I know it looks like a setback but I suspect this might be a smart move. Give the people of Swat sharia law, and see how they like it. Meanwhile, bolster your security forces in the area so they can pick up the ball when the Taliban has sufficiently alienated the populace. Risky? Sure. But better than losing Swat altogether.
About Tom Ricks
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.