Friday, September 24, 2010

What was it we claim to be doing in Afghanistan?

Local Nationals watch as U.S. Army Soldiers patrol the area in the village of Akeemabad, Afghanistan, Sept. 16, 2010. (US Army Photo in ISAFmedia photostream by Spc. David A. Jackson/Released)

Widespread Fraud Seen in Latest Afghan Elections
KABUL, Afghanistan — Evidence is mounting that fraud in last weekend’s parliamentary election was so widespread that it could affect the results in a third of provinces, calling into question the credibility of a vote that was an important test of the American and Afghan effort to build a stable and legitimate government. ...

In some places, election officials themselves are alleged to have carried out the fraud; in others, government employees did, witnesses said. One video showed election officials and a candidate’s representatives haggling over the price of votes. ...

American and international diplomats kept their distance from the tide of candidate complaints this week, and NATO and American Embassy officials said little other than that the election was an Afghan process and that it was the Afghans who were responsible for its outcome. But a less than credible parliamentary election, following last year’s tarnished presidential vote, would place international forces in the increasingly awkward position of defending a government of waning legitimacy, and diplomats acknowledged that it could undermine efforts to persuade countries to maintain their financing and troop levels.

New York Times, 9/25/2010

The Afghanistan war is has failed, except at killing people. Time to bring the troops home.

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