August 17, 2010

I'm actually beginning to think he means it

The President of Afghanistan has been known for discomfiting off-the-cuff remarks in the past, but he hasn't always taken it to the presidential decree stage. That said, a simple decree has proven insufficient to change realities in Afghanistan before, too.

I recognize when most people think private military contractors in Afghanistan, they think scraggly-bearded Westerners. But the vast majority are actually Afghans, and many of them are employed by some of the President's closest political allies. It will be interested to see how he finesses this so the friends don't have to give up their guns, particularly those firms currently providing convoy security: will he deputize them into a new highway police? Or will the decree be narrowly construed to only impact foreigners? Anyway, this one is worth watching, particularly because ISAF itself has to finesse at least a partial presidential rollback if it wants to continue to operate, without making it appear like they rolled over Karzai, and "undermined the legitimate government" once again. Tough hair to split, that.

Posted by BruceR at 03:07 PM