Ahmad Wali Karzai Killing Points to More Instability

The murder Tuesday of Ahmad Wali Karzai, the behind-the-scenes authority over Qandahar province and brother of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, shows the continued instability in that country. It is not entirely clear the killing was a political assassination. The bodyguard who pulled the trigger is rumored just to have had a personal grudge with his boss.

The Telegraph carries an insightful analysis that points out that the Taliban will likely make political hay with the incident, though it is not clear they will claim credit if they weren’t behind it. It also raises questions of what will happen to A.W. Karzai’s various businesses, licit and illicit. He had a private security company, which cooperated with US troops in operations, but on the other side was accused in State Department memos revealed by Wikileaks of running a drug smuggling operation.

President Karzai’s own hand in Qandahar has been much weakened, and he has lost a key asset in his struggle against the Taliban for control of that key western Pashtun province. It is hard to know whether this development is positive or negative politically (obviously a murder is negative in and of itself but I am speaking of the larger canvas). Ahmad Wali Karzai was a warlord of sorts, and his demise could open the way to more consultative governance. And, since he stole the last presidential election, Hamid Karzai has put on increasingly regal airs and tried to gain authoritarian powers, which may have just been somewhat checked in one part of the country. And if it is true that Ahmad Wali was engaged in the narcotics trade, his fall could lead to less corrupt government.

The killing comes just after Canada withdrew its troops from Qandahar, leaving over-stretched US troops in charge, and could point to the sort of instability that lies ahead as other NATO forces, such as Britain’s, plan steep drawdowns in the next 3 years.

4 Responses

  1. My most unlikable congressman, Mike Rogers of Michigan,” explained bluntly why Karzai’s brother has never been charged: “We certainly need the president to be with us. That would be hard if we’re hauling off his brother to a detention center.”

    While doing research on Mike Rogers, the Rogers family was found to be fascinating leaving questions to their ethics. Mike has brought Ollie North several times to Rogers home county, of Livingston. Mike’s eldest brother, James is said to have worked with Karzai’s brother and had many contacts with him. Mike’s brother, James Rogers a military officer, has been clearly been involved in some covert ops, and had the same name and the same rank at the time of a military attaché who was involved in the coup in Venezuela.

    Considering the dirty dealings, that in all appearance are encouraged and promoted in Mike’s home country. it wouldn’t be surprising on anything coming out –

  2. “Considering the dirty dealings, that in all appearance are encouraged and promoted in Mike’s home county, it wouldn’t be surprising on anything coming out’

    Should read county, not country.

  3. The killing may well weaken President Karzai’s grip and allow NATO a slim possibility that their hopes for better governance in the area might be forthcoming.

    If it leads to greater instability, so what?

    The situation is pretty damned unstable as is and the sort of stability offered by the dead guy wasn’t worth all that much.

  4. There is instability everywhere. Literally, political instability, economic instability, energy supply instability and climate instability. \

    Climate instability reduces the carrying capacity which increases political and economic instability.

    Energy supply instability curtails economic expansion, literally sounding a death knell to the political and economic vitality of western civilization.

    The only solution is to embrace contraction.

    Murdoch and the Kochs will not allow that.

    Instability eventually causes catastrophe.

    So, one guy gives up on making money selling fruit, he immolates himself and a country burns. Other countries follow. Neocons congratulate themselves, for what, I do not know, perhaps the tides.

    Now we come to a bodyguard who may have just had too much of Karzai’s whining, so he pops a cap in his head, then the entire continent goes on red alert.

    And *that* is what instability means.

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