The Presidential decree does not empower Afghans.
Likewise, in foreign policy. Let's say there are two diagnoses for Afghanistan -- one means it has a chance if we do things right. The other means that there's no hope whatever we do.
If yet another election fails the Afghan people, prospects for establishing a credible, stable government will be severely damaged -- perhaps beyond repair.
By escalating the war to support a corrupt government in a land that has expelled every other invading power, Obama has made sure that its inevitable failure will be that much more spectacular.
We don't have a viable partner in Afghanistan and we don't have the legitimacy that is essential to rebuilding the country. The Afghans don't view us as their saviors. They view us as the latest intruder in their valley.
The cost of war in in dollars alone requires a choice not only to stop sending troops but also to withdraw all U.S. military forces and invest in civilian-led development of Afghanistan's devastated communities.
Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, kept squabbling and trading charges of fraud until the election pre-rigged by Washington fell apart. The real ruler of most of Afghanistan remains the US military and Obama.
Here, in Afghanistan, the election has been in crisis since it took place. And though so many are ready for it to finally be over, no one could move on until Abdullah made his withdrawal official.
Talks between Hamid Karzai and Abdullah broke down today, October 30, according to CNN, meaning there will be no power-sharing arrangement to head off a highly problematic runoff vote.
As Washington plots its course for Afghanistan, it would do well to test alternatives against America's 20th-century chronicle of victories, defeats, stalemates and what-ifs.
Why isn't Mr. Karzai being held responsible for this blatant act of election fraud? And who can guarantee that a repeat of the fraud won't happen? Or that all hell won't break loose during the run-off?
If the U.S. and international community are serious about this intervention and having any kind of political success (and less war) in Afghanistan, it should call a Loya Jirga, or a "grand assembly".
Everyone here is impatient to know the outcome of the much-discussed, controversial Afghan elections, but two months have passed and still no one has a clue about the real situation.
Through a combination of wise leadership and some fortunate historical accidents, the problems stemming from the Mexican Revolution in the 20th Century were solved with only limited American intervention.
It's time to declare victory and begin to get out of Afghanistan rather than descend deeper into an intractable civil war that we neither comprehend nor in the end will care much about.
More troops are not the answer in Afghanistan. We need to lower the overall level of military conflict as quickly as possible, and the only way to do that is to sharply reduce the number of U.S. troops.