updated 5/10/2010 10:50:10 AM ET 2010-05-10T14:50:10

Pakistan's army, under U.S. pressure to enter the militant bastion of North Waziristan, says it will do so but in its own time and when adequate resources are available.

At a conference in Jordan on special operations forces, Major General Farrukh Bashir, commander of the Pakistani military's Special Services Group, gave a presentation on mountain warfare outlining the obstacles to fighting in the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Himalayan mountain ranges along Pakistan's borders.

Following is a selection of the challenges, according to Bashir:

* Artillery fire is less effective because of the contours of the land

* Attack options are predictable

* Use of helicopters gives away your intentions

* Land mines are not effective because they are displaced by earth tremors or melting snow

* Delays in evacuation of casualties

* Defensive positions can be swept away by avalanches

* Resupply and reinforcement in the heat of battle are extremely difficult

* Difficult to achieve surprise.

* Close-quarter battle is required

* Re-stocking is done by mules

* Troops' acclimatization is very important, as is physical fitness and endurance

* Illness caused by altitude sicknesses

* Maps and aerial images tend to be deceptive

* Distance is measured in time, not in space, due to the terrain

* An invisible and faceless enemy. People met without incident in daytime may "take up arms and attack" at night

* Night landing by helicopters is very difficult in forested mountains or at high altitude

*Vehicle mobility restricted to roads

* Large numbers of troops required to hold cleared areas.

* Operations require intensive focus on logistics.

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.


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