Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair John Kerry said regarding troop levels in Afghanistan Saturday:
“It would be entirely irresponsible for the president of the United States to commit more troops to this country when we don’t even have an election finished.”
The August elections have been panned as corrupt. Two possible reported resolutions exist: a run-off election or a power sharing agreement between President Hamid Karzai and his main challenger, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah. Today, a UN panel called for a run-off, and Afghan law recognizes the U.N. panel as the final arbiter in fraud investigations.
If the run-off is pursued, it creates a serious political dilemma for the Democrats. It sounds convenient to say that more troops should not be sent before the election is resolved, however, such an election could take several months, and even if another election takes place its outcome remains uncertain. Meanwhile, the Taliban still retains a presence in the majority of Afghanistan and controls much of the territory. It was reported today that Al-Qaeda is using Taliban safe ground to train increasing numbers of foreign terrorists for operations in Western countries.
Senator Kerry and the Democrats might want to hold off and wait for democracy to take action, but Al-Qaeda and the Taliban will not reciprocate that idealistic gesture.