UN Disarray Leaves Political Vacuum in Afghanistan

With Eide Out, Mission Struggles to Regain Credibility

With Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s sincerity in tackling the nation’s widespread corruption already in serious doubt given his dubious new cabinet appointees, he will have to convince the world of his good intentions without serious UN help.

The UN’s position as Afghanistan’s impartial adviser has become increasingly imperiled following the ugly falling out between the mission’s top two officials.

Mission chief Kai Eide announced earlier this month he was stepping down, though he denied that it had anything to do with reports that he withheld evidence of voter fraud to secure Karzai’s re-election.

Eide will be gone but not forgotten as his aide, Peter Galbraith, is suing the mission for wrongful termination after he was fired for complaining about Eide’s misdeeds. This will leave the UN in an ugly position as it struggles to regain the credibility lost in the crooked August elections.

Meanwhile NATO, whose occupation of the nation is largely what secures Karzai’s power, is also drifting aimlessly as it struggles to decide exactly how to contend with the growing insurgency.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.