Nick Turse, Pentagon Video Warns of “Unavoidable” Dystopian Future for World’s Biggest Cities

Megacities are, by definition, urban areas with a population of 10 million or more, and they have been a recent source of worry and research for the U.S. military. A 2014 Army report, titled “Megacities and the United States Army,” warned that “the Army is currently unprepared. Although the Army has a long history of urban fighting, it has never dealt with an environment so complex and beyond the scope of its resources.” A separate Army study published this year bemoans the fact that the “U.S. Army is incapable of operating within the megacity.”

These fears are reflected in the hyperbolic “Megacities” video.

As the film unfolds, we’re bombarded with an apocalyptic list of ills endemic to this new urban environment: “criminal networks,” “substandard infrastructure,” “religious and ethnic tensions,” “impoverishment, slums,” “open landfills, over-burdened sewers,” and a “growing mass of unemployed.” The list, as long as it is grim, accompanies photos of garbage-choked streets, masked rock throwers, and riot cops battling protesters in the developing world. “Growth will magnify the increasing separation between rich and poor,” the narrator warns as the scene shifts to New York City. Looking down from a high vantage point on Third Avenue, we’re left to ponder if the Army will one day find itself defending the lunchtime crowd dining on $57 “NY Cut Sirloin” steaks at (the plainly visible) Smith and Wollensky.

Lacking opening and closing credits, the provenance of “Megacities” was initially unclear, with SOCOM claiming the video was produced by JSOU, before indicating it was actually created by the Army. “It was made for an internal military audience to illuminate the challenges of operating in megacity environments,” Army spokesperson William Layer told The Intercept in an email. “The video was privately produced pro-bono in spring of 2014 based on ‘Megacities and the United States Army.’… The producer of the film wishes to remain anonymous.”

According to the video, tomorrow’s vast urban jungles will be replete with “subterranean labyrinths” governed by their “own social code and rule of law.” They’ll also enable a proliferation of “digital domains” that facilitate “sophisticated illicit economies and decentralized syndicates of crime to give adversaries global reach at an unprecedented level.” If the photo montage in the video is to be believed, hackers will use outdoor electrical outlets to do grave digital damage, such as donning Guy Fawkes masks and filming segments of “Anonymous News.” This, we’re told, will somehow “add to the complexities of human targeting as a proportionally smaller number of adversaries intermingle with the larger and increasing number of citizens.”

“Megacities” posits that despite the lessons learned from the ur-urban battle at Aachen, Germany, in 1944, and the city-busting in Hue, South Vietnam, in 1968, the U.S. military is fundamentally ill-equipped for future battles in Lagos or Dhaka.

“Even our counterinsurgency doctrine, honed in the cities of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, is inadequate to address the sheer scale of population in the future urban reality,” the film notes, as if the results of two futile forever wars might possibly hold the keys to future success. “We are facing environments that the masters of war never foresaw,” warns the narrator. “We are facing a threat that requires us to redefine doctrine and the force in radically new and different ways.”

Mike Davis, author of “Planet of Slums” and “Buda’s Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb,” was not impressed by the video.

“This is a fantasy, the idea that there is a special military science of megacities,” he said. “It’s simply not the case. … They seem to envision large cities with slum peripheries governed by antagonistic gangs, militias, or guerrilla movements that you can somehow fight using special ops methods. In truth, that’s pretty far-fetched. … You only have to watch ‘Black Hawk Down’ and scale that up to the kind of problems you would have if you were in Karachi, for example. You can do special ops on a small-scale basis, but it’s absurd to imagine it being effective as any kind of strategy for control of a megacity.”

The U.S. military appears unlikely to heed Davis’s advice, however.

“This is the world of our future,” warns the narrator of “Megacities.” “It is one we are not prepared to effectively operate within and it is unavoidable. The threat is clear. Our direction remains to be defined. The future is urban.”


Technomancer is an upcoming dystopian sci-fi RPG to be released on 28th  of June 2016. The game takes place on Mars where due to apocalyptic events technology is rare, corporations rule and water is scarce. You play as Zachariah, a Technomancer, an elite mage warrior and servant to the autocratic regime of Abundance.

The game takes place in the same universe as Mars: War Logs but the plot of the both games is completely separate.

Technomancer features…

  • Customizable male protagonist.
  • Five companions who can disapprove or approve of your decisions.
  • One male and two female romance options.
  • Dialogue skill checks.
  • Non-combat skills such as as lockpicking and stealth.
  • Several ways to solve move most quests.
  • Three different melee combat style: staff for mobility and groups, shield and mace for a strong defens and daggers and pistols for agile and dangerous playstyle.
  • As a Technomancer you also have electrical powers which you can channel during battle.
  • A non-lethal playthrough is possible.
  • Hub based exploration similar to games such as Kotor or Dragon Age.
  • Six factions you can ally with or choose to fight against.

Technomancer has a strong focus on story and choices and appears to be the most promising game by Spiders Studios. Don’t forget to preorder now, if you want to receive the gorgeous soundtrack by Olivier Deriviere as a free bonus!

Technomancer releases on 28th of June 2016.


Played Dystopian Wars 2.0 for the first time this weekend. 

The game was fun, though we don`t have specific terrain for DW, so we have to use generic WH40k. Later we`ll to replace this plain blue cloth with specially designed printed cover and make some pieces of terrain that suits better.

My opponent played Prussian Empire and I played Kingdom of Denmark fleet. That can`t possibly happen in DW world, as Denmark and Prussian Empire are allies, but we had no other choice because of limited amount of DW players in our club.

Prussians deployed Blucher Class Dreadnought and I preferred to ignore him - he`s too fat for my ships to wreck him fast enough, so I just concentrated on destroying the rest of his fleet with mines and cannons. 

Considering fun moments, all of my Boarding teams from Korsors died while trying to board Armenius (if I remember right) ships. Then, my Fafnir airship was gravely damaged by another squadron of Armenius ships - they took 4 of his 5 hull poins in one salvo and set it on fire! Happily, it didn`t go down in Hindenburg manner - the fire was extinguished by the end of the game.

Eventually I sank all Prussian crafts except for Blucher and we called it a game. 

Next time I`ll try to make a genuine battlereport with good photos and all the details about the battle instead of this short review.

Flieger`s out.



With New Years Eve approaching, I thought I’d take the time to summarize 2012. More specific, I thought I’d gather everything I painted during 2012, considering I challenged a few of my friends (and everyone else that wanted to) to a bit of a Motivational Challenge. The Challenge was to paint one unit in a game of your choice every month for 2012 (started in march). So here’s pictures of all my pledges and finished units. As you can see there are alot of different models/armies/units from a number of different games.

Now, for 2013 I hope to continue painting, and perhaps finish my 2nd Legion List, add new units and warjacks to my Khador, paint the Swarmlord and a Flying Hive Tyrant for my Tyranids, and much much more.

So, to end I thought I’d wish you all a Happy New Year and hope to see more painted miniatures next year. And finally, what did you paint during 2012?