Gates for Sanity, Run-off Declared Before Onset of Winter

Dead Man in Pakistan--Head Shot

Secy. Gate has just brought back the conversation on Afghanistan, this weekend past, from veiled threats and, maybe, cheap-talk to sane and measured debate.

Thom Shanker quotes Gates as declaring: “‘We are not going to just sit on our hands waiting for the outcome of this election and for the emergence of a government in Kabul,” Mr. Gates said. “We have operations under way and we will continue to conduct those operations.'”
“Mr. Gates, in assessing the impact on administration policy of strong charges of election fraud by supporters of President Hamid Karzai, noted that ‘whatever emerges in Kabul is going to be an evolutionary process.'”

Sabrina Tavernise and Sharon Otterman ,writing for the Times, report that Karzai has accepted a November 7th, 2009 run-off against his rival Abdullah Abdullah. As the piece makes clear: “Mr. Karzai’s capitulation came after an all-out push by Obama administration officials and their European allies. But even though Mr. Karzai ended his strong resistance to a runoff, that will not completely resolve the country’s political crisis, officials say. It will be difficult to hold the new election as the Afghan winter approaches and under the perilous security challenges posed by the Taliban insurgency.”

~ by Faheem Haider on October 20, 2009.

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