Like India, the US is worried about waging a war with a nuclearised Pakistan and wants to avoid it all costs, particularly since the threat to its mainland is not even near the kind that India has been, and is, dealing with. In addition, it needs Pakistan as a logistic conduit for the 120,000 US troops in Afghanistan. There is no other practical sea-land route available to maintain such a large fighting force there. The wily Musharraf, his DG ISI Kiyani -- now Army Chief -- and other Pakistani generals grasped the strategic significance of these paralyzing constraints even before America invaded Afghanistan and saw in them an opportunity to not only keep India under attack but also to score a spectacular victory for what we call terror and they Islam, over the second super power to invade Afghanistan. And they went about achieving this objective with single-minded, indeed manic devotion.
It should not take the US more than two days to incapacitate Pakistan Army and secure its nuclear weapons. With a ready and willing India to its East, it just needs to take out Pakistan’s Air Force, making its ground forces sitting ducks from the air. With the US becoming guarantor of its security, like it is of Japan, dismantling of the military-terror apparatus can follow. Without patronage, funds and professional guidance, terrorists outfits will dissolve into the countryside, just as the Nazis did.
Yes, things may go wrong; that is a calculated risk experts in the game have to take. But, if the terrorist-generals get away even now, chances are high that things will go horribly wrong some years down the line.