human experience in the built environment
March 1, 2016 10:08 PM   Subscribe

Medina Wasl is a small, prototypical Iraqi desert town with a market, a mosque, and the occasional car bomb. It's just down the road from Ertabat Shar, a small, prototypical Afghan mountain town with a market, a mosque, and the occasional truck bomb. They are the simulated battlefields[main link] of the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, in the Mojave desert. They offer tours. posted by the man of twists and turns (5 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm not sure that urban warfare should be seen as a new thing in any way: it was the standard model of warfare until quite recently. I suspect that this perspective may be more of an American thing, because only in the sparsely-populated New World could wars be primarily about controlling territories rather than capturing the cities that command them. Even as late as WW2, cities were focal points for the conflict: they were arsenals, barracks, citadels, redoubts for the losing side and milestones for the victors. Pictures of post WW2 Warsaw (and Budapest and Leningrad and... ) pretty thoroughly demolish the idea that this is a recent development.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:16 AM on March 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


The intersection of architecture and violence and the evolution of urban warfare in the occupied territories of the West Bank (Al Jazeera documentary)
posted by Mister Bijou at 3:26 AM on March 2, 2016


I'm not sure that urban warfare should be seen as a new thing in any way: it was the standard model of warfare until quite recently.

This is not the case at all. Warfare happened specifically away from urban centers for most of human history, because commanders wanted to avoid urban fighting. When the Duke of Guilder's forces are making their way toward your capital, you damn sure want to meet them somewhere nice and open where you can maneuver, rather than in a city, especially your own city where your civilian subjects are going to get killed.

I suspect that this perspective may be more of an American thing, because only in the sparsely-populated New World could wars be primarily about controlling territories rather than capturing the cities that command them.

It's not just the new world that's sparsely populated. Most people lived outside of cities until 2008. Control of territory (farmland, mines, oil fields, transportation networks) outside of cities has always been the key part of warfare; urban warfare has always been cleanup.
posted by Etrigan at 6:32 AM on March 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


This Turban war center is adjacent to one of my very favorite towns for strange sightings, and The Old Woman Meteorite, Barstow. If you go there, don't miss Mrs. B's Diner's, bisquits and gravy. Once I had these I then understood why anyone would eat them.

So I was at the barricaded gas and liquor store at Barstow's northwest side, going that way, getting gas at 9Am. I was approached by a man getting out of a white Chrysler LeBaron convertible. He was wearing graduated lens metal shades, a red silky neck kerchief, a bright blue dress shirt, open at the neck, slacks and a white linen dinner jacket. In a thick Russian accent, he asked if I knew how to get to Fort Irwin. I nodded negative, but wondered of he were going to bust out into some dance routine.
posted by Oyéah at 7:12 AM on March 2, 2016


I've been to Medina Jabal, which is shown in one of the links. Seizing an objective which consists of three two-story buildings in full chemical gear and a gas mask = good times
posted by A Bad Catholic at 2:20 PM on March 4, 2016


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