The collapse of relations between the US and Pakistan, and between Pakistan and Afghanistan, will threaten both the western withdrawal from Afghanistan and the stability of the region in 2012.
The possibilities are endless: a serious UK-Pakistani clash; further attacks by both the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network; the assassination of top leaders. The first casualty of escalating violence will be the peace talks between the Americans and the Afghans.
The US elections will further widen the divide between the US and Pakistan and, if the US begins withdrawing troops from Afghanistan early, it could set off a stampede among Nato members that will further demoralise the Afghan government. Afghanistan faces difficult days in 2012. Read more