Assassination and Power Politics in Afghanistan

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karzai.jpgA suicide bomber set off explosives concealed in his turban today in one of Kandahar's largest mosques. Hundreds of mourners were paying their respects to Ahmed Wali Karzai, President Hamid Karzai's half-brother, who was assassinated on Tuesday. His death has created a power vacuum in the southern part of Afghanistan, destabilized the central government and threatened American efforts to cope with the Taliban and begin withdrawing troops before the end of the year. How much will the power vacuum in the South weaken the central government? Will the Taliban seize the moment for new offensives?  What will it mean for US efforts to negotiate with the Taliban and for the withdrawal of American soldiers by the end of this year? 

Photo of Ahmed Wali Karzai: ISAF Headquarters Public Affairs Office from Kabul, Afghanistan




Warren Olney