In 1998 Pakistan successful detonated a nuclear device, and soon to follow was a dangerous border standoff with the nation of India to it's south. Today the Pakistan/ Afghanistan border wilderness to the north has a strong presences of Al-Qaeda ready to retake areas now heavily patrolled by NATO and American troops. Withdrawal in 2014 will leave a country vulnerable to the Al-Qaeda warriors bent on revenge.
Having declared the Pakistani military as an apostate force (one that has left the fold of Islam), the emerging Al-Qaeda strategy appears to be targeted at damaging the Pakistan Army's image in the eyes of Pakistani Muslims, assassinating its senior officers through selective killings, and following the draw-down of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2014 annihilating the institution of Pakistan Army thoroughly and executing its personnel for collaborating with the United States.
It appears that Al-Qaeda is seeking to achieve two objectives through this strategy: first, damage the image of Pakistan Army in the eyes of Muslims worldwide but especially in Pakistan; second, divide the loyalty of Pakistani soldiers to their commanders and recruit them to the cause of jihad and Islam. The new Al-Qaeda strategy poses a serious risk for the Pakistani armed forces. This risk is not unreal, as several large-scale terror attacks have taken place in Pakistan recently, revealing the involvement of Pakistani soldiers.
Al-Qaeda leaders began reviewing the role of Pakistan Army a few years ago, perhaps the first trigger being the killing of Arab fighters in Pakistani military operations in the tribal region along the Afghan border.
Late last month Ayman Al-Zawahri, the successor to Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, appeared in a video to explain the justifications for jihad against the Pakistan and Pakistan Army. In the video, which was recorded sometime in the aftermath of the 2011 U.S. raid on the Salala check-post in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed, Al-Zawahiri sought to play on the Pakistani people's anti-U.S. sentiments, stressing that the U.S. cannot be a reliable partner and urging people to rise up against the Pakistan Army.
In the months following the killing of Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda's statements on the Pakistan Army's relationships with Muslims became more frequent. This trend is likely to continue in the coming years, especially if the Pakistani military continues to carry out security operations against the Taliban and other militant groups in the Pakistani border region.
The threat to annihilate the institution of Pakistan Army ,though not an easy task for Al-Qaeda, cannot be taken lightly, as the terrorist organizations are expected to find a surplus of jihadists in the Afghanistan and Pakistan region after the drawdown of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan in 2014.
Telegraphing your intentions to an enemy shows the very weakness terrorist take advantage of. And then there is the problem of the nukes, where are they and who has them?