The U.S. Army says it will need to start planning now for war in a world filled with megacities — urban areas with populations exceeding 10 million people.
Gen. Mark Milley, the Army’s Chief of Staff, said this week that military officials have ten years to prepare regular forces for a new kind of war. The officer sees the structure of special operations forces as the key to fielding an effective fighting force.
“What this means then — and I have discussed this with the Army leadership — we are going to have to … optimize the Army for urban warfare. […] The Army will definitely have to organize differently, probably into smaller, more compartmented groups,” Gen Milley said at the Future of War Conference 2017, Military Times reported Monday.
“We will have to have, what I think, is a lot of relatively small formations that are networked and can leverage Air Force and naval-delivered joint fires.”
The general said there will be at least 50 megacities by mid-century that could turn into battlefields.
“If you think of how some of our special operations operate today, that may be a preview of how large your Army operates in the future,” the officer continued. “That doesn’t mean you do away with battalions and brigades, but the fighting element will probably end up having to be a much smaller entity. […] If you stay stationary for any length of time, say more than a couple of hours, you are probably going to get killed.”
Tuesday’s event was hosted by New America in Washington.