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?