Friday, May 9, 2008

DARPA's Military Mission & University Connections--Part 5

(See Parts 1-4 below)

In his March 25, 2004 statement before the House Committee on Armed Services’ Subcommittee on “Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities,” the Director of DARPA, Dr. Anthony Tether, also indicated that the DARPA-funded research work that is currently done on U.S. university campuses at places like Columbia is being used to improve the U.S. war machine’s capacity to wage war in urban areas of the globe:

“Urban area operations can be the most dangerous, costly, and chaotic forms of combat. The number of military operations in urban area is increasing and this trend will likely continue for the foreseeable future. By 2025, nearly 60 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Adversaries will seek to fight U.S. forces in cities as a way to mitigate the U.S.’s superior ability to quickly destroy fixed and mobile targets in open and semi-concealed terrain. Accordingly, DARPA has created a new strategic thrust, Force Multipliers for Urban Area Operations.

“The basic idea is to do for the extremely complex urban environment what has been done for open terrain combat: find and use technology that significantly increases U.S. forces’ power and flexibility so that fewer forces are required to accomplish the mission.

“If successful, new urban warfare concepts and technologies would enable U.S. forces fighting in or stabilizing a city to achieve the same or greater overall effect as a larger force using current technology.

“Some initial concepts suggest making strong use of the vertical dimension for entry and attack. Other ideas focus on bringing situational awareness quickly into the complex urban battlespace. Information should flow smoothly from prehostilities intelligence into a tactical network that quickly disseminates information. The goal is to ensure U.S. forces can find and neutralize the enemy wherever he is located—on the streets, inside buildings, or hidden in underground bunkers.

“To achieve this vision, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA), firepower, and communications must be robust, persistent, integrated, and immediately available. Firepower might include highly responsive precision air and ground fires, or even loitering and soldier-launched weapons, all networked directly to RSTA sensors.”

Next: DARPA’s Military Mission & University Connections—Part 6

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