Cover: Denying the Widow-Maker

Denying the Widow-Maker

Summary of Proceedings of the RAND-DBBL Conference on Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain

Published 1998

by Russell W. Glenn, Randall Steeb, John Matsumura, Sean J. A. Edwards, Robert Everson, Scott Gerwehr, John Gordon IV, Fenner Milton, Timothy Thomas, Randy Sullivan, et al.


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This document is a summary of the two-day military operations on urbanized terrain (MOUT) conference held at the RAND Washington, D.C. office on February 24-25, 1998. The conference was co-hosted by the RAND Arroyo Center and the United States Army Infantry School Dismounted Battlespace Battle Lab. The agenda included presentations on recent historical events (Grozny, Hue), ongoing operations in urban areas (Bosnia), and initiatives underway to improve future force readiness to conduct military operations in cities. Afternoon sessions challenged conference participants to develop near- and longer-term approaches to attain such improvements. This summary is a presentation of views presented and issues debated during the two-day period. Copies of the slides used by conference speakers appear in the appendices. Conference attendees agreed that a continued reliance on Second World War-type combat methods for operations in cities was counterproductive. While it was recognized that near-term improvements would be limited to enhancing current procedures via modified doctrine, training, and extant or proven concept technologies, such changes could at best result in marginal upgrades in force readiness. For the longer term, alternatives to large-scale commitments of U.S. manpower into urban areas and subsequent engagement of adversaries at close range was deemed desirable. Early research reflects that such a significant change in methodology may be feasible by the opening years of the next century's third decade.

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The study was under the auspices of RAND's Arroyo Center.

This report is part of the RAND conference proceeding series. RAND conference proceedings present a collection of papers delivered at a conference or a summary of the conference.

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