Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

Jonathan Adelman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

David Goldfischer

Third Advisor

Ved Nanda


Asymmetric warfare, Operational art, Policy, Strategy, Urban warfare


With urbanization on the rise, policymakers cannot ignore urban conflicts. In the aftermath of the Cold War, several scholars were of the opinion that primitive modes of fighting, such as close combat, would cease to be used. However, as urban spaces have increasingly become battlefields in the 21st century, there has been a retrogression to a brutal and bloody mode of fighting. This return of primitivism affects the tactics that the military can use in urban warfare, which makes it a daunting strategic challenge. A combined focus on policy, strategy, and operations is necessary to improve thinking about how exactly to engage in urban warfare. Since this is a low-tech military problem, high-tech advances do not provide viable solutions. Israel's Operation Protective Edge and the joint Iraqi and American fight for eastern Mosul are assessed in this thesis in their policy, strategy, and operational dimensions. Finally, I present conclusions and recommendations suggesting that we concentrate on honing our capabilities and knowledge in order to successfully engage in urban warfare while staying true to liberal democratic values. Such an approach will provide policymakers with more strategic options for dealing with urban warfare.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author, Christian Niksch. Author may be contacted at User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Christian Aditya Niksch


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

118 p.


International Relations, Military Studies, Political Science