Been gone for a bit, but this *really* ought to have been put up by someone else;
Jammu, February 3 (UNI)
At least nine brigades of various Strike Corps, including two from the crucial I Corps's (also known as Army Reserve North) Kharian-based 17 Infantry Division, have been moved towards violent Afghan borders, sources said.
...Sources said three Brigades of Peshawar-based XI Corps and two of Quetta-based XII Corps were also moved to take on violence in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) on bordering Afghanistan.
...Meanwhile, sources said one Brigade each from the XXX Corps (Gujaranwala) and Bahawalpur-headquartered XXXI Corps has also been relocated to meet the ''internal crises'' in Pakistan.
This is the equivalent of an entire *corps* that has been shifted westwards from the IB/LoC.
The PA for the last four years of operations in Pasthun areas has attempted to avoid any fundamental re-alignment of forces - much of the burden has fallen on paramilitary internal security forces like the Frontier Corps.
The battalion-level Taliban assaults on four FC forts in mid-January, the friendship tunnel, etc, and the shortage of manpower to retake these positions *and* secure lines of communication between them has forced the PA to face reality.
Unlike the Soviets in Afghanistan, or the Americans in Iraq, the Pakistanis do have the manpower to re-establish basic physical control of population centres and main roads *simultaneously*.
This will come at the cost of the Pakistan Army's ability to mount offensive operations (Zia's 'riposte' doctrine) across the IB/LoC has been seriously, as well as its strategic reserves, and its overall strategic flexibility.
These force re-alignments are not temporary, because Pakistan's problems with the Taliban are far from temporary.
The Pakistani Army is going to be a lot more nervous when thinking about conventional conflict with India.
A technical malfunction in a Bell helicopter resulted in the killing of General Officer Commanding Kohat Major General Javed Sultan, two Brigadiars, two pilots and a Junior Commissioned Officer in South Waziristan Agency.
Maj. Gen. Sultan had commanded 9th Infantry Division since November. The division has had the lead role in operations in Waziristan right from the start.
Although the Pakistanis are denying it, it is *very* possible that the helicopter was shot down by the Pakiban.
The Pakistanis have had helicopters hit several times in the last year of operations in Waziristan, although they are extremely cagey about their exact losses.
As I said earlier, the size of the theatre, the number of places where the Taliban are operating, combined with battle damage and losses in previous operations has affected their AH-1 gunship availability in particular. There's a lot more use of artillery.
The threat to transport helicopters can be managed, but it makes securing the roads all the more important, particularly given the PA and PAF's airlift capacity was moderate to start with.