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Profs & Pints DC: Understanding Urban Warfare
May 23, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT$2 – $12.
Profs and Pints DC presents: “Understanding Urban Warfare,” with Rita Konaev, deputy director of analysis and research fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology.
The Russian military has surprised many observers by performing poorly in its efforts to take major cities in Ukraine. There is a danger, however, in fixating on Russia’s many tactical mistakes without acknowledging a broader truth—urban warfare has humbled far greater militaries than the Russian one, including that of the United States.
Preparing to fight in the 21st century increasingly means preparing for urban warfare. More than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, and the United Nations estimates that 68% of the global population will be urban by 2050. Nearly half of the armed conflicts fought around the world over the past decade have been fought in cities such as Aleppo, Sana’a, Mosul, Raqqa, and Gaza.
Gain a deep understanding of urban warfare with Dr. Rita Konaev, a scholar of urban warfare in the Middle East, Russia and Eurasia whose research has been published widely in leading journals of security and strategic studies.
Dr. Konaev will discuss the operational, technological, and humanitarian challenges of urban warfare, making clear that it is neither a new nor uncommon phenomenon. Because of their political, psychological, and logistical value, military strategists have long viewed cities as centers of gravity – to be either defended or conquered in times of conflict.
Her talk will pay particular attention to how Russia fights in cities and will offer insights from the wars in Chechnya and Syria and from Russia’s attacks and siege tactics in the battles for Mariupol, Kyiv and Kharkiv.
She’ll apply some of her findings to terrorism in cities across Europe and Africa and to urban violence fueled by organized crime and drug trafficking in cities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
The future of global security will be determined by what happens in cities. Her talk will make clear the implications of this and what can be done to make cities more secure. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in. Bring proof of vaccination and a mask as they may be required in response to local infection rates. The Bier Baron will be requiring event attendees to purchase a minimum of two items, which can be food or beverages, including soft drinks.)
Image: Russian Federal Security Service employees during a special operation in Makhachkala, the largest city in the Republic of Dagestan. Russian International News Agency / Wikimedia Commons.