Saturday, June 2, 2007

IDA's 21st-Century Urban Warfare Research Work

The Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA] has been developing the weapons technology that the U.S. war machine requires to wage urban warfare in places like Baghdad more effectively during this 21st-century “era of permanent war and blogging.” As the IDA notes on its site:

“U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) asked IDA to provide technical assistance as a follow-on to the Urban Resolve Phase I experiment conducted in 2004. This new work focused on improving current joint operations in an urban environment.

“Our researchers designed and conducted the 2005 experiment to identify and evaluate potential near-term improvements in command and control, sensors, and intelligence to support operations in Baghdad. In the process, IDA helped JFCOM develop an advanced synthetic experimentation environment to explore current issues in simulation.
In addition, JFCOM initiated the Urban Resolve 2015 Experiment, which will build on the 2005 environment to identify more effective concepts for future stability operations than those currently available for Iraq and Afghanistan. IDA participated in a series of workshops that defined the kinds of information needed to attack insurgent networks, the most effective means for obtaining that information, and the details needed to incorporate these concepts into supporting models used to execute the event.

“We developed a concept involving tags and unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with advanced sensors that blends both human and technical means for detecting insurgent activities, tracking their vehicles and personnel, and locating their facilities. Tag and sensor models were developed to take advantage of the existing JFCOM simulation suite in order to bring the concepts to life in the Urban Resolve 2015 human-in-the-loop simulation. The goal is to refine and quantify the battlefield utility of these and other concepts, providing a guide for the DoD science and technology community that will lead to advanced concept technology demonstrations and transition to field operations.”

University of South Carolina President Emeritus John Palms is the Chairperson of the IDA board of trustees. MIT Institute Professor Sheila Widnall, MIT and Harvard University Broad Institute Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Programs Director Jill Mesirov, Harvard University JFK School of Government Lecturer in Public Policy John White and University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs Professor Edwin Dorn also sit on the IDA board of trustees these days.

Next: Columbia University’s MURI War Machine Connection