Via Col Lang Straw in the wind - FB Ali I fear the former Brigadier is right. 2010 was a very bad year in the Punjab, the place is falling apart. I've long said there'll be no military victory in this war while the enemy retains secure rear basing south of The Durand. There's really no prospect of Pindi shutting these down, it's just not in their interest, the Haqqanis etc are a strategic asset. Drone strikes and Pak Army actions in FATA really don't play well with the average Punjabi i.e. the main population base of the Pak Army. One of the predictions from US commentators at the end of last year was a frustrated Barry with an eye on 2014 would extend the ground war into FATA. This is perhaps what should have been risked, if briefly, after 9-11 as our enemies fled into the embrace of the ISI but now it may be a disaster. Our long Pashtun war has left Pakistan in a far more fragile state, such an escalation might be the last straw. In trying to snuff out the talibans in lawless FATA we might set the Punjab ablaze. The religious parties aren't popular but offended nationalism is creating the conditions for a revolutionary putsch by Islamists supported by factions in Pindi. An increasingly heavy footprint in Afghanistan isn't great from this point of view either and a precipitous withdrawal in 2015 also carries risks to Pakistan. The lesser evil may be going long and light.