Posted on 23-10-2009
Filed Under (Foreign Policy) by Rashtrakut

Pakistani journalist Ahmad Rashid has an interesting blog on how the United States forced a recalcitrant Karzai to accept a runoff.   However, as Matt Yglesias notes that the ethnic tinderbox in Afghanistan likely forces the United States to root for a victory by the inept Karzai.  The lack of a Pashtun alternative with support from his own community and who would be acceptable to Afghanistan’s other minorities has left the United States with little room to maneuver and hopefully the runoff will not saddle the United States with a partner of dubious legitimacy.

Yglesias’s article also raises another point that has not always been addressed recently.   Is the Presidential system really suited for an ethically diverse country like Afghanistan?  While a Parliamentary system runs the risk of executive gridlock, it also gives a voice to minority groups from elected representatives instead of warlords and self appointed community leaders.  It is also a reason why even Iraq adopted a parliamentary system.  Such a system would also prevent Afghanistan from being saddled with a leader out of his depth for a fixed term of the next four years.

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