While the deal between US and Russia for the use of Russian airspace for the transit of US troops and arms to Afghanistan represents a triumph for Obama's initiatives to redefine relations between the two countries, which had nose-dived to its lowest ebb under his predecessor. It certainly is an ominous development with regard to the prospects of peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is a confirmation of the fact that Obama like his predecessor believes in a military solution of the problem; a setback for those who harboured the view that there was a growing realisation in the decision making echelons of the Obama Administration that military-centric approach of Bush Administration in Afghanistan had failed and there was a need to revisit this outlook. The launching of a major military offensive against the Taliban strongholds in the Helmand by US Marines and Afghan troops, the decision to induct more US and NATO troops, our military operations in Swat and South Waziristan, and a reported interview of President Zardari to Daily Telegraph London that military operations in future would also target figures who were the military's strategic assets are links of the same chain; the US strategy to go for an all out military solution. These developments leave no doubt about the fact that the decision to launch decisive military operations in Swat and South Waziristan has been foisted on our leadership by the coercive Obama Administration, who readily obliged in exchange for US dollars without deliberating on the long-term consequences. It is a sad reflection on the failure of our leaders to convince the American administration that military approach has already proved counter-productive and further reliance on this strategy is going to strengthen and swell the ranks of the militants rather than making any headway towards the elimination of this menace. It also speaks volumes about the bankruptcy of vision and understanding of the geo-political realities among our decision makers. The military operation in Swat may have pushed the militants out of a larger part of the valley, but it is rather premature to claim victory and start repatriation of the IDPs. The militants might have made a tactical retreat and might be working on some other strategy to bounce back. Therefore the repatriation of the IDPs should not have been started till the establishment of a military cantonment in Swat, complete restoration of the civil administration and rebuilding of the destroyed infrastructure. As far the military offensive against the Taliban and elements of Al-Qaeda entrenched in Waziristan, it needs to be remembered that they have strong links with the Afghan Taliban and both claim to be fighting against the foreign occupation, which brings them considerable support among the local population on both sides of the border. Increased military operations against them in Afghanistan and South Waziristan will undoubtedly lead to cross-border movement of these Taliban to escape from the military onslaught and to re-group. The military operations to be successful need the support of the local population which is fast fading due to US drone attacks on our side of the border and due to the collateral damage which accompanies such actions. The result of our jets attacking the hideouts of the militants are also producing the same kind of damage and accentuating resentment and hatred among the local people against their tormentors. This phenomenon is actually playing into the hands of the extremists and terrorist elements who find ready recruits for their organisations from among the affected population. So rest assured that contrary to what our rulers want us to believe, their folly to go by the US strategy for the region has inextricably pushed us into a crucible of precipice. The US and NATO military adventure in Afghanistan is surely going to fail like the former's disastrous military adventure in Vietnam which ended in abject withdrawal rather than victory. In case of such an eventuality, the US surely will leave us to rake the mess left behind, like its abandonment of Pakistan in the backdrop of Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. May be, by then we will not be in a position to extricate ourselves unscathed from this legacy. The only way that Afghanistan and Pakistan can see peace and an end to militancy and terrorism is US and NATO forces leaving Afghanistan at the earliest possible and the initiation of a process of political reconciliation there in which all segments of the society, more so the Taliban also participate. If that happens in Afghanistan, only then we can hope an end to militancy within our borders allowing us an opportunity to heal the wounds and begin the process of reconciliation and reconstruction in our tribal areas and Swat. There being no signs of that happening in the near future, the Pakistani nation should therefore brace itself for the fallout of this unimaginable strategy in the form of a long period of instability, ever-growing problem of IDPs, militancy, religious extremism and acts of terrorism as reprisals for military action in Swat and the tribal region, particularly in South Waziristan. The writer is a freelance columnist