Monday, November 02, 2009


Afghanistan has unraveled week by week. Most recently with Abdullah Abdullah withdrawing his name from the runoff election. The obvious impact is how this will affect President Obama's decision to acquiesce to General McChrystal's request for more troops. I'm not convinced that it will. In the end, I think the troops will be sent. However, I wonder how this is going to affect public opinion and the opinion of our allies.

It just doesn't look good. Karzai gets re-"elected" with massive accusations of corruption. The next scene is Senator John Kerry with his arm around Karzai whispering in his ear about how he really should do a runoff. And now Abdullah backs out on the basis that there is no way that a free and fair election is going to take place.

Like I said before, I think President Obama will send the troops. But additional troops equal additional re-commitment. But frankly, I'm not convinced that there is enough gas left in the public-opinion-tank to stay committed in Afghanistan. Although, Obama has backed away from Bush's policy of establishing a Western democracy in Afghanistan, I still think that the American public has little patience for sending more soldiers and more money to support a government that is largely deemed illegitimate.

Especially more money...

The aid going to Afghanistan has been wasted terribly and even suspicion that it gets diverted to the people we are trying to get rid of. How does the White House convince the American people that money should be poured into Afghanistan when it could be spent on domestic projects?

1 comment:

General Franklin Kirby said...

I agree with your assessment that the political capital to stay committed in Afghanistan has waned with this recent development. Its as if Obama was unrealistically hoping for a relatively fair election, which would provide a greater rationale for sending 40,000 troops as McChrystal requested now months ago. It seems to me a better call would have been to send troops as soon as the assessment was made (if that were even possible, given requirements in Iraq), which could have possibly increased security/cut down on bribes and corruption, and ultimately led to a relatively fair election that had to take place under any scenario of continued presence in Afghanistan. As it stands, the key troop level decision "probably remains at least three weeks away."