Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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In the context of a review of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan during September-November 2009, the performance and legitimacy of the Afghan government figured prominently. In his December 1, 2009, speech announcing a way forward in Afghanistan, President Obama stated that the Afghan government would be judged on performance, and The days of providing a blank check are over. The policy statement was based, in part, on an assessment of the security situation furnished by the top commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, which warned of potential mission failure unless a fully resourced classic counterinsurgency strategy is employed. That counterinsurgency effort is deemed to require a legitimate Afghan partner. The Afghan governments limited writ and widespread official corruption are believed by U.S. officials to be helping sustain a Taliban insurgency and complicating international efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. At the same time, President Hamid Karzai has, through compromise with faction leaders, been able to confine ethnic disputes to political competition, enabling his government to focus on trying to win over those members of the ethnic Pashtun community that support Taliban and other insurgents.
- Government and Political Science