electoral fraud


Chavista seizure of power through fraudulent elections and control of electoral machinery apparently underway in Venezuela

(developing story) The international news media willingly, and almost casually, reported that Nicolás Maduro, the Chavista presidential candidate in Venezuela, had been “elected” president in…




Strategic disarray in Afghanistan

“The current near-term strategy appears to be to try to kill enough of the Taliban’s leaders to force them to negotiate a settlement on terms acceptable to Hamid Karzai.”

“This war will not be won, or defeat avoided, by fine intellectual distinctions.”

“What Obama needs to do is to take the bull by the horns, and start exploring options for the early departure of Hamid Karzai. This will be a monumentally challenging task. So was D-Day in World War II.”












MORE TROOPS, OR BETTER DIPLOMACY? DIPLOMATIC AND POLITICAL FAILURES IN AFGHANISTAN

The situation in Afghanistan is desperate. As President Obama and his advisers debate how many additional troops to send to Afghanistan—at this time…the debate…does not address the diplomatic and political failures which have led to our current predicament….If their critical nature and root causes are not grasped and addressed, the dispatch of additional troops to Afghanistan will not reverse a deteriorating situation, just as the dispatch of additional troops in 2008 and earlier this year failed to halt the advances of the Taliban.

One overriding fact remains. Our diplomacy in Afghanistan has not been successful. It has failed. It has failed in a catastrophic way.

Following catastrophic diplomatic and political failures, we may need a new diplomatic team in Kabul, better decision-making structures and personnel at State, more vigorous Congressional oversight, and a whole rethink of whether the “aid and development” element of our strategy in Afghanistan, as currently implemented, makes any sense given our experience on the ground. Certainly we need to bear in mind that our counter-insurgency strategy in Iraq, to the extent it has been successful, has depended in critical part on free elections and the development of a legitimate government that could gain the support of the population. Finally, we should never lose sight of the fact that what we do about the election fraud in Afghanistan will have profound repercussions in Iran, and beyond.