I’d expect this was done with the intent to create these unstable feral cities on Syrian territory. Making them a laboratory for experimentation on military strategy and of course how humans can adapt to such horrific surroundings.
Certainly the concept of “Feral Cities” was created for a strategic military purpose. In plain talk this was not happenstance. This is military doctrine. As you will read.
"The U.S. military’s biggest successes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria involved uprooting the militants first from Mosul, Iraq, and then Raqqa, Syria.Which explains why the US and it’s Kurdish pals are working so hard to keep Damascus out of Raqqa. Aleppo, hopefully, will not become a ‘feral city’.
But those operations are also catching the most flak for what many human rights groups and international organizations viewed as a callous use of artillery and air power that killed too many civilians.
The battles, as terrible as they were, serve as an important bellwether that may mark a new era of urban warfare involving mega-cities, according to retired Army Maj. John W. Spencer, chair of Urban Warfare Studies at West Point’s Modern War Institute.
“We fail to recognize as a government that cities are the strategic terrain of the future," Spencer said at the Future Security Forum in Washington, D.C., Monday. “After World War II, the global population went from 3 billion to 6 billion in 39 years and they’re all living in cities. The fastest growing cities are the most underdeveloped.”
Spencer introduced a term — feral cities — not in many military leaders’ lexicons, yet something that could be the 21st century equivalent to the failed state. The Pentagon, he said, should be paying attention.
After all, “you can have a feral city within a functioning state.”
Feral cities are major urban sprawls that lack adequate governance. Warlords, gangs or terror groups occupy a maze of concrete that largely blocks GPS links, radio communications and aircraft sensors. U.S. troops are forced to seek and destroy the enemy in an environment filled with sewage, failing infrastructure and even packs of wild dogs.
There needs to be a dedicated “urban operations center within the military,” Spencer said.
There are already some efforts underway. The U.S. military published a manual on small unit training in subterranean environments in 2017 — focusing on fights in the subway and sewage systems underneath huge cities.
But Spencer described an endeavor far more comprehensive, involving the Pentagon, other government agencies and universities. A national urban operations institute should be established and major academic institutions should start research on “longevity of conflicts in cities,” he said.
The coalition largely sat back and provided fire support to Iraqi and Syrian partner forces during the Mosul and Raqqa fights
The campaign in Raqqa, for instance, left “entire city blocks flattened"
Once a city is retaken, stabilization becomes a strategic necessity. Otherwise, the government is just allowing the space for gangs, terror groups and other non-state actors to grow again.