Episode 63: John Spencer: Urban Warfare as the Great Leveller

Peter Roberts talks to the doyen of urban warfare research, Prof John Spencer, about why strategies of 'avoid and bypass' for urban conflicts just don't work, and why fighting in urban areas is so much more than close-quarters battles and house-clearing drills.

It seems Western militaries are going to have to break out of their single-minded focus on manoeuvre warfare if they are going to contest vital spaces in the coming decades.

2023 Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize

Submissions are now open to our annual competition for original writing on contemporary issues of national and international defence and security. Find out more details on the 2023 Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize page and how to enter.

Western Way of War Podcast Series

A collection of discussions with those in the Profession of Arms that tries to understand the issues around how to fight, and succeed, against adversaries in the 2020s. We pose the questions as whether a single Western Way of Warfare (how Western militaries fight) has been successful, whether it remains fit for task today, and how it might need to adapt in the future? It is complemented by the ‘Adversarial Studies’ project that looks at how adversaries fight.


Professor Peter Roberts

Senior Associate Fellow

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