Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ghani - An Intellectual President

Ashraf Ghani is looked upon by the western world as someone who can turn Afghanistan around. Just as the United States, Europeans, and others fell in love with Karzai in the early 2000s - we seemed to have also lost our heart to Ghani. Hopefully this admiration for the "technocrat" is well-placed. Thus far many of the Afghan leaders have been a profound disappointment - none greater than Karzai. However, despite the high hopes of the western world, Ghani has his work cut out for him. One of the admirable attributes of Karzai (I hate putting "admirable" in the same sentence as "Karzai") was his ability to hold together an ethnically diverse population (Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, etc.), keep the loyalty of warlords and power brokers who many times hated each other (Dostum and ATTA come to mind), and maintain the allegiance of the military (there were no military coups against him . . . unfortunately). So Ghani will have to weld his "intellectual world" with the "Afghan reality". It will be interesting to see how well he does that. Read a newspaper article that looks at how this "academic" will overcome the Taliban, the crooks, the warlords, a poor economy, the drug trade, and the power brokers -"Ashraf Ghani: the intellectual president who can now put theory into practice", The Guardian, September 26, 2014.

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