Intrigue at UNAMA

The talented American diplomat Peter W. Galbraith, who serves as the deputy to the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan, has apparently left the country amidst a dispute with his boss, Norwegian mission chief Kai Eide.  

According to numerous press reports, the dispute was over the Eide’s decision to order a recount of some 10% of disputed ballots from the recent (fraud-laden) Afghan election.  The recount may pull Karzai under 50% of the vote, thereby triggering a recount.  Galbraith argued that a more robust recount be ordered and that a larger proportion of the ballots be either annuled or recounted.  The dispute between old friends grew heated and Galbraith left Kabul for Boston. He was previously scheduled to be in New York for the UN General Assembly next week. 

The big question on my mind is the extent to which Galbraith’s insistence on a wider investigation of election fraud is a proxy for the Obama administration’s estimation of Karzai.  If so, Karzai could be in some serious trouble.