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 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 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.
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 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.
December 9, 2009 |
Afghanistan's security forces will need U.S. support for another 15 to 20 years, President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday in the latest in a series of indications that U.S. involvement there is likely to last far into the future. Also Tuesday, the top U.S. and allied commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, told lawmakers in Washington that the U.S. needed to signal a long-term commitment in Afghanistan in order to reverse the momentum of the Taliban-led insurgency, a commitment that he said must continue even after combat forces begin to draw down in 2011.
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.
June 23, 2010
It's out with the new and in with the old in Afghanistan. President Obama jettisoned Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal as commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan for disparaging the civilian leadership of the country and war effort, turning instead to Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia. In Petraeus, the president has a known quantity, a seasoned military leader who sharpened his counterinsurgency teeth in the Iraq war and has a proven record of working with Washington.
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.