For all practical purposes FATA is now an extension of the Afghan war, just as Cambodia was an extension of the Vietnam War. But just as going into Cambodia solved nothing and indeed in some ways made matters worse for the U.S. by opening another front in the war, going into FATA and bombing ‘terrorist sanctuaries’ or sending in ‘special forces’ will solve nothing. More likely, it will make things worse, both for the U.S. and Pakistan. Jihadi sentiment will grow. The Talibanization of the tribal areas is already well underway. Expect this process to accelerate if there is any serious American incursion into this region. And what will happen to the rest of Pakistan? I think it is no exaggeration to say that it will be shaken to its foundations.
When things get worse because of what the US and NATO are doing, count on them collectively to continue to do what is not working, and causing worse damage.