Sunday, February 18, 2018

Politics and Governance in Afghanistan

National ID Debate. President Ashraf Ghani is ready to roll out implementation of the national identification card for all Afghans. However, the Chief Executive Officer - Abdullah Abdullah is resisting. The controversy is all about the word "Afghan" on the identity card - sometimes referred to as "E-ID" or "E-NIC". Some ethnic groups don't want to be called "Afghan". Unfortunately, use of the electronic ID is considered instrumental for the upcoming 2018 parliamentary elections - which may or may not happen.

Supporting Warlords. Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq is the head of the Afghan National Police in Kandahar province. That is his official role . . . but he is much more. A valuable ally of the U.S. that has a handle on the insurgency in his province - but also a 'strongman', 'warlord', "political leader", and much more. However, he comes with some baggage and is a favorite target of the international human rights crowd. Read "Impunity for U.S.-Funded Warlords in Afghanistan", by Katherine Hawkins (investigator for the Project on Government Oversight), Just Security, February 16, 2018.

Feud between Ghani and Noor. President Ghani has fired Governor Noor (Balkh province) but Noor refuses to leave office. Many observers believe Noor is setting himself up for a run at the Presidency in 2019. There are many perspectives to this political fight - Governor Noor gives us his in "The View From Balkh: how to fix the dysfunctional system in Afghanistan", TRT World, February 15, 2018.

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