The Battle for Baghdad: MOUT

The Battle for Baghdad: MOUT
: There’s some sobering reading on a huge Army site dedicated to MOUT — Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain, aka door-to-door urban warfare, aka the battle for Baghdad.

More than one article there starts with the quote from Sun Tsu in the Art of war:

Best policy in war–thwart the enemy’s strategy,

second best–disrupt his alliances through diplomacy,

third best–attack his army in the field,

worst strategy–attack walled cities.

There are many papers about the fighting in Grozny, hardly a model for what we need to accomplish in Baghdad (i.e., we don’t really want to level the place and still lose). And there are many lessons learned from Stalingrad, Somalia, Hue, Beirut, Belfast, and even the L.A. riots.

One policy paper says:

Urban areas pose significant force protection problems. The nature of urban terrain decentralizes and channelizes friendly forces, while adversaries engage a variety of targets