October 22, 2009 |
Afghan authorities plan to close thousands of polling stations and hire new poll workers to discourage the fraud that tarnished the August presidential election and forced a runoff set for Nov. 7, U.N. officials said Wednesday. President Hamid Karzai's rival, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, announced Wednesday that he was preparing for the runoff election, a day after Karzai acknowledged under intense U.S. pressure that he fell short of the 50% threshold needed for victory in the Aug. 20 vote.
December 12, 2009 |
The top United Nations official in Afghanistan, under criticism that he was not being tough enough with President Hamid Karzai over corruption, will not seek reappointment when his contract expires in March, the U.N. said Friday. Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide is following through on his previous intention to leave when his two-year contract is finished, U.N. spokesman Dan McNorton said. "This is not a question of resigning," he said. "Kai Eide is sticking to the timetable." McNorton said the decision was unrelated to the public clash between Eide and Peter Galbraith, his U.S. deputy.
October 6, 2009
As President Obama weighs the military's request for up to 40,000 more U.S. troops in Afghanistan, election officials in the capital city of Kabul are combing through a sampling of more than 350 suspect ballot boxes for signs of fraud significant enough to have given President Hamid Karzai the majority he needed to win reelection without a runoff. The two issues cannot and should not be separated. No matter how many additional troops the United States and NATO send to Afghanistan, or which strategy Obama decides to employ against the Taliban and its Al Qaeda allies, it cannot succeed without an Afghan government that is seen as legitimate by the people.
April 8, 2010 |
In an apparent capitulation to international pressure, the government of President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday announced the removal of two top election officials who were implicated in widespread fraud in last summer's balloting for president. The legal framework for coming parliamentary elections has been a key point of contention between Karzai and Western governments. Karzai has resisted demands for what diplomats called "root-and-branch" reform of Afghanistan's electoral system before the vote, which is set for September.
April 22, 2013 |
BRUSSELS -- Secretary of State John F. Kerry is to host a meeting of top Afghan and Pakistani leaders here this week in hopes of breathing new life into flagging Afghan peace efforts. The meeting set for Wednesday is to bring together Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his defense minister, Bismullah Khan Mohammadi, with Pakistani army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani. A State Department official described the encounter as part of a series of three-way meetings that occur regularly at a lower level.
April 26, 2012
Weary as Americans are of the war in Afghanistan, it has been obvious for some time that the United States would continue to play a role in that country after Afghan forces assume full control of security in 2014. So it isn't surprising that Washington and Kabul have reached a draft "strategic partnership" agreement under which the U.S. will continue providing military, economic and other aid to Afghanistan for another decade. In principle, a continuing relationship is perfectly defensible, but it needs to be circumscribed to prevent a re-escalation ofU.S.
April 12, 2010 |
Senior American officials on Sunday sought to smooth over a sharply quarrelsome interlude in U.S.-Afghan relations, with the special U.S. envoy to the region describing President Hamid Karzai's administration as "a government we can work with." Speaking to reporters in Kabul, Richard Holbrooke, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, pointed to Karzai's participation in a major planning conference with Afghan, American and coalition officials. "We have a good relationship with this government," said Holbrooke, who has verbally clashed with Karzai in the past.
March 17, 2011
Testifying before two congressional committees this week, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus offered a familiar assessment of the war in Afghanistan: Progress has been made in the effort to defeat the Taliban, but the gains are tentative and can be undone. Petraeus' comments also cast doubt on the size of the partial withdrawal promised for July, and suggested that U.S. forces will remain in Afghanistan at significant levels until the NATO-set deadline of 2014, and perhaps beyond. It's a disquieting prospect for those of us who question whether the war is winnable even with another three years of combat, assassinations and nation-building.
October 16, 2010 |
As a person who spends her time immersed in the Middle Ages, I would ordinarily be the first to point out how irrelevant this pastime is to modern society. There is very little reason to tweet or blog about people who have been dead for 600 years. However, the recent revelation that large numbers of President Hamid Karzai's relations have taken over positions of power in Afghanistan has encouraged me to believe that, for once, my preoccupation might be pertinent. For some time now, it has been obvious to me that the political model that best illustrates the philosophy and practice of the Afghan government is a medieval court.
October 27, 2009
Tons of explosives, suicide bombers in coordinated attacks and triple-digit death tolls. The wreckage at the Iraqi Justice Ministry and Baghdad's provincial council headquarters this week, like the devastation at the Foreign and Finance ministries in August, is a reminder that foreign powers cannot impose peace on a divided nation. Two years after a U.S. troop "surge" helped tamp down Iraq's sectarian war, the bloodletting illustrates why military advances must be accompanied by a steady march of political progress.