September 26, 2014

As Afghan inauguration approaches, friction within government still possible

By David W. Barno, and USA (Ret.)

Source: Stars and Stripes

Journalist(s) Slobodan Lekic

  KABUL, Afghanistan — Although the power-sharing deal between Afghanistan’s rival political camps enables a new president to take office, it remains unclear whether the two groups can work together to implement sweeping constitutional changes and guide the nation after most foreign troops leave.

And there is little hope, analysts said, for an end to the increasingly bloody 13-year insurgency, even with the relative certainty that some U.S. and international forces will remain in the country after the withdrawal of all combat forces at the end of this year. The new president, American-educated Ashraf Ghani, is expected to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement with the U.S. that will lay out the terms for a training and advisory force of some 9,800 troops to remain in Afghanistan next year.

Retired Lt. Gen. David Barno, former head of the Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan, characterized the power sharing agreement between Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister, as a “shotgun marriage with plenty of potential to go south very quickly.”

After months of tensions and acrimony caused by accusations of massive fraud in the second round of national elections in June, Afghanistan’s top election body certified Ghani as the winner. He is scheduled to be sworn in on Monday to replace incumbent Hamid Karzai.

Read the full article at Stars and Stripes

  • David W. Barno

  • USA (Ret.)