Tactical Tailor

Atlantic Council – Envisioning the Future of Urban Warfare Panel


The Art of Future Warfare project will be hosting a discussion on Envisioning the Future of Urban Warfare at the Atlantic Council on June 23 from 1500-1630. It will be the capstone to a war-art challenge calling for graphic novel and comic book illustrations revealing what urban warfare might look like in the 2040-50s.

Max Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of World War Z and Jon Chang, the writer of the Black Powder Red Earth series, along with the winner of the art contest will be discussing the topic. The best illustrations from the contest will be on display for all to see and the panelists will discuss the future battleground that is expected to encompass sixty percent of the total world population in the near future.

The Art of Future Warfare project, housed in the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, aims to create a world in which artist, writers, illustrators, directors, videographers, others, and creativity enjoy a valued place in the defense establishment’s planning and preparation for the future of warfare and conflict.



11 Responses to “Atlantic Council – Envisioning the Future of Urban Warfare Panel”

  1. Jacob says:

    This might be oversimplifying things, but this event seems to be glorifying violence.

  2. Terry B. says:

    “…aims to create a world in which artist, writers, illustrators, directors, videographers, others, and creativity enjoy a valued place in the defense establishment’s planning and preparation for the future of warfare and conflict.”

    Really? We are talking about the intentional application of violence resulting in death and destruction.

    It is sometimes unavoidable and necessary and it involves engaging in what we describe correctly as the “art of war”.

    But beyond that I don’t see warfare and conflict ever being legitimately classified as an “artistic endeavor”.

    WTF am I missing?


  3. Jack C. says:

    I’m pretty sure there are better people to discuss fighting Gen4 warfare than an author who writes about zombies. David Kilcullen comes to mind with “Out of the Mountains”. What they are hinting to are the Urban Littorals. How do you fight in an environment like that. Unfortunately, it will probably not be the super sexy raid force we all want. Look what happened when you put Task Force Delta in Mogadishu. The city counter punched and regardless of the statistical casualties, it was a huge blunder at operational and strategic levels. While Black Powder Red Earth does present a very interesting view of the middle east, I feel like these two men are behind the power curve as this is not a new topic. However, I’m not saying I know more than they do. I would be interested in hearing what they have to say. I’ve read World War Z, and to call it anything, but a work of fiction is to give it too much credit.

  4. AbnMedOps says:

    It’s always good to take a look at how things are approached by people coming from a different experience base and possibly a radically different attitudinal and personality type. Like artists. 90% of it may be crap, but there might be some nuggets. Or even a goldmine.

    What’s the saying? “Professional soldiers are predicable, but you never know what an amateur is going to do!”

    • james says:

      Exactly! Hard to do things differently when you all have the same perspective, “fresh eyes” and all that.

      • Terry B. says:

        Abn, you and james have a valid point.

        But my impression wasn’t that these folks were looking for an opportunity to give their perspectives or opinions to the professional warfighters. That would be fine.

        Rather they seem to be negotiating for access to conflicts and warzones in search of artistic inspiration for their own “creative” purposes. I’m not ok with that.

        I certainly might be wrong but that is the way I read it.

        I also doubt that any of us would be supportive of novelists, artists and videographers, et al elbowing their way into a surgical theater and giving “advice” to professional medical personnel while they performed emergency surgery on our loved ones.

        When it comes to life and death decisions I prefer that we leave that to the professionals.


        • SSD says:

          Having seen similar events in the past, my understanding is that “we” are looking for a fresh perspective from “them”. If they end up inspired afterward, all’s the better.

          • Terry B. says:


            I’m sure you are absolutely right. I probably read way too much into this one event.

            I just remember the endless parade of alleged “experts” and “out of the box thinkers” that kept showing up in Afghanistan and Iraq to tell us how it should be done.

            I don’t recall more than one or two who had advice that was worth spit.

            Yet, I still repeatedly saw leaders who should have known better making bad decisions based on that advice.

            Not that there weren’t military leaders who were making bad decisions of their own accord.

            It reminds me of the discussion on LTC Grossman’s unwarranted influence on some leaders in the military and in policing.


            • james says:

              Grossman is a smart guy and very charismatic in person. I think both that and being in the right place at the right time ( Jonesboro AR when the Westside school shooting happened) with basicly the only recent material on the subject helped him attain somewhat of a cult status. Agree with him or not, I have no problem with the man after seeing the huge turn around he created in Arkansas State University’s ROTC program.

              • SSD says:

                That’s awesome! I’m glad he did wonders with an ROTC unit but claiming that video games are going to turn you into a homicidal maniac is BS. It’s all about lanes and staying in them.

                • Terry B. says:


                  I served with and knew the man well earlier in his career.

                  I’m not a fan. And I am even more sorry that he attained “cult status” on the basis of pandering to those who feared that video games were destroying the youth of America.

                  Or implying that modern military training methods create soldiers who are robot like killing machines.

                  In other words, utter nonsense masquerading as “science”.