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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century 5 Improving Capabilities in Related Areas MILITARY OPERATIONS IN POPULATED AREAS It has been pointed out that some 70 percent of the world's population lives within 200 miles of the sea. This has served to define the area of interest for Navy and Marine Corps involvement in warfare along the littoral. Yet many planning scenarios, especially those for MRCs, consider only the interactions of the military forces that will be involved. Given the nature of regional international interactions that can lead to military operations, however, such operations in populated areas will be common, even in MRCs. Certainly the Marine Corps will have to deal with populations on land; the Navy will also have to be (indeed, has been) concerned with them in actions such as boarding ships, handling refugees at sea, and countering terrorists. Military operations in populated areas may involve operations in or on the fringes of cities or other areas having various degrees of urbanization. Because of that variability, the nature of the areas in which the operations may take place has been difficult to characterize. The term “military operations in built-up areas” (MOBA) has long been used. A draft Marine Corps manual deals with the subject as “military operations in urban terrain” (MOUT). Also involved are “operations other than war” (OOTW). The term “military operations in populated areas, ” without a defining acronym, has been adopted here to encompass all of the implied variations in meaning. To operate in populated areas the Marines will have to emphasize intelligence and psychological operations. These operations will call for specialized knowledge about the area; knowledge of the local language; ability to intercept and exploit local communications (including other than electronic communications—drums were used at critical times in Mogadishu) to enhance combat intelligence gathering and response to developing situations; ability to establish and use local human intelligence (HUMINT) networks, and to connect with and exploit those that may already be in place; and the ability to preempt, use, or deny opponents' use of local communication and information networks, such as radio, television, and print media. Clearly, such capabilities put a premium on operations in coalitions, some of whose members will have the requisite expertise.
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century While the Marines need the ability to deal with populations in their operations, the Army has extensive capabilities in this area, from psychological operations to establishing civil governments and keeping civic order. The Marines will therefore need the capability to bring appropriate Army units along and integrate them into Marine operations. Tactically, the Marines must be able to operate with indigenous forces. They may not have had the chance to practice with those forces before the onset of the crisis precipitating military action, so that advance preparation, along the lines sketched above, will be essential. One step that can help all these preparations would be the establishment and continual updating of area databases for cities and countries where it is anticipated that military action may take place—recognizing that the areas assigned highest priority may not be the ones demanding attention first. The problem is akin to that of preparing up-to-date maps, and demands the same kind of joint attention. Combat in areas with buildings and streets produces extensive casualties in attacking forces, as well as casualties and destruction among civilians trapped as bystanders. To engage in such combat while minimizing both casualties in their own forces and collateral casualties and destruction, the Marines will need many technical capabilities, some of which are in some phase of R&D but not yet fully available for use in the forces. These capabilities include, among others, periscopes and robots for scouting around corners and along streets; radar and IR sensors that can “see” through walls and clothing; lightweight, short-range radio communications that do not depend on line-of-sight transmission in areas that have tall buildings, and that do not occupy a soldier 's hands while in action; and non-destructive (or minimally destructive) weaponry to isolate and overcome armed resistance. An important part of operations in populated areas is the ability to organize, maintain order among, and feed and provide shelter and medical care to neutral or friendly populations disturbed or displaced by the military operations. It may also be necessary to subdue or control hostile populations in relatively benign ways. This calls for non-lethal or less-than-lethal means to make them immobile and/or passive. These means might include foams, slimes, and sticky substances making movement difficult; nausea generators to deflect people from hostile purposes; and others of similar character. “Instant barriers ” to movement, such as foams that expand and then harden in place on exposure to air, would enable partitioning of built-up areas and interdiction or canalization of vehicular movement. Specially tailored and focused information techniques can also deflect or control mob action, and can counter incitement to such action. The ability to rapidly establish holding, feeding, and screening areas for prisoners and civilian detainees, using indigenous materials and facilities where available, and applying some of the “instant barrier” techniques noted above
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century where necessary, is also important. While facilities such as warehouses, stadiums, or simply empty fields may be available, doctrine, area knowledge, and practice are needed. Food and medical care may be critical items and must be included in preliminary expedition planning. Many of the techniques and technologies used for controlling population dynamics raise ethical and policy issues that may be viewed differently by the U.S. military and civilian sectors (as was the case, for example, with the use of CS [o-chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile] riot control agent to drive Viet Cong from tunnels during the Vietnam war). While it is difficult to argue such things in the abstract, the committee believes that there would be some utility in starting discussion of these issues now so that they can be anticipated and paths to their resolution considered before the issues arise at critical times to hobble operations and cause dissension. Restriction of applicable R&D would be premature at this stage, however. Finally, all the capabilities described above will have to be adapted to operations against sub- and transnational groups, such as drag lords, terrorists, bandits, and so on, with whom the Navy and Marine Corps may be assigned to interact militarily. Special attention is needed to adapt the following capabilities for such operations: Local intelligence, psychological operations, and communications capability designed for populated areas; Tailored information warfare and signal intelligence (SIGINT) exploitation; Fast-response, precise attack of small, fleeting, low-signature targets; Neutralizing mines, IR SAMs, and antiaircraft artillery (AAA) in landing zones; and Non-destructive operations against opponents in populated areas in the presence of civilian populations. Recommended Actions The Navy and Marine Corps must expect to operate in populated and built-up areas along the littoral in all military actions from those short of war to MRCs. Capabilities should therefore be built to Develop local area and language expertise and the ability to establish and exploit local intelligence networks, and to preempt and exploit local communications media, with the aid of local forces and governments;
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century Fight in built-up areas with techniques and technical means that minimize friendly casualties and collateral civilian casualties and destruction, in coordination with local forces where appropriate and necessary; Assist local civilian populations in maintaining order and subsisting in war-induced food emergencies, and subdue and control hostile local populations by non-lethal means; and Adapt these techniques, and others as appropriate, to operations with sub- and transnational groups like drug lords, bandits, and terrorists. The Marines should be prepared to integrate and involve Army units in Marine Corps activities associated with military operations in populated areas, especially in intelligence, psychological operations, civil affairs, and maintenance of local order, where the Army may have capabilities not immediately available to the Marines. Ethical and policy issues attending some aspects of operations in populated areas should be raised and discussed in advance to the extent feasible in the abstract, so that they can be resolved practically and with forethought during crises without hobbling ongoing operations. ADVANCED MEDICAL LOGISTICS Along the African littoral and the southern and eastern Asian littoral, a high incidence of disease will likely create more casualties than will the direct results of combat. Up to 75 percent of casualties in previous conflicts in these areas have been the result of disease rather than of military action. In areas such as sub-Saharan Africa, malaria infection rates among deployed troops may approach 100 percent. Human immunodeficiency vires (HIV) is profoundly altering the medical risk to U.S. troops, worldwide. A U.S. force could easily find itself ineffective for its mission, without severe combat having taken place. Also, medical care for indigenous civilian populations can be an important aspect of military operations in populated areas. Finally, preventive measures and treatment for the effects of exposure to chemical and biological weapons are far from completely in hand.
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century Most Navy medical assets are oriented toward hospital-based medicine rather than toward support of operational forces. This carries over into operation of hospital ships, where many Marine casualties will be sent. There are some casualty care facilities on amphibious ships, but these are relatively meager. For many reasons, field medicine is not a strong discipline in the Navy: as a career option it is less attractive for medical officers; many hospital corpsmen serve in operational billets without having attended field medical school; and few Navy physicians or nurses have field training or full familiarization with their operational billets. In keeping with the Navy's and the Marine Corps' emerging forward presence missions and orientation toward warfare along the littoral, many of these aspects of medical care for forward forces will have to be revised. Medical considerations and personnel will have to be fully integrated into plans for future Navy and Marine Corps operations. Policies and facilities for casualty care, evacuation, and CONUS hospitalization must be reviewed and revised accordingly. Medical capabilities of amphibious ships should be enhanced, and the ships of the logistic support base (or the MOB if that support base proves preferable) should be given some casualty-handling capability. Another application would be the use of returning strategic airlift aircraft for early casualty evacuation, with CONUS hospitals adapted to their treatment as appropriate. All these considerations must be part of the review and reformulation of medical care policy for the evolving concepts of operation in the littoral environment. Recommended Action The Navy and Marine Corps should review the policies for medical care and medical treatment of forward forces to account for the actual conditions of military operations along the littoral, and consider the need for revising them. This includes recognition of the role of disease in producing casualties even when troops are not engaged in combat, and of the importance of field medicine as distinct from hospital-based medicine in medical support and practices. PROTECTING THE FORCE As is indicated in the section on opposing capabilities (p. 32), potential opponents in regional conflict will be able to bring to bear a variety of modern weapons against U.S. Navy and Marine Corps forces. A CVBG, an ARG, and MPSs concentrating for military action, especially in an MRC, become prime targets for enemy attack. Many defense systems to meet such attack are already aboard U.S. warships, and many new ones are under development. Among the
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century latter are air defenses, including cooperative engagement capability (CEC) that will integrate and multiply the effectiveness of separate defenses on many ships in a CVBG; air superiority systems, including advanced aircraft and air-to-air weapons; and antitactical missile systems. Torpedo defense systems were under development as the Cold War came to a close and can be adapted to the new mission needs. Comment on these system—all of which are of vital importance to U.S. regional conflict capability and all of which have problems of implementation—is beyond the scope of this study. However, the committee highlighted four defense areas that it believes need additional attention and emphasis. The first is protection of MPSs and cargo ships against antiship cruise missiles. As noted earlier, a proliferating variety of such missiles, from stealthy subsonic cruise missiles to supersonic sea skimmers, can be launched from land, air, or sea against those ships. The fleet's CEC is designed to cover any ships protected by fleet formations. However, with logistic ships serving in a new role as logistic warehouses at sea, they will be offshore in a relatively small general area, in association with the amphibious assault ships, perhaps for protracted periods. It will not be desirable to restrict the combat fleet's mobility by keeping it in a protective position for the amphibious ships and the logistic fleet for long periods. Either the fleet's long-range fire support will have to eliminate the sources of enemy fire early (difficult if some of that fire can come from submarines or hidden launchers on land), or capable anticruise missile defenses will have to be added to the amphibious and logistic fleets, or both means of defense may be needed. The defenses can take many forms, which this study has not explored for relative cost-effectiveness or operational preference. Here, the committee primarily emphasizes the need. A second area of concern is protection against the large and growing number of modern, quiet submarines that hostile regional powers will be able to bring into a conflict. From some 40 such submarines in holdings outside Europe and Japan a few years ago, the number may grow to 80 or more by the turn of the century, in addition to Russia 's strong emphasis and continued upgrading of her submarine fleet and submarine warfare capability. The needs of such protection differ significantly from those of deep-water ASW since during a regional conflict many of the submarines will operate in relatively shallow coastal waters, where signals and signatures are uncertain or can be masked and where there are unlikely to be established bottom-mounted long-range sonar networks. Again, the amphibious and the logistic support ships may well have to be configured to contribute to the defense of the amphibious fleet against this threat. Without going into detail on the nature of such systems, the committee emphasizes the need for increased attention to ASW in littoral environments.
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century Ballistic missiles with guidance accuracy as good as 50 meters and with radiation-seeking or distributed-effect (bomblet) warheads will constitute an important part of the threat against friendly forces. In addition to the extensive work under way in all the Services to counter such missiles in flight and before launch, there is a need for launch warning and some degree of early target area prediction to forces that can take appropriate passive defense actions—for example, having exposed personnel in rear bases take shelter, emission control of ship radars, and ship evasive action. SOPs for such actions must also be worked out in advance. Finally, the force operating along the littoral must be able to contribute to deterrence of the use of weapons of mass destruction and to countering their effects. This includes the following actions: Having a stated policy of severe retaliation, with a known retaliatory capability to which the Navy and Marine Corps forces in the local area are known to be able to contribute; Having a demonstrated ability to find and destroy weapon storage sites; Developing doctrine and carrying out training for continued operations in case weapons of mass destruction are used; Deploying early warning systems against chemical weapons; Developing and deploying early warning systems against biological weapons; Having chemical protective gear available and troops trained to don it and to operate while wearing it; and Developing and having available vaccinations and treatments for biological weapon effects. Recommended Actions There are many R&D, operational, and system acquisition activities under way that will enhance protection of Navy and Marine forces engaged in conflicts along the littoral. A thorough evaluation of these measures is beyond the scope of this study, but the committee wishes to emphasize the need for action in the following areas, which it believes are not receiving enough attention in planning for future missions:
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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century Protection of logistic and amphibious assault ships against the variety of antiship cruise missiles that can be launched against them from land, sea, or air; Protection of logistic and amphibious ships against the proliferating numbers of modern, quiet submarines that will be held by potential opponents; Provision for launch warning and SOPs for passive defense actions to take when hostile ballistic missiles are launched against the amphibious force; and Capabilities for Navy and Marine Corps littoral warfare forces to contribute to effective retaliation in case weapons of mass destruction are used, and to mitigate their effects if they are used against our forces.
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