More Trouble for Afghanistan

“Preliminary estimates that up to 25 percent of votes cast in last month’s Afghan parliamentary elections may be thrown out due to alleged widespread fraud provide yet more evidence of the unfolding disaster in Afghanistan. In spite of a good-faith effort by the Obama administration to turn things around, the corruption and illegitimacy of the Karzai government, evidenced yet again in these elections, alongside the continued strong support of elements of the Afghan Taliban by Pakistan, make long-term success almost impossible in Afghanistan,” says Asia Society Executive Vice President Jamie Metzl. “While a deteriorating status quo can be maintained for some time at current American troop and resource levels, the clock is ticking down on the Obama administrations willingness and ability to maintain the current level of engagement. If governance is the central element of the population-based counterinsurgency effort designed to turn things around in Afghanistan, these elections will likely prove to be another milestone of travel in the wrong direction.”

Jamie, who served as an election observer in Afghanistan last year, is in New York. To arrange an interview, contact the Asia Society communications department at 212-327-9271 or