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July 08, 2014

John Kerry threatens Afghan presidential rivals with "Mother of All Time-Outs."

In the case of Afghanistan, the 'time-out' punishment means a crippling withdrawal of money, guns and American contractors that Afghanistan counts on to even minimally function. As Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani compete to replace Hamid Karzai as president of Afghanistan, and the Independent Election Commission continues to count votes from round two of the voting, the United States sees Afghanistan as a raging fire that very soon could get worse.

So Secretary of State John Kerry today issued the strongest possible warning through the U.S. embassy in Kabul. See, e.g, at Reuters, "Kerry warns Afghanistan as thousands rally in support of Abdullah." In it, Kerry emphasized that he's "noted reports of protests in Afghanistan and of suggestions of a 'parallel government' with the gravest concern"--and that this of course could have serious consequences:

"Any action to take power by extra-legal means will cost Afghanistan the financial and security support of the United States and the international community."

Afghanistan is heavily reliant on foreign donors to fund everything from building roads and paying school teachers to security. The United States pays the lion's share of all international aid.

Observers fear that a standoff between Abdullah and Ghani could plunge Afghanistan into disorder, with no clear leader in a country already beset by deep-rooted ethnic divisions.

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Abdullah Abdullah. Least objectionable candidate?

Posted by JD Hull at July 8, 2014 10:31 AM

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