Don’t Meddle in Afghanistan’s Election

A few days ago, Brookings’ Michael O’Hanlon took to the pages of The Washington Post to argue that the United States should actively interfere in the next Afghan election to pick a winner. O’Hanlon writes:

Some may wish to avoid interfering in the elections of a sovereign nation, but Afghan reformers are calling out for help. When I visited Afghanistan in May, several suggested to me that the United States pick a winner so they could rally around him. Also, the international presence in Afghanistan will have enormous influence whether we acknowledge it or not. Supporting the Karzai government is actually a form of political intervention, as it gives the incumbent great resources, such as control of state-run media, to try to choose his successor. Moreover, with U.S. officials making decisions about how much money and how many troops to devote to Afghanistan’s long-term assistance, we have a right to say that the level of our support will be strongly influenced by the choices Afghans make — even if we will not (and should not) try to pick a winner… U.S. diplomats, ideally backed by other foreign missions in Kabul, including such key Muslim states as Turkey, Indonesia and Tanzania (which have impressive track records in fighting corruption and improving governance in recent years), should also be willing to say, publicly if necessary, which candidates would be unacceptable as president.

0
Shares
Google+ Print

Don’t Meddle in Afghanistan’s Election

Must-Reads from Magazine

The Shame of Defaming Seth Rich

The conspiracy theorizing has to stop.

Seth Rich was 27 when he was killed on a dark street in a sketchy neighborhood in the nation’s capital last July. He has become world-famous in the past month because his corpse is being used as a proxy in the war over the reputation of Donald J. Trump. Enraged media figures on the Right who believe Trump is being unjustly accused of colluding with Russia have turned to the Rich story to offer their audiences an alternate potential crime to chew on—one in which they can hint at the possibility that Democrats had one of their own killed.

180
Shares
Google+ Print

The Rise and Fall of Sheriff Clarke’s Trial Balloon

Delusional? Or Defenestrated?

There was nothing normal about controversial Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke’s supposed nomination to a post in President Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security. It was odd from beginning to end. This apparent trial balloon seems to be deflating, and not a moment too soon. The question now becomes: Was any of it ever real?

10
Shares
Google+ Print

Confederate Monuments and Moral Clarity

Selective reverence for history.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has made a point of removing statues honoring Confederate heroes. As NPR notes, “On April 24, a monument to a deadly 1874 white supremacist uprising was the first to come down. A couple of weeks later, a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was taken away. And on Wednesday, a statue of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard was removed.” Finally, last Friday, a giant sculpture of Robert E. Lee came down as well.

10
Shares
Google+ Print

The Left’s Voting Fetish

Voting is not itself an expression of political freedom.

The United States of America does not make a fetish of voting. For the “vote or die” crowd, that’s a cause of great shame.

19
Shares
Google+ Print

The War of Ideas: The Other Anti-Terror Front

How to defeat suicide bombers.

I visited Manchester in 2014, along with my son, to see a Manchester United soccer game at its hallowed stadium, Old Trafford. Not knowing what to expect, I feared the worst—a grimy, decrepit, post-industrial wasteland. What we found was very different: a booming, bustling metropolis. Manchester has preserved its heritage as one of the incubation sites of the Industrial Revolution but has not been trapped in the past. Old factories and warehouses have been repurposed into museums and chic hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars, making Manchester an exceptionally pleasant place to visit—and no doubt to live as well.