With U.S. air, land and sea forces positioning themselves within striking distance of Afghanistan, the broad outlines of a military campaign to destabilize the country's ruling Taliban and root out terrorist leader Osama bin Laden are beginning to take shape.
The campaign probably already has begun, with covert intelligence-gathering and elite commando units quietly working with opposition forces in the country.
Next may come nighttime bombing raids on the Afghan capital of Kabul and on the southern city of Kandahar, the site of some Taliban headquarters, former Pentagon officials and military analysts said.
And while Bush administration officials indicate that Afghanistan will be the primary target of military strikes, military action is not likely to end there.
Conventional forces in the region -- enough to fight what the Pentagon calls a "major theater war" -- are being built up to back initial strikes within Afghanistan and to deter others in the region, such as Iraq's Saddam Hussein, from using the opportunity to strike out at the United States.
In the past 10 days, elite Special Forces commando teams from the Army and Air Force, trained to drop quietly behind enemy lines, have been ordered to deploy to the region.
Over the weekend, according to defense officials, units of the 82nd Airborne and 101st Air Assault Divisions arrived at bases in Pakistan, near the border towns of Quetta and Peshawar.
Those units join 100 to 130 planes deployed to the Persian Gulf area last week.
Two Navy aircraft carrier battle groups are in the region; two more might be heading that way.
In related developments:
The military campaign has been code-named "Enduring Freedom," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said. The name first chosen, "Infinite Justice," was scrapped after the administration recognized that in the Islamic faith such finality is considered something provided only by Allah, the Arabic word for God.
Rumsfeld said the new war on terrorism will be long and not start with a massive offensive.
"There is not going to be a D-Day, as such, and I'm sure there will not be a signing ceremony on the (battleship) Missouri, as such," he told a Pentagon news conference.
The Pentagon announced that another 1,940 reservists from 16 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia were called to active duty.
They include soldiers who secure ports and military bases, gather information about enemies and identify human remains.
Many of the soldiers will help beef up security inside the United States, while others will go overseas, Pentagon officials say.
Also, about 200 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., were sent to each of two chemical weapons storage facilities in Kentucky and Indiana to augment security, according to officials at those sites. A spokeswoman said no specific threat against had been made either place.
The latest move brings to 14,318 the number of Reserve and National Guard members called so far under a partial mobilization order President Bush signed after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The House passed a $343 billion defense bill late Tuesday, boosting money to fight terrorism by $400 million, for a total of about $6 billion.
The Senate has been unable to vote on the bill because of attempts to attach the Bush administration's energy bill and a proposal to let private contractors compete with prison industries for defense contracts.
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz arrived in Brussels, Belgium, where he told NATO allies to prepare for a long, coordinated assault on terrorism but did not produce evidence linking bin Laden with the terror attacks.
Wolfowitz told alliance defense ministers that military action is only one element in a range of approaches needed to fight terrorism, a NATO official said.
Wolfowitz emphasized intelligence-gathering, cooperation in logistical support and following financial trails. He claimed an alarming connection between states that harbor international terrorists and the states with active programs to develop weapons of mass destruction.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said in an Associated Press interview that the Taliban rulers could avert a war with the United States by turning over bin Laden, a Saudi exile and the No. 1 suspect in the terror attacks, and ripping up the al-Qaida terrorism network.
He said he hoped that the Taliban "will come to its senses" and arrange for bin Laden to be deported and brought to justice.
"I don't think they are insane," he said, suggesting that the Taliban rulers might drop their resistance now that they face virtually total global isolation.
"I hope the Taliban will come to the realization that he (bin Laden) is too great a liability to have in their country," Powell said. "The whole world is uniting against him."
He said cooperation by the Taliban could lead to significant benefits for Afghanistan, resulting from improved ties with the West.
For the first time, Bush suggested that Afghans rise up against the Taliban.
He said the best way to fight terrorism "is to ask for the cooperation of citizens within Afghanistan who may be tired of having the Taliban in place or tired of having Osama bin Laden."
In Kabul, thousands of demonstrators responded by attacking the abandoned U.S. Embassy compound, burning cars and tearing down the U.S. seal. The compound was vacated in 1988.
Shouting "Long Live Osama" and "Death to America," the protesters burned a U.S. flag and an effigy of Bush before storming the old embassy compound.
Following Russian and Western contacts with the rebel Northern Alliance seeking to overthrow the Taliban, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar warned the United States and its allies in the anti-terrorism coalition against taking sides in the Afghanistan conflict.
"We are concerned to read news that Afghan groups are asking for foreign military assistance," Sattar said Tuesday at a news conference with a European Union delegation.
"The Northern Alliance has said so, and we fear any such decision on the part of a foreign power to give assistance to one side or the other is a recipe for great suffering for the people of Afghanistan," he added.