Fox trot : seeking preparedness for military urban operations

by Russell W. Glenn

Today's U.S. armed forces are at a crossroad, a break between the way urban operations have been conducted in the past and the manner in which they will be carried out in the future. The past has demonstrated that combat in built-up areas is costly in terms of friendly force lives and more expensive yet for noncombatants. The route ahead is virgin terrain; the American public's seeming intolerance of military and civilian casualties rules out attacking cities with massive firepower as U.S. forces did 50 years ago.

Research conducted by

Originally published in: Armed Forces Journal International, May 1999, pp. 46-49.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.