Saturday, April 5

Holbrooke's Error

From Lost in Transition: A political strategy for Afghanistan; Foreign Policy, May 22, 2012:
There are, however, good reasons for international caution. [Afghan] Government and opposition figures alike noted that the international community's legitimacy on [Afghan] elections was undermined in 2009 by the perception that the late U.S. State Department Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, backed individual candidates against Karzai rather than supporting the process. 
There was also the widespread and I believe wholly correct impression among Afghans at the time that Mr Holbrooke's "AFPAK brief" leaned far more in favor of Pakistan than Afghanistan -- a leaning reflected in the highest levels of the U.S. civilian government and military echelon.
As to whether the U.S. government refrained from meddling in the current presidential election; taking a guess I'd say the answer might depend on the extent to which Washington has adjusted its Pakistan policy since 2009.


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