The Marines saw the spectre of urban warfare early, but it took General Charles Krulak to get them to do something about it.
Look at the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq these days, and you would think that urban warfare has been a Marine Corps staple since the beginning. Actually, it wasn't until recent decades that the Corps began to examine the threat of urban areas seriously and to develop the means to fight in them more effectively.
By outward appearances, it would seem that the Marines were ahead of the curve. The Marine Corps Gazette published several serious articles on urban warfare in the 1970s and early 1980s. The service's first manual on urban warfare, Operational Handbook (OH) 8-7, Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT), appeared in November 1980. The Marine Basic Officer Course at Quantico instituted a two-hour class devoted to examining urban insurgency in 1984-some 20 years before the house-to-house fighting in Kabul and Baghdad. Today, Marines in the Basic Officer Course receive 128 hours of MOUT training.