Marching Under Darkening Skies

The American Military and the Impending Urban Operations Threat

by Russell W. Glenn


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Recent history provides evidence that U.S. participation in future urban military operations is inevitable; past events reflect that these operations are extraordinary in their demands on ground and air forces. This report draws on a review of relevant literature, service doctrine, training, and emerging technologies to assess U.S. military preparedness to undertake military operations on urbanized terrain (MOUT). Its concluding pages offer observations and preliminary recommendations addressing identified shortfalls. These recommendations include: (1) The four services should adopt Marine Corps Warfighting Publication 3-35.3 as the initial foundation for a more comprehensive doctrine on joint MOUT; (2) the U.S. Army Center for Lessons Learned should publish a MOUT lessons-learned bulletin; (3) include realistic consideration of operations in urban environments during service and joint exercises; (4) include MOUT considerations in the development of new technologies; (5) provide cadre at urban operations training sites; and (6) provide for complete instrumentation of selected Combat Training Center MOUT facilities.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    A Review of Selected Urban Operations Literature

  • Chapter Three

    The Status of Doctrine

  • Chapter Four

    Mout Training

  • Chapter Five

    Technology and Mout

  • Chapter Six


  • Chapter Seven


  • Chapter Eight


Research conducted by

This research was sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development, and Acquisition and by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans and was conducted in the Force Development and Technology Program of the RAND Arroyo Center.

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