Intelligence gathering, using UAVs and electronic eavesdropping are not new technologies. The difference is that there are now more UAVs and more powerful sensors available. These enable the attacker to get an idea of what the defender is doing in terms of preparations. Israel also used a lot of HUMINT (human intelligence) using Arab speaking agents and local informers. Getting HUMINT is a lot harder for most other armies, like the American troops in Iraq. But even here, you will find Iraqis who will help you because they hate the violence more than an invading army. Intelligence always pays off if you collect all the information you can. The more you know, the less you bleed. This is a simple rule that is always broken by armies that take a lot of casualties. Your information about the enemy controls everything else you do, so go get all you can, anyway you can, before you send your troops in.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Urban Combat: Do it Fast, First, and Dirty
The Strategy Page looks at urban combat through shared US and Israeli TTP. Good article, although the author is pretty much looking at just the high-intensity phase. A lot of the TTP mentioned don't stand up too well once the fight segues into a COIN fight. One constant, though, is intelligence: