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Gerard Russell

Blog Entries by Gerard Russell

President Karzai's electoral decree

Posted February 23, 2010 | 14:58:58 (EST)

When Afghans go to vote in September for a new Parliament, everyone they see at the voting booth will owe their jobs to one man. The person who checks their names against the register; the people who compiled the register in the first place; the person who hands them a...

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Why Nomads Win: What Ibn Khaldun Would Say About Afghanistan

Posted February 9, 2010 | 15:38:24 (EST)

Like millions of others, I have been reading Jiang Rong's Wolf Totem.

Maybe unlike most others, I found that it reminded me of Iraq and Afghanistan. That's for one particular reason.

The writer is fascinated by the relationship between traditional, nomadic Mongols and the wolves that share...

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Afghanistan's Elections: How Dr. House Can help

Posted December 21, 2009 | 16:28:11 (EST)

The fictional Dr. House is no diplomat, as I would judge from watching this brilliant TV series. But he does have one saying that is useful for diplomats to learn. Whenever there are two diagnoses and no way to judge between them, he takes the one which means...

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Advice to Karzai: Build Support To Bring Taliban Into Loya Jirga

Posted November 30, 2009 | 12:25:28 (EST)

President Obama's speech on Tuesday will set the seal on the reinauguration of President Karzai. The presidential election will be a thing of the past -- except for elections experts who can use it as a model of what to avoid.

Yet the election -- which I saw at first...

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Karzai Must Heal Afghanistan's Divisions

Posted November 5, 2009 | 17:07:00 (EST)

President Karzai has promised to rule inclusively after his contested victory. But this must mean more than just how he forms his government.

Even his biggest detractors see him as an inclusive consensus-builder who reaches across Afghanistan's ethnic and factional divides, which date back even beyond its bitter civil...

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