ThoughtStorms Wiki

Now there's a blog on the militarization of architecture :

From The Times UK newspaper. Unfortunately the link is wholly broken, including on Wayback Machine. This was in the early days of the AmericanWarOnIraq

An astonishing event is about to happen. For the first time in modern history a city with the population of London is preparing to resist assault from a land army. The outcome of such a struggle is wholly imponderable. ... In Baghdad the coalition forces confront a city apparently determined on resistance. They should remember Napoleon in Moscow, Hitler in Stalingrad, the Americans in Mogadishu and the Russians at Grozny. Hostile cities have ways of making life ghastly for aggressors. They are not like countryside. They seldom capitulate, least of all when their backs are to the wall. ... In the desert, armies fight armies. In cities, armies fight cities.

Makes me think of the problems the Brazilians currently have fighting the drug gangs in Rio.

Update : didn't happen of course, but still an interesting idea.

Update 2 : It is still happening :-(

JohnRobb channels MikeDavis putting together GlobalGuerrillas style systems disruption with OnFavelas

What the U.S. has demonstrated in recent years is an extraordinary ability to knock out the hierarchical organization of the modern city, to attack its crucial infrastructures and nodes, to blow up the TV stations, take out the pipelines and bridges. Smart bombs can do that, but simultaneously the Pentagon discovered that this technology isn't applicable to the slum periphery, to the labyrinthine, unmapped, almost unknown parts of the city which lack hierarchies, lack centralized infrastructures, lack tall buildings. There's really quite an extraordinary military literature trying to address what the Pentagon sees as the most novel terrain of this century, which it now models in the slums of Karachi, Port au Prince, and Baghdad. A lot of this goes back to the experience of Mogadishu [in 1993], which was a big shock to the United States and showed that traditional urban war-fighting methods don't work in the slum city.

Russians in Grozny :

Ghost town :

Analysis of what was wrong with US planning for Iraq :

  • If the United States and its allies wanted to maintain the same ratio of peacekeepers to population as it had in Kosovo, the briefing said, they would have to station 480,000 troops in Iraq. If Bosnia was used as benchmark, 364,000 troops would be needed. If Afghanistan served as the model, only 13,900 would be needed in Iraq. The higher numbers were consistent with projections later provided to Congress by Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, then the Army chief of staff, that several hundred thousand troops would be needed in Iraq. But Mr. Rumsfeld dismissed that estimate as off the mark.*
  • More forces generally are required to control countries with large urban populations. The briefing pointed out that three-quarters of Iraq's population lived in urban areas. In Bosnia and Kosovo, city dwellers made up half of the population. In Afghanistan, it was only 18 percent. *

JohnRobb on cities' vulnerability to GlobalGuerrillas : (part (part of a discussion of failure of a NationState). Links to

BLDBLG : The Four Floor War

We are going to be on the top floor of a skyscraper... evacuating civilians and helping people. The middle floor, we might be detaining really bad people that we’ve caught. On the first floor we will be down there killing them. ...At the same time they will be getting away through the subway or subterrain. How do we train to fight that? Because it is coming, that fight right there is coming I do believe with all my heart.

See also OnFavelas, OnWalls, NetWar, AfterAmericanWarOnIraq, DefensiveArchitecture

CategoryWar, CategoryOrganicArchitecture