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September 21, 2009

Blogging the McChrystal Review - Pretty Please Mr. Karzai
Posted by Michael Cohen

This graf in the report really jumped out at me:

The absence of personal and economic security, along with the erosion of public confidence in the government, and a perceived lack of respect for Afghan culture pose as great a challenge to ISAF's success as the insurgent threat. Protecting the population is more than preventing insurgent violence and intimidation. It also means that ISAF can no longer or tacitly accept abuse of power, corruption, or marginalization. (p. 2-10)

And how precisely is ISAF going to do this? Hamid Karzai just brazenly stole the Afghan presidential election, right under the nose of the US and NATO - one in three ballots are in question. Color me crazy, but he doesn't seem overly concerned about NATO's upbraiding when it comes to abuse of power or corruption.

Precisely what leverage do we have over Karzai and the Kabul government to act responsibly when as far as McChrystal seems concerned, we have to stay in Afghanistan for the long haul?


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Once again, you fail to understand the situation in Afghanistan. While some Afghans question the results, there is absolutely no unrest here over it. The Afghans consider the election a success and many expect Karzai to win. What Afghans find remarkable is that, in what they consider to be their first real election, Pashtuns voted for a Tajik and a Hazara, Hazaras voted for a Pashtun, and Tajiks voted for a Pashtun and a Hazara. That's what they find remarkable.

Part of legitimacy is acceptance. Not yours... theirs. They seem to be accepting the results happily. You have no real idea of what you're talking about, do you?

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