure to any enemy in any environment.

There are a few exceptions—like the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment, designed for “large-scale joint forcible entry operations while simultaneously executing surgical special operations raids across the globe.” But the “general purpose” rule holds true for the bulk of Army units. For example, even BCTs that are given special peacetime missions, like those that serve as the opposing force at one of the Army’s three combat training centers or testing modernization concepts and equipment, are required to maintain readiness for wartime missions just like any other unit in the Army. But the degree of specialized training, manning, and equipment required to effectively fight in megacities is incompatible with the “general purpose” approach.

Of course, urban warfare is not exclusively a future phenomenon. Much has been learned from urban battles in recent history: the Siege of Sarajevo (1992–95); the Battle of Mogadishu (1993); Russian operations in Grozny (1994–95 and 1999–2000); US operations in Baghdad (2003) and Fallujah (2004); Lebanese operations in Nahr al-Bared, Lebanon (2007); and the Second Battle of Donetsk (2014–15). But the broad lessons of these cases have yet to truly inform Army training for urban combat, which for most units consists mainly of tactical training (e.g., room clearing drills with four-man teams). The Army would be much better served by the creation of an entire unit dedicated to preparing to operate in dense urban environments, particularly megacities.

The lessons from recent cases of urban warfare and the many studies on the unique requirements posed by operating in a megacity can be used to design such a unit today. Starting from scratch, a unit could be built based on the specific requirements we know a megacity would call for. The unit leadership would need extreme flexibility and authority in manning, staffing, and equipping. The first attempt will inevitably not be right. But it will be a starting point from which to examine remaining unanswered questions: What are the necessary skills of an urban warrior? What is the right mix of enablers and cross-trained soldiers? What are the best movement and maneuver techniques? If megacities represent a unique unit of analysis, how will that inform this new unit’s mission planning?

We know we will be fighting in megacities and that it will pose major new challenges. Successfully meeting these challenges requires bold action—and requires it now. A new unit would serve as the primary learning organization for the Army and the vanguard of development of planning and doctrine for fighting in megacities.

Both recent studies and global trends forecast the unavoidable deployment of military forces to achieve national objectives in megacities. Given this, committing 5,000 soldiers to man, train, and equip a unit designed specifically to prepare for such a deployment would be a bold insurance plan, and the right choice.

Maj. John Spencer is a scholar with the Modern War Institute at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. A former Ranger Instructor, he has held the ranks of private to sergeant first class and lieutenant to major while serving in ranger, airborne, light, and mechanized infantry units during his 23 years as an infantryman. He looks forward to connecting via Twitter @SpencerGuard. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the US government.



Although we often talk about the military industrial complex in the abstract, we should remember that it is filled with real people who often have no idea what role they are really playing on the Grand Chessboard. These are the people referred to by the globalist elite like Henry Kissinger as “dumb, stupid animals to be used” – the military units themselves. And the rest of us? Probably referred to as much less even than that. And, yet, these two segments: the wild military animals and the domesticated cattle on the farm have far more in common with one another, especially as both are continuously pushed into closer proximity.  We would do well to help inform as many people as possible about the systems that are being built to manage populations so that we can take steps toward abandoning the mindset of threats and conflict and move toward one of peace and cooperation.

Image Credit

Hat Tip: Technocracy.News

Nicholas West writes for ActivistPost.com. He also writes for Counter Markets agorist newsletter.

This article may be freely republished in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

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19 Comments on "West Point’s Modern War Institute Calls For “Megacities Combat Unit”"

  1. NJguy - Proudly Deplorable | February 5, 2017 at 7:49 am |

    There’s no longer much purpose for cities anymore. Once, they were locations where labor could accumulate near factories in order to produce. Now, with factories gone elsewhere, what’s the point? Even non-factory work is frequently done online and financial transactions are done everywhere.

    Time to decommission cities.

    • Problem is the distribution of services and food.
      String development is very expensive. Food distribution is likewise difficult and expensive when serving small communities (think Walmart).
      Solve distribution (Amazon drones?) and power, water and sewage, and then we can dispense with cities.

      • Read it again. They have no intention of “dispensing with cities”; in fact, they want everyone concentrated in their centers of control. The future they envision is ever-bigger cities and some farmers way out yonder.

        • My comment was in reply to NJguy and his “Time to decommission cities.”
          Your comment makes no sense re the article. Who are your ‘they’? not the military, then who?

          • William Burke | February 5, 2017 at 1:45 pm |

            My reply was not specifically to you or anyone. It has to go somewhere, though.

            Who controls the military? If you don’t know, ask around. Someone will help you.

          • Try putting it in the box marked ‘Join the discussion’.
            ‘If you don’t know, ask around. Someone will help you.’ you are a total plonker.
            Your comments make no sense and you are incredibly rude.
            Good For You.

          • William Burke | February 5, 2017 at 2:40 pm |

            Screw you. Is that rude enough for you?

          • Good For You.

      • A solution could be local, independent economies, at least for food production.

        • Absolutely, and renewable power as battery storage becomes viable, Communications have been decentralised and local, and only water and sewage (composting?) are problematic.
          Health, education are both moving toward ‘home based’ solutions, using internet expertise for any with the least intelligence, Australia have been doing it via radio for 70 years. Protection – security was always a personal matter and could become that again with minimal changes to the laws and norms.
          Local based 3D printing handles a lot of production problems for spares and accessories.
          Simplifying life becomes easier as robotics takes over the heavy industries and service industries.
          I am all in favour, but don’t expect to see it in the ‘West’ for at least 20-30 years.

      • The solution is in local agriculture. Many groups in many states are developing local and mobile meat processing. The cities and subs would require meat, dairy, and produce delivery trucks like seen in parts of Asia. and like someone above mentioned cities are no longer required, and they are in fact non sustainable. Mega cities would lead to mega environmental problems. It’s best to evenly distribute populations and develop sustainable agriculture and setup local processing and distribution like early America. We could mitigate high impact agriculture by maintaining larger farms in regions with the land use. The biggest barrier is transitioning to sustainable methods of harvesting. Currently most of our mono crops like corn are highly nitrated due to the use of anhydrous ammonia as a fertilizer, we need to solve this problem because it’s destroying our ground water which is critical obviously. Animal production methods are also high impact. Using an Asian system of linear farming (using adapted platform alternatives) could provide us next generation sustainability. Animals are raised above crops and their manure can be easily transported to the large crop sites. The use of pesticides is also currently unsustainable, and we need to find alternatives. Using existing insects to guard and pollinate non GMO crops may be the solution. In most cases we would be stepping back to an older system, but we would need to avoid the large scale land decimation that was seen during colonial America into the industrial age. If you put people first, it makes sustainable agriculture more important, understanding the toxicity of mono cropping and large dense populations with high solar reflectivity and out of control emissions as seen in places like LA, and New York City. IMHO cities are completely unsustainable as they are currently setup. It would be possible to build a sustainable city but it would require massive investment and require that the city people embrace the many natural elements required to do so. Like continuous garden landscapes, animals, hydro systems, and belts of forests. Solar and wind power hubs would need to be integrated into the landscape. Waste and water would be one of the biggest challenges but waste could be used as fertilizer but would require some degree of processing to eliminate bad bacteria.

  2. Only a government “army” could make “taking cities” a sure-to-be-bungled, OVERLY EXPENSIVE project. Every city is reliant on food being brought in to the habs. How long would it take an invading army to destroy the trucking/shipping hubs, fuel stations and arteries to choke it off? They could literally capture a whole city of 10 million without killing one person… just shoot up a whole bunch of tires, rendering a vehicle STUCK! How would anyone escape?

  3. Get all the liberals into them with their judges, lawyers, and muslims and NUKE em!


  5. Yep, another CIA/FBI project. Why would they do it? Ask Margret Sanger.

  6. Good, but troubling article Mr West.

    My optimism starting the year off has waned much too quickly. Mr Trump appears to be either getting bad advice from neocon/Zionist sources, or he simply fooled us all.

    Threatening war with Iran, a nation who hasn’t been the aggressor since before our founding as a nation, making Sessions the AG, being pro forfiture of money and goods by “suspects” not convicted of crimes, and now this 1984ish revelation, sad.

  7. It is time to HALT or REDUCE population growth. That is the ONLY method of resolving the problem.

    Unfortunately it’s such a simple concept that people are just too STUPID to grasp it!

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