Two takes on Afghanistan Oct. 16, 2009

1. In an article today, the NY Times references comments by the Afghan ambassador in Washington, Said Tayeb Jawad, indicating that the investigation of electoral fraud may necessitate a runoff election between President Karzai and his main rival, Abdullah Abdullah

Excellent background on the Afghan elections can be found in Juan Cole’s Informed Consent today, detailing ethnic dimensions to the rivalry between the two presidential aspirants.Karzai is from anti-Taliban Pashtuns while Abdullah Abdullah is a Tajik, Dari Persian-speaking Sunnis. (Farther along in the post, he brings up an interesting twist. Peter Galbraith, a senior US official working with the UN on Afghani elections, forced the issue of fraud in the elections. HIs role, however, working with the position of the Kurds within the Iraqi situation after the American invasion and his investment in Kurdish oil proudction add another aspect to Galbraith, whose articles in the New York Review of Books I, at least, found informative.)

2. An article on details evidence and logic forcing events towards a power sharing deal between the presidential rivals. Interesting alternative descriptiion of the factors and powers at work in a possible runoff election.

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