Joint Urban Operations Office at US Joint Forces Command held a Joint Urban Operations, 2007 last month in DC. Nick Turse has written an in depth article about it at Asia Times. Apparently, the Pentagon has determined that urban warfare is the future and are planning for decades to come.

“We think urban is the future,” says James Lasswell, a retired colonel who now heads the Office of Science and Technology at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory. “Everything worth fighting for is in the urban environment.” And Wayne Michael Hall, a retired army brigadier general and the senior intelligence advisor in Schattle’s operation, has a similar assessment, “We will be fighting in urban terrain for the next hundred years.”

The article goes on to emphasize the technology being developed to subdue urban communities, including within the US.

On the technological front, the Pentagon’s blue-skies research outfit, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), sent its grandfatherly-looking deputy director, Robert F Leheny, to talk about such UO-oriented technology as the latest in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and sense-through-walls technologies that allow troops to see people and objects inside buildings. While Leheny noted that 63% of DARPA’s US$3 billion yearly budget ($600 million of it dedicated to UO technologies in the coming years) is funneled to industry partners, DARPA is only a part of the story when it comes to promoting corporate assistance in this 100-year-war growth area.

The largest contractors in the military-corporate complex are already hard at work helping the Pentagon prepare for future urban occupations. Raytheon, L-3 Communications, and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) – the 5th, 7th, and 10th largest Pentagon contractors last year, taking in a combined $18.4-plus billion from the Department of Defense – have all signed Cooperative Research and Development Agreements with the US Joint Forces Command, according to Berry “Dan” Fox, the Deputy Director of Science and Technology at its Joint Urban Operations Office.

As you might imagine, smaller contractors are eager to climb aboard the urban warfare gravy train. At the conference, Lite Machines Corporation was a good example of this. It was vigorously marketing a hand-launched, low-flying UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) so light that it resembled nothing more than a large, plastic toy water rocket with miniature helicopter rotors. The company envisions a profitably privacy-free future in which urban zones are besieged by “swarms” of such small UAVs that not only peek into city windows, but even invade homes.

Some of these weapons have already been deployed to law enforcement agencies across the country for ‘crowd control’. Whether thinking of this type has the power to drive foreign and domestic policies that ensure a century of warfare is yet to be determined, however bear in mind that Blackwater is expanding domestic operations as we speak. Not only is Blackwater being employed on domestic issues but it is also training local police departments, 55 at last count and included in this list are the Oregon State Police. A Blackwater Northwest is in the planning stages and in the light of recent 1st Amendment rights violations our march to fascism is being enabled by our ‘democratic’ government. More on this later