The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Where’s the Post-Election Security?

Last updated: July 31, 2020 | August 19, 2009 | Dexter Cooke
news

So we’re not going to get much security news after the Afghan government demanded that news organizations not report on suicide bombings and other violent incidents ahead of tomorrow’s presidential and provincial elections. But what happens after the election is more important than what happens during it. Already questions are swirling about whether the Afghan people will consider the next president legitimate. (Joshua Partlow has a good piece in today’s Washington Post about how many Pashtun Afghans consider incumbent Hamid Karzai to be their only real choice, despite their antipathy toward him.)  Add to that NATO’s apparent lack of planning for providing for their security after the vote is complete.

The need for a post-election security plan is evidenced by the Taliban’s promise to cut off the fingers of anyone whose fingertip is dyed with voter ink, among other grisly threats. But on a blogger conference call yesterday, Australian Brig. Gen. Damien Cantwell, chief of election security for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, described an election security plan that leaned heavily on supporting Afghan security forces as they guarded the country’s anticipated 6500 polling locations. Okay, asked one blogger on the call, but what about when the Taliban come to take revenge?

A poor phone connection made it difficult to hear every word that Cantwell spoke, but his answer was that the Taliban is brutal and “we’re not understating the threat.” But the general referred to a recent Karzai statement after the Taliban made its voter threats. “He responded by saying that he would call upon the courage of the Afghan people to move forward and take part … and called upon them to be as brave as they often are,” Cantwell said. “We also have to remind ourselves that the people here are quite resilient.” He added that he was encouraged by the “spirit and energy of the Afghan security forces.”

Resilience is a wonderful thing, and so are spirit and energy, but none of that amounts to a plan to secure the population against post-election reprisals from insurgents. If you were an Afghan in a far-flung area and you knew there was at least an outside chance that the Taliban would mutilate or kill you for voting and all you got from the NATO forces who say they’ll protect you is an invocation to be brave and to trust the Afghan police and soldiers at the polling stations, would you bother voting?

Dexter Cooke | He is an orthopedic surgeon who insists that a physician's first priority should be patient care. He specializes in minimally invasive complete knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures that reduce pain and recovery time. He graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina with a medical degree and a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine.

Related

Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response

Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen

Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.)

One of the most conservative Democrats in the House -- a freshman who said he couldn’t support Nancy Pelosi again -- is going to switch over to the GOP. Josh

Rep. Paulsen allies with medical device industry to relax FDA oversight

Source: Flickr; Republicanconference (www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference) On the heels of the Minnesota Independent story last week about U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s cozy financial relationship with the medical device industry, the New York Times reported Tuesday that some health professionals are alarmed by Paulsen’s push to relax Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight

Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment

In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep

Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’

Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday

Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!

The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the

Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store

Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public

Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs

Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability

Rep. Pete Hoekstra Bashes Global Currency

I was just talking to Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who’s leaving Congress to run for governor of Michigan, about his proposed Parental Rights Amendment—a

School of Hock

A growing number of college grads are defaulting on their student loans as the economy worsens.

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com