Opinion: Karzai Being Declared Re-elected in Afghanistan Completely Undermines War Effort

November 2, 2009

(ChattahBox) — This is not a good way to proceed.  After major corruption allegations forced a runoff election, Afghanistan’s election commission has declared that Hamid Karzai is the president after it canceled Saturday’s scheduled run-off. After the fraudulent August 20 elections, a recount left Karzai with less than 50 percent of the vote, triggering a runoff, to which Karzai agreed last week.  However Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah reasonably demanded the resignation of top officials including the head of the Independent Electoral Commission to avoid fraud in the second round of voting November 7, or he would not participate “in an election which is not transparent and fraud-free.”
But Karzai and Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission had been reportedly under intense pressure from Afghanistan’s international backers, including the United States, to cancel the second round of voting because of fears relating to security and the same massive vote-rigging that marred the first round. President Obama has been supposedly holding off on a decision to send more troops to Afghanistan even with 68,000 troops currently installed, until the election dispute is resolved, citing concerns for stability. But snuffing out a runoff election is not going to resolve stability issues in the long run.  The US and NATO are paying a heavy price in troops and blood money to support this corrupt and unpopular government in Afghanistan. Obama’s top commander in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, has recommended an expanded counter-insurgency approach with a broader, long-term strategy focused on protecting Afghans and providing support to develop the country’s government, economic and civil stability, as offering the best option.  How can that strategy succeed when the president of Afghanistan is a symbol of corruption to the international community and his people?  Meanwhile, the past months has been the deadliest period in the Afghanistan war for American soldiers, and in the last three months the number of wounded troops has escalated as well. Over 1,000 troops have been injured in the past three months, a number that accounts for one-fourth of the total number wounded since the war began in 2001.  I personally see this war now as a no win situation given the path we seem to be heading down.


One Response to “Opinion: Karzai Being Declared Re-elected in Afghanistan Completely Undermines War Effort”

  1. akorozco on November 2nd, 2009 10:16 am

    So the U.S.-picked fraud is now the de facto leader? This totally undermines our legitimacy…

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