Magazine article National Defense

Commandant: Situational Awareness Insufficient to Counter Urban Threat

Magazine article National Defense

Commandant: Situational Awareness Insufficient to Counter Urban Threat

Article excerpt

Gen. Charles C. Krulak, USMC, Marine Corps commandant, believes the military should be preparing to fight an enemy in an urban, asymmetrical environment, but has little faith in situational awareness, one of the Pentagon's buzzwords for the 21st century armed forces. Urban and jungle landscapes are where information dominance is less certain, he said. "Does anybody really believe in situational awareness? I don't," said Gen. Krulak. "I'm not willing to bet we're going to have that capability. We're certainly not going to have it where the fight is going to be, and that's in the urban areas."

Gen. Krulak believes mission planners should concentrate on denying the enemy's situational awareness systems, and develop deception capabilities, robotics, and provide sea- and land-based applications. "You find a way to deceive on land and in the air, I'm going to buy it," he said.

The Marine Corps has developed a handheld computer checkers game to teach soldiers how to recognize patterns and make split second decisions. He said troops need to polish those skills to be better prepared for the future urban battlefield. …

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