Another big explosion has rocked Kabul, killing several persons and wounding more.
I don’t know if Peter Galbraith still has a job at the United Nations after he went public with charges that the Electoral Complaints Commission, mainly appointed by the UN, was ignoring large-scale fraud in the August 20 presidential elections, fraud that mainly benefited incumbent Hamid Karzai. But he certainly sacrificed something. And it was not for naught.
On Wednesday, the ECC reversed itself on the way it will recount ballots suspected of being fraudulent. The recount will attempt to determine which candidates benefited most from fraud. If, as is widely suspected, it is Karzai, then his current estimate of 54% of the vote could be reduced below 50%, triggering a runoff election between him and his chief rival, Abdullah Abdullah. The ECC reversal almost certainly comes from the firestorm of criticism over its apparent willingness to ignore ballot fraud by the incumbent, provoked in important part by Galbraith’s speaking out.
Russia Today reports that President Obama has ruled out slashing the US troop contingent in Afghanistan. So now the question is whether he will yield to Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s request for 40,000 more troops.
Meanwhile, NATO is pressuring Russia to supply more equipment and training to Afghanistan army troops. That is one of those ironic, science-fictional sentences that non-fiction authors seldom get to pen.
The Cato Institute reviews the Afghanistan war and worries that once the original mission, to capture Usamah Bin Laden, failed, it morphed into an open-ended project of nation-building with no end in sight. The documentary argues that a huge Western military footprint in a fiercely independent tribal society will backfire. If the object is to wipe out al-Qaeda, a smaller military force would be more effective. The film also is critical of forcible poppy field eradication as a means of dealing with Afghanistan’s drug problems (though to be fair, the US has abandoned that strategy).
Russia Today also asks what would happen if US troops pulled out of Afghanistan and talks with Cato:
End/ (Not Continued)