Concept

Operation Urban Warrior

Summary
Operation Urban Warrior was a United States Marine Corps program created as an exercise meant to plan and test Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT) and urban warfare in general. It was developed in the mid 1990s by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory partly in response to growing problem on inner-city fighting, and especially made urgent following the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. Press materials from the Warfighting Lab in 1997 stated, "..the world is becoming increasingly urbanized and increasingly dangerous" and described a new fight zone called the "urban littoral," or coastal zone where most of the world's population will reside. "Parts of the urban littoral will contain all the classic ingredients for conflict. There will be social, cultural, religious and tribal strife between different groups. Many areas will have scarce resources, including the most basic ones like food and shelter as populations grow and resources shrink even further. The chances for conflict will naturally grow with it". Some preferred to call it the "Three Block War". The concern that Marines would be made responsible for humanitarian assistance, as evidenced by the Bosnian War, was part of the original planning of the program. According to a 1997 Defense Monitor brief, the Marines were facing the burden of excessive operational tempo related to humanitarian concerns. The importance of getting the military out of humanitarian relief was expressed in the 1997 Center for Defense Information brief. Our enemies, having watched Desert Storm on CNN, know they cannot engage the United States with conventional methods. These potential foes view cities as a way to limit the technological advantages of our military. They know that cities, with their narrow streets, confusing layout and large number of civilian non-combatants, place limits on our technological superiority and especially our use of firepower. We have to develop technologies that allow us to win while minimizing collateral damage.
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