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.
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.
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.
July 19, 2010
Handing out guns in Afghanistan has been risky business through the ages, yet arming Afghan village defense forces is central to Army Gen. David H. Petraeus' strategy against the Taliban. The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is taking a page out of the counterinsurgency manual he drafted for Iraq, where he successfully coaxed Sunni Arab fighters into government-allied local defense units. But that doesn't mean it will work to hire local hands in the treacherous terrain of Afghanistan, where several foreign powers have tried and failed to control the gunmen.
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.
July 3, 2010
Gen. David H. Petraeus' arrival in Kabul this week, after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate as the head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, is a good time to revisit the goals and challenges confronting nearly 100,000 American troops there. The strategic goal as defined by the Obama administration is to prevent Afghanistan from being used as a base by Al Qaeda or other groups that seek to attack the United States and its allies, as it was during the Taliban's rule and 9/11 strikes.
January 25, 2010 |
Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates -- Under strong international pressure to reform Afghanistan's electoral system before holding another nationwide vote, the government of President Hamid Karzai on Sunday put off balloting for a new parliament until September. Election officials and Karzai had said the voting would take place in May, but Western diplomats had made it clear that their governments would refuse to pick up the tab for any balloting held before "root-and-branch" electoral reforms.
July 19, 2010 |
Prodded by the Obama administration, Pakistan and Afghanistan on Sunday announced a rare trade partnership aimed at lifting the regional economy and undermining insurgent forces trying to destabilize the two governments. The trade deal was described by American officials as the first such agreement between the two nations since the 1960s, and termed a means of strengthening ties and creating new jobs in trucking, banking and movement of freight. The deal, which still has to be ratified by both countries, was announced shortly after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, for a visit.
January 9, 2010 |
Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan — President Hamid Karzai snubbed two prominent warlord figures in a new Cabinet lineup unveiled today but unexpectedly offered a ministerial spot to the leader of a political party founded by a key Pakistan-based insurgent commander. The list of Cabinet nominees also included three female ministers, including a prominent women's-rights activist chosen as minister of women's affairs. Karazai had been sharply criticized when a previous lineup, most of whom were rejected by lawmakers last week, included only one woman.