Saturday, October 31, 2009

Moot Points

Only three posts ago, I made the following observation about the major political problem facing Afghanistan:

The Karzai government...corrupt, disliked by the people, part of the problem, and I definitely don't trust the guy. Here is the kicker - whats the alternative? There is a run-off election coming up. If Karzai wins, we have the same problems. If Karzai doesn't win, then all of the sudden the leader of Afghanistan [Abdullah Abdullah] is not an ethnic Pashtun. That would be a serious problem, since Pashtuns are the largest ethnic group by far in Afghanistan and are the main component of the Taliban.

As it turns out, Abdullah Abdullah isn't even going to participate in the Afghan run-off election. Which means that Karzai and his corrupt, incompetent, disliked government wins by default. How can Barack Obama justify spending countless additional billions and more importantly the lives of additional US servicemen in the defense of a political dead-end? The reason the Soviets lost in Afghanistan is that the communist government they were backing was hugely unpopular. We're in the same situation.

Interestingly enough, while I'm very convinced that Obama won't send more troops to Afghanistan, I seem to be taking the minority view here. The markets at Intrade are saying that there is an 80% chance that Obama will send 10,000 additional US troops to Afghanistan before December is over. Recent bad news coming from the Afghan political realm doesn't seem to have budged those numbers much.

No comments: