Wednesday, November 04, 2009

What does Abdullah want?

On Sunday, Abdullah said he would not participate in a runoff election that was bound to be fraudulent. He discouraged his supporters from taking to the streets in protest. In a press conference today, he insisted that he is not interested in being part of Karzai's government or in winning seats for his followers ("We are not going to deal...I am not interested") .

Today he also called the cancellation of the runoff "illegal" -- and suggested that there is no Afghan government for the U.S. and allies to credibly support:
Eight years down the road we still need more troops. In the absence of a credible, reliable, and legitimate partner, more soldiers, more resources are the only thing which will be resulted....

A government which in its formation is based on an illegal decision by a body, to hope that the second government would deliver in dealing with the corruption, issues of governance, [improving] security in this country, it sounds like an exaggeration.
Meanwhile, The Christian Science Monitor reports that northern Afghanistan, where Abdullah's power is based, is an emerging new front for the insurgency.

So what does Abdullah want at this point? And what would be his advice to Obama?

If I had to guess on little info, I'd say he wants substantial power in Karzai's government, notwithstanding his protestations --or Karzai's poor track record with regard to power sharing. But who am I to guess?

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