DTN News: Iran TODAY October 28, 2009 ~ Iran Reportedly To Seek To Alter Nuclear Plan
*Tehran will ask this week for 'important adjustments' to the proposal by the West that Iran send most of its uranium stockpile abroad for enrichment and eventual return, state-owned TV says.*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) BEIRUT, Lebanon - October 28, 2009: Iran will seek to amend a proposed deal it reached with the U.S. and other major powers to ship the bulk of its nuclear material overseas, state television reported Tuesday.An undated handout picture provided by the Iran Atomic Organization shows the Iranian research reactor located in Tehran. (Iran Atomic Organization / Handout, EPA / October 21, 2009)
Tehran will respond by Thursday to the plan for it to transfer most of its nuclear stockpile to Russia and France to be turned into fuel for an Iranian medical reactor, but its counteroffer will include "important adjustments," said Iran's state-controlled Al Alam, citing unnamed sources.
The Arabic-language television news channel often broadcasts official news or floats trial balloons before other state-controlled networks.
The U.S., Russia, France and the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, last week signed off on the proposal to transport the bulk of Iran's enriched uranium to Russia and France to be further refined and shaped into fuel plates for the medical reactor, which produces isotopes for cancer diagnoses and treatment.
While the proposed deal would not fully allay international concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions, it would temporarily reduce the country's stockpile and dampen fears that Tehran could suddenly break out of treaty obligations and make a quick sprint toward developing a nuclear weapon. And diplomats said the deal could also lay the groundwork for broader negotiations.
But Iran watchers said they expected Tehran to try to negotiate hard over the quantity of enriched uranium sent abroad and the shipments' timing in order to gain maximum advantage and ease hard-liners' mistrustful of any deal with the West.
"My experience in dealing with a lot of these guys is they won't give up anything until they absolutely have to," said Mark Fowler, a former CIA Iran expert now working as an analyst at Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington. "They will hold a very hard line. They won't give anything up, at least not upfront."
U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters Tuesday that the U.S. was waiting until Iran submitted an official response to the proposal before weighing in. But at least one American ally expressed impatience with Tehran.
"Iran is wasting time because it is now that we need to talk. One day it will be too late," French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on the sidelines of a meeting with European counterparts in Luxembourg, according to Agence France-Presse. "The Americans, through Mr. Obama's determination, have injected fresh vigor into this need for dialogue, but this will not last forever. Answers are needed."
According to Al Alam, "Tehran will agree with the general framework of the agreement on fuel for the Tehran research nuclear reactor, but it will also stipulate important provisos," which its source did not specify.
On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki said Iran was closely considering the deal, but may want to send less than the 2,650 pounds of enriched uranium it specifies, or purchase the enriched uranium required for the Tehran reactor.
Al Alam's editor for Iranian affairs, Nevid Behrouz, said Tehran's worries about the plan centered on the quantity of uranium to be shipped abroad and concern the West would not send the material back.
In addition to angling for a better deal, Iranian officials lack confidence in the West and the United Nations and even feel betrayed by Russia for dragging its feet in providing fuel for a nuclear power plant in Bushehr, Fowler said.
"They truly believe that if they're not careful, they're going to step into some kind of trap. . . . They're going to be literally cheated, embarrassed or backed into a corner," he said.
Iran missed a Friday deadline to respond to the proposal but gained important leverage this week when Russia, which holds U.N. Security Council veto power, came to its defense and urged patience.
"In this month alone concrete and potentially effective solutions have been found," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov said in an interview published Monday, according to the Interfax news agency. "It can't be ruled out that the process won't continue with the same intensity. But everyone should arm themselves with as much patience as possible."
He added, "By and large, Iran is showing readiness for cooperation with both the IAEA and others."
U.S. conservatives, such as Bush administration veteran John R. Bolton, have criticized the Obama administration for endorsing the deal, saying doing so legitimized Iran's continued enrichment of uranium in violation of the Security Council.
Behrouz agreed. "By accepting this draft," the analyst said, "the West has annulled the previous U.N. Security Council decisions on halting enrichment."
DTN News: Boeing Completes Key Reviews For High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator Program*Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., - October 28, 2009: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] on Oct 26., announced the successful completion of two key reviews for the U.S. Army's High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator (HEL TD) program.About a year ago, the Army asked Boeing and Northrop Grumman to work up preliminary designs for the HEL beam control system — and promised to choose a winning model by 2009. So the program appears to be on track. And it’s one of a number of energy weapon projects that have been picking up steam, after decades of unfulfilled promise. Relatively easy-to-deploy electric lasers have just about worked their way up to weapons-grade. Boeing recently test-fired the real-life ray gun on its Advanced Tactical Laser — a blaster-equipped gunship. Raytheon has worked up a prototype of its Phalanx mortar-shooter that uses fiber lasers, instead of traditional ammo, to knock down targets. Even the eternally-delayed Airborne Laser — a modified 747, designed to zap ballistic missiles — may finally get a long-awaited flight test.
Completion of a critical design review in July allows Boeing to begin building a rugged beam control system on a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), a widely used military tactical vehicle. A system functional review in June addressed key enablers for fielding a next-generation, solid-state laser weapon system.
"This demonstration program is making significant progress in developing a weapon system that will transform the way soldiers are protected on the battlefield," said Gary Fitzmire, vice president and program director of Boeing Missile Defense Systems' Directed Energy Systems unit. "HEL TD's speed-of-light, ultra-precision capability will increase the warfighter's ability to counter rocket, artillery and mortar projectiles."
The Army in 2008 awarded Boeing a contract to develop the system-engineering requirements for the overall HEL TD system and to complete the design of, then build, test and evaluate, a rugged beam control system on a HEMTT.
HEL TD is a cornerstone of the Army's high-energy laser program. The HEL TD demonstration program will support the transition to a full-fledged Army acquisition program.
Boeing leads the way in developing high-energy laser systems for a variety of warfighter applications. These systems include the Airborne Laser, Advanced Tactical Laser, Free Electron Laser, Laser Avenger and Tactical Relay Mirror System.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
DTN News: Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Unhappy With Quality Of Russian Weapons*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - October 28, 2009: Russian President Dmitri Medvedev criticised on Monday the pace of military-industrial modernisation, saying it is affecting the quality of Russian weapons and harming national prestige.
"Considerable funds have been invested over the past few years to develop the military-industrial complex. So far the results are mediocre," Medvedev said on Russian television.
Russia last year had its biggest year for arms sales since the collapse of the Soviet Union, with a total equivalent to 8.35 billion dollars (5.59 billion euros), according to figures announced in February by the Russian president.
"Unfortunately we carry on filling in holes and the objectives for technological modernisation have not been achieved," the Russian president added.
"The quality of military production for the Russian army and foreign exports is causing justified concern from clients," added Industry Minister Viktor Khristenko, speaking at a meeting on the issue and quoted by Interfax.
"We must not give up the position we have had difficulty reaching. It would be a blow to the reputation of Russian weapons and the country," Khristenko said.
Russia last year had its biggest year for arms sales since the collapse of the Soviet Union, with a total equivalent to 8.35 billion dollars (5.59 billion euros), according to figures announced in February by the Russian president.
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DTN News: Indian Troops Are Still Facing Fierce Gun Battles With Militants In Kashmir
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) SRINAGAR, Kashmir, India - October 28, 2009: Early this month, Indian troops shot dead seven militants in fierce gun battles across Kashmir, police said.
An Indian army soldier with rocket projectile gun launcher (RPGL) gives cover to his colleagues as they leave the area after a gun battle between Pakistani-trained Kashmiri militants and Indian troops on October 26, 2009 in Keller , 70 km (44 miles) south of Srinagar, in Indian administered Kashmir. Indian military reports state that at least three Pakistani-trained Kashmiri militants of Hizbul Mujahideen, the largest militant outfit operating in Indian Administered Kashmir, including a most wanted senior commander were killed today during a gun battle.
The biggest battle took place in Kupwara near the Line of Control, a military line that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
“Four LeT militants were killed in the encounter in Kupwara,” a police spokesman said, adding that three militants were killed in separate shootouts elsewhere.
New Delhi says the LeT was behind the Mumbai attacks last November in which at least 166 were killed.Indian army troops leave the area after a gun battle between themselves and Pakistani-trained Kashmiri militants on October 26, 2009 in Keller , 70 km (44 miles) south of Srinagar, in Indian administered Kashmir. Indian military reports state that at least three Pakistani-trained Kashmiri militants of Hizbul Mujahideen, the largest militant outfit operating in Indian Administered Kashmir, including a most wanted senior commander were killed today during a gun battle.
Kashmir remains at the core of a six-decade-long conflict between India and Pakistan.
After months of relative calm, there has been a rise recently in militants violence across Kashmir, where officials say tens of thousands have been killed since Pakistani-trained Kashmiri militants fight against Indian rule broke out in 1989.
DTN News: Lebanon Militants Launch Rocket Into Israel*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - October 28, 2009: Lebanese militants launched a rocket into northern Israel on Tuesday evening, drawing a rapid response from Israeli artillery in a brief flare-up across the tense border.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a single rocket from Lebanon hit northeastern Israel, but caused no casualties.
In a statement, the Israeli military said it views the incident as "grave" and holds the Lebanese government responsible.
Lebanon's official news agency said unknown elements unleashed a Katyusha rocket from a valley between the Lebanese border villages of Houla and Mais al-Jabal.
About 45 minutes later, Israeli artillery shelled the area from which the rocket was fired, the agency said.
A Lebanese military official said nine shells fell on the area and Israeli helicopters and drones flew over the area.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket launch.
A Hezbollah official refused to comment on the rocket firing when contacted by The Associated Press late Tuesday.
Yasmina Bouziane, a spokeswoman for the U.N. peacekeeping force known as UNIFIL deployed in southern Lebanon after the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war, said the force "is ascertaining the facts and looking into the incident."
The Lebanon-Israel border has been largely quiet since Israel and the militant group Hezbollah fought a bitter war in the summer of 2006. That war ended with a U.N.-brokered cease-fire that saw thousands of Lebanese troops and international peacekeepers deployed to keep the peace in south Lebanon.
Hezbollah has not claimed responsibility for any attacks since the end of the fighting, which ravaged Lebanon's south.
But smaller militant organizations, some of them linked to Al Qaeda, have launched rockets on several occasions. The last one was on Sept. 11.
Tuesday's attack was the fifth this year. None have caused serious casualties.
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DTN News: China Military Growth The 'Minimum Requirement' According To General Xu Caihou
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, USA - October 28, 2009: Beijing's rapid military modernization, including the development of advanced weapons in the Pacific, merely meets its minimum defense requirements, a top Chinese general said ahead of meetings Tuesday at the Pentagon.
US. Defense Secretary Robert Gates (L) and China's Central Military Commission Vice Chairman General Xu Caihou listen to national anthems during a welcome ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington October 27, 2009.
General Xu Caihou, the highest level Chinese military official to visit in years of rocky relations between the superpowers, holds talks with Defense Secretary Robert Gates amid US concerns over China's emergence as a potential high tech military rival.
But Xu, who is vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, set out Monday by trying to allay US suspicions, insisting that Beijing harbors no expansionist ambitions and wants collaborative international relations.
"We will never seek hegemony, military expansion or an arms race," he told an audience of foreign policy experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. Graphic on new Chinese military technology. Beijing's rapid military modernization, including the development of advanced weapons that threaten US forces in the Pacific, merely meets its minimum defense requirements, a top Chinese general said ahead of high-level meetings at the Pentagon.
But when asked about its development of cruise and ballistic missiles capable of striking US warships in the Pacific, Xu said Western concerns about China's aims were unfounded.
"It is a limited capability, and limited weapons and equipment for the minimum requirement of its national security," he said, speaking through an interpreter.
Xu also defended China's double-digit annual increases in defense spending as "quite low" both in real terms and as a percentage of its gross domestic product. Whereas US defense spending amounts to 4.8 percent of GDP, China's was only 1.4 percent, he said.
The United States has repeatedly urged China to be more transparent about its military spending, warning of a shifting balance of power in the Asia Pacific region that could arouse misunderstanding and miscalculation.
Those fears, plus US desire for greater contact with the Chinese military, were likely to figure prominently in Gates' talks with Xu.Visitors to the Chinese Military Museum in Beijing walk past a Chinese-made HQ-2 missile. When asked about its development of cruise and ballistic missiles capable of striking US warships in the Pacific, top-ranking Chinese General, Xu Caihou, said Western concerns were unfounded.
The visit comes ahead of US President Barack Obama's first trip to China November 15-18.
Xu acknowledged western concern over its growing military might, which was put on display October 1 in a massive parade through Beijing of missiles, fighter jets and drone aircraft on the 60th anniversary of its founding as a rag-tag guerrilla army.
The parade, he said, "was well received in international public opinion. However, I also noted some suspicion and misunderstanding in the press. Some reports were not objective enough."
Xu portrayed the Peoples Liberation Army as focused primarily on protecting China's economic development and defending against separatist and extremist challenges, which he said were clearly on the rise.
"There is still a huge gap between China and the developed world. We are now predominantly committed to peaceful development, and we will not, and could not, challenge or threaten any other country," he said.Visitors view Chinese made rockets on display at the Military Museum in Beijing. The United States has repeatedly urged China to be more transparent about its military spending, warning of a shifting balance of power in the Asia Pacific region that could arouse misunderstanding and miscalculation.
Xu said China wanted to invigorate military-to-military relations with the United States, but warned that Beijing regarded recent incursions into its 200-mile economic zone by US naval vessels as an infringement of its sovereignty.
But he said US-China relations had undergone a "smooth transition" since Obama took office in January, moving ties between the two countries to a new stage.
"The China-US relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. Exchanges and cooperation between the United States and China are important for world peace and development," he said.
"The military-to-military relations constitute an important part of the overall bilateral relations," he said, adding that they benefited regional stability.
Xu's week-long visit is the latest in an on-again, off-again effort to improve US-Chinese military ties, which have veered over the past decade between periods of crisis and brief spells of wary engagement.
Beijing cut military exchanges with Washington for months last year over a proposed 6.5-billion-dollar US arms package to Taiwan, but agreed to resume them in February.
The general will be given a sweeping look at the US military establishment in visits to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland; Fort Benning in Georgia; the US Strategic Command in Nebraska; Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada; the North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego, California; and the US Pacific Command in Hawaii.
DTN News: Italy Signs To Equip Iveco LMVs With Oto Melara Turrets*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) ROME, Italy - October 27, 2009: The Italian Ministry of Defense has signed a 20 million euro ($30 million) contract to acquire 81 Oto Melara turrets to equip its Iveco Light Multirole Vehicles (LMV), the firm said Oct. 26.Since the beginning of operations in Afghanistan, the Light Multirole Vehicle (LMV) has proven to be a life saver in numerous occasions.
The Hitrole Light turrets will equip LMV vehicles, known as Lince vehicles by the Italian Army, which currently uses the vehicle in Afghanistan, the firm said.
The turrets will feature interchangeable 12.7mm and 7.62mm machine guns, a 40mm grenade launcher, thermal camera, laser range finder and TV camera.
The first turret will be delivered for operational testing four months after the contract is registered and "a large number" of the turrets will be delivered by the second half of 2010. Oto Melara, which is a unit of Italy's Finmeccanica, was the only firm to participate in the tender.
The Ministry of Defense's draft spending budget for 2010 includes an initial 6 million euro tranche of funding for the program. The contract also includes technical assistance.
DTN News: Russian Missile Cruiser To Depart On Visit To Singapore*Source: DTN News / RIA Novosti
(NSI News Source Info) VLADIVOSTOK, Russia - October 27, 2009: The missile cruiser Varyag, the flagship of Russia's Pacific Fleet, will sail on Tuesday on a month-long tour-of-duty, which will include a visit to Singapore, a fleet spokesman said.
"The group of ships departing today from Vladivostok comprises the Varyag missile cruiser, the Fotiy Krylov salvage tug and the Pechenga tanker," the official said.
"There is a naval infantry unit, an air support group and a number of naval cadets on board the cruiser," he added.
According to the spokesman, the main goal of the visit to Singapore is "to further develop and strengthen friendly contacts between the two countries."
Varyag is a Slava-class missile cruiser, which entered service with the Pacific Fleet in 1990.
In 2007, the warship visited the South Korean port of Pusan, while in April this year it led a fleet of 21 foreign naval vessels participating in a parade to mark the 60th anniversary of China's Navy off the coast of the eastern city of Qingdao.
The Fotiy Krylov and the Pechenga were part of a naval task force from the Pacific Fleet, led by the Admiral Vinogradov destroyer, which participated in international anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden in January-March this year.
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DTN News: President Barack Obama Refuses To Rush Decision On Troop Levels In Afghanistan*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, USA - October 27, 2009: United States President Barack Obama says he will not be hurried into making a decision about troop levels in Afghanistan.
Today Mr Obama held a sixth meeting of his war council at the White House before flying straight from there to a naval air station in Jacksonville, Florida.An Afghan police man stands guard as U.S. armored military vehicle drives by near the site where suicide attackers fired in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, Oct. 26, 2009. Nangarhar province Gov. Gul Agha Sherzai survived an assassination attempt after a gunman fired automatic weapons at his convoy from a hotel window as his convoy drove down a road in Jalalabad, according to his spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai. Sherzai's bodyguards killed the gunman, as well as another attacker wearing a suicide vest and carrying grenades.
In front of more than 3,000 sailors and marines, the President has mourned the loss of 14 Americans in two separate helicopter accidents in Afghanistan - the deadliest single day for US forces there in more than four years.
"They were willing to risk their lives, in this case to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for Al Qaeda and its extremist allies," Mr Obama said.
"And today they gave their lives - that last, full measure of devotion to protect ours."
But he has also told his military audience that he will not be rushed as he evaluates whether to alter the US strategy in Afghanistan and whether to send more troops.
"I will never rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm's way - I won't risk your lives unless it is absolutely necessary," he said.
"And if it is necessary, we will back you up to the hip, because you deserve the strategy, the clear mission and the defined goals - as well as the equipment and support that you need to get the job done."
It is understood the US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has asked the President for 40,000 more troops.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says there is no change to the expectation that the eagerly awaited decision will be announced "in the coming weeks".
War plan too ambitious
But as Mr Obama weighs his options, a top Senate Democrat says General McChrystal's war plan is too ambitious.
The chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, John Kerry, has just returned from several days of talks in Afghanistan.
"I believe his current plan reaches too far, too fast - we do not yet have the critical guarantees of governance and of development capacity, the other two legs of counter-insurgency," he said.
"And I have serious concerns about the ability to produce effective Afghan forces to partner with, at the rate that we need to, so that we can ensure that when our troops make heroic sacrifices, the benefits to the Afghans are actually clear and sustainable."
In a speech to the council on foreign relations, Senator Kerry said the US had to ask what was possible in Afghanistan, and not set what he called "some sort of hole-digging strategy".
He says achieving America's goals does not require the US to create a modern economy in Afghanistan, it does not require the US to defeat the Taliban in every corner of the country and it does not require the US to create a flawless democracy in Afghanistan.
And with Afghanistan's presidential run-off election due to be held next week, Senator Kerry has addressed concerns about the leadership of President Hamid Karzai, describing him as a "patriot".
"I am convinced President Karzai understands the need to make some changes - there are some terrific ministers, incidentally, in his government," Senator Kerry said.
"We work with them very closely and we have significant confidence in a number of those ministers.
"There are also some where there are some greater problems in certain ministries in terms of delivery of services, and he is well aware of it.
"As in any election anywhere, no one running for election for president of the country is going to announce who he is moving out until the election is over."
DTN News: Obama Administration Pressure On Zardari's Government To Eliminate Taliban And Qaeda Militants FATA Areas Strains Ties With Pakistan*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - October 27, 2009: The Obama administration is putting pressure on Pakistan to eliminate Taliban and Qaeda militants from the country’s tribal areas, but the push is straining the delicate relations between the allies, Pakistani and Western officials say.Pakistani police officers ask internally displaced people who fled fighting between Pakistani security forces and militants in Waziristan, to make a queue outside a relief distribution center in Pahar Pur near Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan on Monday, Oct 26, 2009. Pakistan's 10-day-old offensive in the Taliban and al-Qaida stronghold of South Waziristan is considered its most critical test yet in the campaign to stop the spread of violent extremism in this nuclear-armed country.
The Pakistani military’s recent heavy offensive in South Waziristan has pleased the Americans, but it left large parts of Pakistan under siege, as militants once sequestered in the country’s tribal areas take their war to Pakistan’s cities. Many Pakistanis blame the United States for the country’s rising instability.
When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives in Pakistan this week, as she is scheduled to do, she will find a nuclear-armed state consumed by doubts about the value of the alliance with the United States and resentful of ever-rising American demands to do more, the officials said.
The United States is also struggling to address Pakistan’s concerns over the conditions imposed on a new American aid package of $7.5 billion over five years that the Pakistani military denounced as designed to interfere in the country’s internal affairs.
The Obama administration has endorsed the Pakistani Army’s recent offensive in South Waziristan, suggesting it showed overdue resolve. But it has also raised concerns about the Pakistani Army’s long-term objectives. How South Waziristan plays out may prove to be a bellwether for an alliance of increasingly divergent interests.
The special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard C. Holbrooke, said Friday that the Obama administration would be trying to find out whether the army was simply “dispersing” the militants or “destroying” them, as the United States would like.
From the number of troops in South Waziristan, it was not clear that the army wanted to “finish the task,” said a Western military attaché, who spoke on the condition of anonymity according to diplomatic protocol.A Pakistani private security guard checks the bag of a student (L) before entering a school in Lahore on October 26, 2009, on the first day of reopening following the school's weeklong closure. Pakistan shut schools and colleges nationwide last week a day after a suicide attack on a prestigious Islamic university as ground troops pressed home an anti-Taliban offensive.
The army would not take over South Waziristan as it had the Swat Valley, where the military is now an occupying force after conducting a campaign in the spring and summer that pushed the Taliban out, the officials said.
It remains to be seen how the campaign will play out in a region where the army has failed in the past, analysts said. The army has sent about 28,000 soldiers to South Waziristan to take on about 10,000 guerrillas, a relatively low ratio, according to military specialists.
In all, of the roughly 28,000 soldiers, there are probably about 11,000 army infantrymen, said Javed Hussain, a retired Pakistani Army brigadier. Instead of a ratio of one to one, he said, the ratio should be at least five to one.
The army appeared to have no plans to occupy South Waziristan, but rather to cut the militants “to size,” said Tariq Fatemi, who served briefly as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States in 1999.
With the uncertainty of American plans in Afghanistan, and the strong sentiment in Pakistan that India was “up to no good” in the restive province of Baluchistan and the tribal areas, Mr. Fatemi said, the army would not abandon the militant groups that it has relied on to fight as proxies in Afghanistan and in Kashmir against India.
The goal in South Waziristan, Mr. Fatemi said, was to eliminate the leadership that had become “too big of their boots” with the attacks on Pakistan’s cities. The army would like to find more pliant replacements as leaders, he said.
The militants’ war against the cities in the past three weeks had produced a wave of fear that shored up support for the army to fight back in South Waziristan, many Pakistanis said.
But the terror has also amplified complaints that the unpopular civilian government of President Asif Ali Zardari, who is seen as slavishly pro-American, is unable to cope with the onslaught.
Mr. Zardari, whose relations with the Pakistani military appear increasingly strained, has not addressed the nation since the militants unfurled their attacks or since the army launched the offensive in South Waziristan.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik was pelted with stones last week when he visited the International Islamic University after two suicide bomb attacks on the campus killed six students, including women.
After the attack at the university, the government ordered all schools and universities closed in Punjab, the most populous province, a move that affected Pakistani families like never before.
“The impact is being felt in every home, before it was just the North-West Frontier Province,” said Jahangir Tareen, a member of Parliament and a member of the cabinet under President Pervez Musharraf.
When schools were ordered re-opened Monday, parents were still unhappy.A Pakistan paramilitary soldier stands guard on a street in Karachi on October 26, 2009. Pakistan partially reopened schools shut nationwide following a suicide attack on a university campus and a spike in Taliban-linked attacks in which nearly 200 people have died this month.
“The mood is as bleak as I remember,” said a well-to-do parent in Lahore who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. “The government says the private schools must open, but security is up to the schools. Where is the government?”
The range and different style of attacks in the urban areas, particularly in Islamabad, the capital, and the nearby garrison city of Rawalpindi, surprised Pakistani security officials, said a Western diplomat who is in frequent contact with them.
The Pakistani security services knew that sleeper cells had been put in place in both cities in the past six months, but their strength was unknown, the diplomat said. “These were not your scared suicide bomber boys from the villages, these were well trained commandos,” the diplomat said.
The assassination of an army brigadier as he drove through Islamabad last week further unnerved people, demonstrating that the militants had a cadre of spotters or observers probably marshaled from the increasing number of students attending radical religious schools in the capital, the diplomat said.
Whatever President Obama decides about troop levels in Afghanistan, Pakistan sees the United States and NATO headed for the exits, an outcome that encourages Pakistan to hang onto the militants that it has used as proxies, the Western diplomat said.
The fact that the United States had so far failed to persuade India to restart talks with Pakistan and that it was doing little to curb what Pakistan sees as the undue influence of India in Afghanistan was unsettling for Pakistan, Mr. Fatemi, the former ambassador, said.
On top of everything else, that feeling was driving a surge of anti-American sentiment, even among the elite, some Pakistanis said, increasing the challenges ahead.
“There is a general perception in the educated class that Pakistan is paying a very heavy price for fighting alongside the United States,” said Ashfaq Khan, a prominent economist and dean of the business school at the National University of Science and Technology in Islamabad.