Obama Delays Afghan Escalation Decision, Citing Election Uncertainty

US Still Hoping for 'Credible and Legitimate' Election

According to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emaneul, President Obama has decided to delay announcing his final decision on how large of an escalation to approve in Afghanistan until the uncertainly surrounding August’s heavily fraudulent election is resolved.

The result, for us and for the president, is whether, in fact, there’s a credible government and a legitimate process,” Emanuel insisted, adding that it would be “reckless” to decide until the situation is resolved.

That resolution is likely far from forthcoming, as the Election Complaints Commission has reportedly put Karzai’s final vote count at only 47 percent, necessitating a recount.

Holding the recount would be enough of a difficulty so close to winter, but Karzai has reportedly rejected the call despite mounting evidence of enormous fraud on his behalf.

Western officials are reportedly pressing Karzai pretty heavily to accept the runoff or make a deal with opposition candidate Abdullah Abdullah to avoid it in a relatively credible fashion, and today’s comments from the administration are likely a continuation of that pressure more than a serious threat to trim the military commitment to the endless was in Afghanistan.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.