According to my sources there on the ground, th eTaliban and their allies have quickly consolidated their hold on Buner, having easily beaten back a government force of 250 Frontier Constabulary officers sent to push them out of the district.
From what I'm hearing, the Taliban has taken advantage of the retreat to move into
Mansehra and Haripur. These two regions are literally the outskirts of Islamabad, the Pakistani capitol and Rawalpindi, the main garrison city and military home of the Pakistani Army.
One thing I'm noticing is that the Pakistani government is using the Frontier Constabulary and The Pakistan Rangers, a paramilitary force under the command of Pakistan's Interior Ministry,rather than the regular army, which so far has been sitting on the sideines while the Taliban has been destroying troops that were basically designed as a kind of border patrol.
This is not normal behavior for an army watching an invasion creep towards its capitol. Either they are too demoralized to fight after the losses they suffered in Swat, they simply have no interest in preserving the Zardari government or they are simply victims of inertia, rather like the Iranian military in the days when the Ayatolah Khomeni was taking over.
I think it's likely a combination of all three factors, and I don't see the Pakistani Army stopping the Taliban,m who would never have comitted to an offensive if they weren't sure they had a good chance to win.
I only hope Obama isn't stupid enough to send US troops in...we'd be far better off just doing a military strike on Pakistan's nukes and military facilities and getting out, I think.