Street Smart

Street Smart: Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield for Urban Operations

Jamison Jo Medby
Russell W. Glenn
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 165
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mr1287a
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  • Book Info
    Street Smart
    Book Description:

    Intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB), the Army's traditional methodology for finding and analyzing relevant information for its operations, is not effective for tackling the operational and intelligence challenges of urban operations. The authors suggest new ways to categorize the complex terrain, infrastructure, and populations of urban environments and incorporate this information into Army planning and decisionmaking processes.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3375-8
    Subjects: Technology

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations
  1. Front Matter (pp. i-ii)
  2. PREFACE (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents (pp. v-viii)
  4. FIGURES (pp. ix-x)
  5. TABLES (pp. xi-xii)
  6. SUMMARY (pp. xiii-xx)
  7. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (pp. xxi-xxii)
  8. ABBREVIATIONS (pp. xxiii-xxvi)
  9. Chapter One INTRODUCTION (pp. 1-10)

    Men, women, and children awoke from a night’s rest and began their day with no thought that it might be their last, or so it was for those who suffered from the dreadful disease in the first days.¹ Seemingly perfectly healthy at dawn, within hours the victims’ eyes and cheeks would sink into their faces. Pinching skin would leave the flesh malformed for too long a time. Diarrhea struck suddenly, so severe that the body could lose a fifth of its weight in a single day. Within twelve hours the disease could kill what a half-day before was a carefree...

  10. Chapter Two INTELLIGENCE PREPARATION OF THE BATTLEFIELD: AN OVERVIEW (pp. 11-24)

    Intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) is the Army’s method for collecting, organizing, and processing intelligence. It is an analytic framework for organizing information to help provide timely, accurate, and relevant intelligence to the military decisionmaking process (MDMP) (see Figure 2.1). The intent of IPB is to give the commander and his staff information on the conditions within his operational area—comprising the area of operations, area of interest, and battlespace—that could affect the outcome of his mission. Conditions to be identified include the relevant characteristics of the weather, terrain, population groups and subgroups, media, and infrastructure. IPB also...

  11. Chapter Three CHALLENGES POSED BY URBANIZED TERRAIN (pp. 25-38)

    There is more to urban areas that at first glance seems to define them. There are “[h]undreds, more likely thousands, tens of thousands, or even millions of buildings, vehicles, people, acreage, rooms, windows, streets, underground passageways, and much else [that] make up the totality.”¹ The densities of both people and buildings in urban areas create familiar operational difficulties for a deployed force. Structures and public works infrastructure inhibit maneuver and firepower, open and close fields of fire, and severely degrade command and control (C2) capabilities.² Urban residents create conditions for restrictive rules of engagement, increase stress on soldiers and logistics...

  12. Chapter Four IPB FOR URBAN OPERATIONS STEP ONE: DEFINE THE OPERATING ENVIRONMENT (pp. 39-50)

    Step one of traditional IPB,define the battlefield area, is intended to define the areas of greatest concern as a commander conducts his mission. Recall that this step requires the delineation of the area of operations (which is typically defined by higher headquarters), area of interest, and battlespace. As these areas are circumscribed, information that can be used to describe them is collected, and missing information is requested and prioritized as intelligence requirements (IR). In operations conducted on open terrain, the delineated areas are typically configured to suit the maneuver, command and control, and logistics components of the unit. As...

  13. Chapter Five IPB FOR URBAN OPERATIONS STEP TWO: DESCRIBE THE OPERATING ENVIRONMENT’S EFFECTS (pp. 51-88)

    The purpose of IPB step two is to describe the operational area in order to (1) acquaint the soldier with the environment he will inhabit during his upcoming mission, and (2) to help the unit staff determine how these surroundings will affect friendly and threat operations. Doctrinally, the second step of IPB is intended to describe how the existing conditions within the AO, AOI, and battlespace can affect friendly and enemy courses of action (COAs).² This is done by first identifying the existing conditions of the battlefield—the terrain, weather, and “other” conditions—and then describing how these conditions could...

  14. Chapter Six IPB FOR URBAN OPERATIONS STEP THREE: IDENTIFY AND EVALUATE THREATS AND RELEVANT INFLUENCES (pp. 89-122)

    Throughout military history, misunderstanding or underestimating the capabilities of an adversary has proved disastrous. Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, and Mogadishu all serve as reminders that a seemingly invincible U.S. force can be surprised and overcome. Several factors contributed to the U.S. defeats in each of these instances. Unquestionably, one of those factors was a lack of adequate information about the threat.

    One of the conditions that sets Mogadishu apart from the other two examples is that units deployed in Somalia were overwhelmed by an opposition composed, in part, of those whom the soldiers were originally deployed to assist. The fact that...

  15. Chapter Seven IPB FOR URBAN OPERATIONS STEP FOUR: DEVELOP NON-U.S. COURSES OF ACTION (pp. 123-132)

    Step four of traditional IPB coordinates what is known about the enemy with the limitations and opportunities provided by the terrain and weather. The typical end products of this step are course-of-action descriptions and overlays that depict what the adversary might possibly pursue given the context of the situation. These are products that will ideally reflect how the enemy might maneuver or otherwise operate given specific environmental conditions. The desired goal is to determine how the adversary is likely to behave in a given situation. An additional objective is identification of the target groups’ centers of gravity (COG), “the hub[s]...

  16. Chapter Eight RECOMMENDATIONS (pp. 133-138)

    As discussed throughout the text, cities contain buildings, infrastructure, and people that affect all types of military operations and their associated intelligence efforts. Indeed, the quantity and complexity of urban areas simultaneously degrade and enhance mission and intelligence undertakings. The effects of media reportage provide a good example of this duality. Information reported from Mogadishu influenced the termination of U.S. military operations in Somalia. Conversely, the same type of television reporting has been used as a real-time intelligence source during Operation Desert Storm and other contingencies. The volume and density of additional components that can affect operational outcomes require a...

  17. Appendix: WEB SITES FOR CONDUCTING URBAN IPB (pp. 139-142)
  18. BIBLIOGRAPHY (pp. 143-151)

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