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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Karzai Agrees to New Elections

The drama surrounding the Afghan elections continues to remain fluid.

Afghanistan's election commission Tuesday ordered a Nov. 7 runoff in the disputed presidential poll after a U.N.-led investigation voided thousands of fraudulent ballots, dropping incumbent

Hamid Karzai's votes below 50 percent of the total.Karzai accepted the ruling by the commission "legitimate, legal and constitutional," agreeing to a second round vote.

There are still many thorny issues that remain. First, a run off election is useless if it is as corrupt as the original one. So, what exactly will be different in the run off that will make these results legitimate? Second, what will the Obama administration do in the meantime?

President Obama has indicated that he won't make a decision on troop levels until after the election has been resolved. Well, that may go until the end of the year. The original election was at the end of August. It took nearly two months to resolve this results. That would put us to New Year's. In the meantime, General McChrystal said that he felt we only had a window of twelve months in August That window will be eight months if things still aren't resolved.

In the meantime, violence continues to spiral. Pakistan is on the brink of collapse. President Obama still has no coherent strategy for any of it.

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