Army Press: Primer on Urban Operations

Army Press: Primer on Urban Operations, 17 NOV 16

Today, just over one-half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. That percentage is expected to increase to 66 percent by 2050.1 In 1990, there were ten “megacities” of more than ten million inhabitants. By 2014, it rose to twenty-eight. And, by 2040, that number is expected to increase to forty-one.

With this ongoing and dramatic urbanization of the world’s population, the U.S. Army is highly likely to find itself continuing to operate in cities. It is imperative that we study and understand the dynamics of operating in urban terrain. We must take the time now to analyze and test the lessons learned from different urban operations to ensure our soldiers and leaders are prepared for the future.

As a starting point, Army Press has compiled a selection of articles from Military Review, publications from the Combat Studies Institute, monographs from students at the Command and General Staff College, and other publications. This primer on urban operations should not be viewed as the textbook on the subject, but rather as a starting point for renewed study and conversation.

[1]. All stats come from the United Nations’ World Urbanization Prospects report, accessed 17 November 2016,
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