Slideshow: The Joy Of Ballot Stuffing
September 03, 2009
With the Afghan elections over, accusations of voter fraud are being made by President Hamid Karzai's top challenger, Abdullah Abdullah. The alleged abuses range from reporting higher turnout, to ballot stuffing, to sympathetic generals using their own houses as polling stations. Of course, such shenanigans are hardly new in the history of voting. Click through this slideshow for a tour of some notable election frauds.
Afghan Envoy Denies Holbrooke-Karzai Fight
August 28, 2009
Yesterday the BBC reported that Obama's Af-Pak point man Richard Holbrooke had an "explosive" and "dramatic" confrontation with Afghan President Hamid Karzai over reports of widespread voter fraud in Afghanistan's August 20 election.
Our Afghan Ambassador: The Man in the Middle
August 21, 2009
When Zalmay Khalilzad was U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan in the aftermath of the 2002 war, it was a given that President Hamid Karzai would never make a decision without first consulting him. And Khalilzad also ruled over the American agencies in the country, including the military. More than ambassador, Afghan-born Khalilzad was America’s pro-consul in Kabul. U.S. Army Lieutenant General Karl W.Eikenberry, the ambassador nominated by Barack Obama earlier this year, enjoys no such pre-eminence.
Hamid Karzai As Michael Corleone
August 06, 2009
One of the better chunks of Elizabeth Rubin's excellent New York Times Magazine profile of Hamid Karzai reports on Karzai's brothers, a number of whom are suspected of criminality. This has become a huge political problem for Karzai as he faces re-election. However, this comment from a U.N. official is more amusing than the official seems to realize. As many Afghans have pointed out, U.S.
An Alibi For Liberal Realism
April 20, 2009
Responding to this morning's eloquent New York Times op-ed on human rights in Afghanistan, Michelle Goldberg of the Prospect writes: So far, the administration's realism has overshadowed its idealism, especially in Afghanistan, where the United States is reaching out to "moderate" elements of the Taliban. Lots of observers seem relieved by this scaling back of American ambitions. By cynically cloaking its own aggression in the language of human rights, the Bush team did much to discredit the latter. But ... there are real moral costs to realist compromises.
Obama vs. Osama
December 24, 2008
Has the president picked the right war?
Karzai V. Obama
December 23, 2008
Afghan president Hamid Karzai is grousing about the coming influx of some 30,000 U.S. troops into his country, warning that their presence near populated areas like Kabul will create more friction and resentment between the U.S. and his people. (Karzai wants our troops along the border with Pakistan to stop militants from entering his country there.) His words are the latest troubling sign of where Afghan public opinion is headed. Many Americans may believe that, unlike in Iraq, our presence has been quite welcome by (non-Taliban) Afghans.
A Man, A Plan, Afghanistan
September 24, 2008
If Obama really wants to smite Al Qaeda, this is what he should do.
The Man Who Would Be King
February 27, 2008
In April 2005, when President Bush decided to transfer Zalmay Khalilzad from Afghanistan to Iraq, Afghan President Hamid Karzai complained. The Afghan-born Khalilzad had been serving as U.S. ambassador to his native country, and his relationship with Karzai--which dated back to the late 1990s, when both men advised the U.S. oil company Unocal on the construction of a Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan pipeline--was strong.
June 18, 2007
In the current issue, I write about Afghanistan's shaky future as the country tries to overcome years of violence and a devastating dependence on opium trade. The books and testimony below help to illustrate a place whose history is fraught with tragedy--but where a cautious hope for a better life is beginning to take hold. Sarah Chayes, The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban (Penguin, 2006). As the Taliban fell in late 2001 Sarah Chayes was covering Afghanistan for NPR Subsequently she worked for an Afghan NGO doing reconstruction work.