Infantry: March 7, 2000


A new report by the General Accounting Office says that the US military has not devoted enough intelligence work to the problems of fighting in cities, and as a result has inadequate information about the structures and layout of most of them, particularly in the Third World. For many cities, there are no accurate street maps on file at the Pentagon (or anywhere else, for that matter). The GAO noted that this even applied to Bosnia and Kosovo (as well as Somalia) and that US troops faced additional dangers and casualties because this most basic information was lacking. Some of the information lacking includes which bridges (and streets) will support tanks, which tall buildings would block communications, line of sight information from various structures, the locations and size of sewers and storm drains that could be used to move troops (particularly guerrillas) under the front lines, the locations of fuel storage facilities, and the existence and location of fire mains.--Stephen V Cole


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