Close Quarters Battle: urban combat and 'special forcification'
Armed Forces & Society
Many scholars have recognized the growing likelihood of urban military operations in the future. Understandably, given the seriousness of this prospect, most commentators have focused on the operational and political difficulties of fighting in cities. At the same time, precisely because of the intense challenges of urban operations, these scholars have also emphasised that urban operations increasingly require highly professionalised infantry and especially Special Forces. Nevetherless, while recognising the importance of specialist small infantry units for urban combat, they have tended to ignore recent innovations at this level. This article seeks to address this oversight. It examines contemporary developments in urban micro-tactics among western forces. Specifically, this article addresses the dissemination of Close Quarters Battle techniques, originally developed by Special Operations Forces in the 1970s, to regular infantry in the last decade as a result of urban operations Iraq and Afghanistan. In this way, the article contributes to contemporary debates about professionalization in western armed forces today.