For Afghanistan Election, After Kerry Deal Comes the Hard Part

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raises hands with Afghan presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani, left, and Abdullah Abdullah, right, at the United Nations Mission Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 12, 2014 (U.S. State Department photo).
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raises hands with Afghan presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani, left, and Abdullah Abdullah, right, at the United Nations Mission Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 12, 2014 (U.S. State Department photo).

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy in Kabul this weekend paved the way to resolving Afghanistan’s current election crisis, while helping to establish a potential framework for addressing more-enduring problems embedded in that country’s political system. In so doing, Kerry’s effort fortified Afghanistan’s ability to overcome future political challenges with less dependence on U.S. intervention and support. Despite the successful deal-making, however, Afghanistan continues to face major challenges. Kerry’s trip proved essential for resolving the immediate crisis caused by Abdullah Abdullah’s refusal to accept that his rival, Ashraf Ghani, had overcome a weak first-round showing to surge ahead […]

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