Obama's Fate as Much in the Balance as Afghan Presidential Candidates

The Financial Times argues that the final judgment on how upright the Afghan elections were
matters enormously to the Obama administration. If the US public
decides these election results were phonied up, it will turn, FT
argues, even more against the war than it already is (51 percent oppose
the Afghanistan war in the US).

I don't think the US public
cares so much about these elections. I think support for the
Afghanistan war depends on the administration effectively tying it to
concerns about Americans' safety and security. And since that argument
is so hard to make convincingly, I can't see how public support for the
war is going to come back. With dozens of US troops killed in July,
moreover, people are hearing more bad news than good.

What I
think is true is that a poorly executed Afghanistan policy could turn
Obama into a one-term president. It is too early to judge exactly what
Obama's policy will be in Afghanistan, but it should become clear
within a few months. So far, Obama has not made the case and hasn't
explained what the end game is.

CNN International's Atia Abawi reports from Kabul on the election process.
She says the electoral commission says it won't have preliminary
results until August 25. She also suggests based on personal
observation that voter turnout was lighter than announced, and that
ballot-stuffing took place last Thursday.

Aljazeera English interviews Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah on the election process.
He says he thinks the process went well despite a relatively low
turnout, and says he won in areas where the votes have been counted.
His rival Hamed Karzai also claims to have won.

France24 English service on drug money corruption high in the Afghan government:

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© 2023 Juan Cole