DIA Director: Subterranean fighting ‘something we’ll have to contend with’
Speaking at the Defense One Tech Summit in Washington, D.C., Army Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley said the U.S. military is discussing the elevation of subterranean operations to an official warfighting domain—alongside air, land, maritime, space, and cyber.
Global trends indicate that 60 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2030, while at least 50 megacities with populations exceeding 10 million people will spring up by mid-century.
Military leaders, including Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley, have warned for years the United States is not prepared for the coming shift to urban fighting, particularly given the need for weapons systems capable of maneuvering in dense urban environments.
Members of the House Armed Services Committee in April attempted to address the issue in their markup of the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which included a provision on Army urban warfare training. The subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities called on Milley and Army Secretary Mark Esper to brief Congress on plans to integrate that training into the Army and to assess the practicality of building an urban warfare training center.
“The Army should more aggressively prepare for urban warfare and explore the construction of an urban warfare training center that focuses on basic and advanced skills to fight, survive, and win in urban operating environments,” the markup said. “This training should address the challenges associated with vertical, subterranean, and dense urban terrain.”
Ashley said conversations regarding the domain of subterranean warfare are ongoing among defense officials, particularly as near-peer adversaries like Russia and China secure technological advancements in this realm.
Full article: Trump Administration Weighing Underground Military Force (Washington Free Beacon)