''People Make the City,'' Executive Summary

Joint Urban Operations Observations and Insights from Afghanistan and Iraq

by Russell W. Glenn, Christopher Paul, Todd Helmus, Paul S. Steinberg

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Today’s strategic environment implies an obligation to preserve innocent life when possible and to rebuild that which war destroys. Urban areas are the keys to nations; people make nations just as, as Thucydides wrote, men make cities. This study aimed to reveal tools that will better enable military and civilian alike to meet national policy objectives by more effectively conducting urban combat and restoration. To do so, the study draws heavily on written material and interviews pertaining to Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. Written information used includes thousands of pages of hard-copy and electronic material, much of it from military personnel still serving in theater at the time of its writing. Interviews include those with members of the American, British, and Australian armed forces and civilians working to reconstruct Iraq. The military personnel represent all of the services and both regular and special operations organizations. The time frame for the study corresponds to two collection phases. Phase I was conducted from October 2003 to April 2004, while Phase II was conducted during three months, from July 2004 to September 2004. The results of a third phase of the study are published separately.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Three Overarching Synthesis Observations

  • Chapter Three

    Observations and Insights: Understand

  • Chapter Four

    Observations and Insights: Shape

  • Chapter Five

    Observations and Insights: Engage

  • Chapter Six

    Observations and Insights: Consolidate

  • Chapter Seven

    Observations and Insights: Transition

  • Chapter Eight

    Tactical Observations and Insights: Selected Offerings

  • Chapter Nine

    The Street Ahead: How the Past Should Influence Preparations for the Future

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Joint Forces Command. The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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