Division at UN in Kabul
Yesterday the United Nations Mission in Kabul (UNAMA) announced the departure of the number two diplomat at the Mission, the American Ambassador Peter Galbraith. His departure signaled a deep division within the Mission as to the recent Presidential elections which have been described as flawed with numerous claims of fraud. Galbraith broke with UN Special Representative Kai Eide by criticizing the Karzai government and the alleged voter fraud which has given Karzai a 54.9 % victory. Galbraith was open in his suspicion of Karzai’s complicity in these allegations which earned him a trip back to New York in August and presumedly his announced exit from the Mission yesterday. The UN Mission in Kabul is the organization overseeing the recount of suspicious ballots and ultimately will be the international agency verifying a final count. These recent events demonstrate the spilt of opinion at the Mission with Galbraith calling into question the very nature of the recount and the validity of these elections. This points to more trouble for the US strategy which requires a strong central government which will be a legitimate partner in the developing new policy of protecting the population from a growing insurgency. Once again events will prove to be obstacles rather than a clear path to a cogent policy. The recent Presidential election has proven a difficult challenge in the path forward , rather than a cornerstone in a new policy it is quickly looking to be shaky ground in which a new Afghanistan can build its future upon.