Small Wars Journal Article: Postcard from Mumbai: Modern Urban Siege

Outstanding article all law enforcement and security should read from the Small Wars Journal Postcard from Mumbai: Modern Urban Siege… Our adversaries are adapting their tactics to exploit our weaknesses with small unit tactics and multiple targets spreading our resources and capabilities. This article is a must read for those of us whose duty it is to protect the homeland.  Knowledge inspires insight, innovation and initiative…needed to prepare and respond to the emerging threats.


Postcard from Mumbai
Modern Urban Siege
by John P. Sullivan and Adam Elkus, Small Wars Journal

According to many television news reports, the Mumbai terrorist attacks were a “siege.” But there were no catapults, cannons, or breaching ladders. Instead, a dozen men with guns paralyzed one of the world’s largest cities, killing 173 with barely concealed glee. Sadly, Mumbai heralds a new chapter in the bloody story of war in cities—the siege of the city from within. The polis is fast becoming a war zone where criminals, terrorists, and heavily armed paramilitary forces battle—and all can be targeted. All the while, gardens of steel spring up, constricting popular movement and giving way to an evolving architecture of fear. The “feral city” and the military colony battle each other for dominance in the urban siege.

Defending against the urban siege requires bridging the gap between police and military, building a layered defense, and fighting to preserve the right to the city. Despite the terrifying nature of the threat, the ultimate advantage lies with the vibrant modern city and the police, soldiers, and civilians tasked to defend it. The key to success lies in the construction of resilient physical and moral infrastructure. Continue Reading