Karzai Defends ‘New’ Cabinet

Insists Tackling Corruption Remains a Top Priority

Facing growing criticism about its lack of reformists, Afghan President Hamid Karzai defended his new cabinet, noting that nearly half of the members are new, though not mentioning that they were all placed in lower positions.

We have tried to ensure the cabinet is a mirror of Afghanistan’s people, a cabinet that all Afghan people can see themselves in,” Karzai insisted. Amid international pressure to tackle widespread corruption, it had been hoped that Karzai would appoint reform-minded candidates, rather than simply rolling over the existing one with a handful of cosmetic changes.

Yet Karzai insisted the cabinet would be “accountable” in the event that any corruption happens. Some of his cabinet members are already under investigation for corruption, though so far the government has shown no inclination to do anything about these charges.

Rather than people who are seen as liable to do anything about corruption, the Karzai government appointed enough pro-West cabinet members to secure international approval and then stacked the rest of the cabinet with warlords and Karzai loyalists.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.