Accession Number:

ADA523013

Title:

Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance

Descriptive Note:

Congressional rept.

Corporate Author:

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-06-02

Pagination or Media Count:

43.0

Abstract:

The performance and legitimacy of the Afghan government figured prominently in two reviews of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan during 2009 and continues to color U.S. relations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. In his December 1, 2009, speech on Afghanistan, which followed the second review, President Obama stated that the Afghan government would be judged on performance, and The days of providing a blank check are over. President Obama reportedly pressed Karzai to move more decisively to address his governments deficiencies, particularly corruption, during a March 28, 2010, visit to Afghanistan. The Obama visit may have contributed to two subsequent statements by Karzai accusing the international community of exercising undue pressure on him and on Afghanistan. These issues were muted during Karzais May 10-14, 2010, visit to Washington, D.C., and produced a trip widely described by officials on both sides as highly productive, symbolized by a commitment to renew and expand a U.S.-Afghanistan strategic partnership by the end of 2010. The Afghan governments widespread official corruption, as well as its ineffectiveness, is identified by U.S. officials as feeding the insurgency. At the same time, Karzais alliances with key ethnic and political faction leaders have reduced his ability to fill the government with politically neutral and technically competent officers. Despite diminished confidence in Karzai, he went into the August 20, 2009, presidential election as the favorite. Amid widespread charges of fraud, many substantiated by an Electoral Complaints Commission ECC, nearly one-third of Karzais votes were invalidated, leaving Karzai just short of the 50 total needed to avoid a second-round runoff. Asserting that more fraud was likely, Karzais main challenger dropped out of the race on November 1, 2009, and Karzai was declared the winner.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE