Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Steve Does Conspiracy Theory updated

Canada turns over Kandahar to the Americans and then the King of Kandahar, Ahmed Wali Karzai, the President's half-brother, gets assassinated.  Coincidence?  Well, it might be fodder for conspiracy theorizing except for a few inconvenient facts:
  1. The Americans already took over much of Kandahar before the recent formalities.
  2. The Americans have mixed views towards Karzai with some agencies making use of him (CIA) and others seeing him as an obstacle to progress.
    In late 2009, when the New York Times first reported that the CIA had for years been working with Ahmed Wali Karzai, the president's half-brother and a major player in the heroin trade, Major General Michael T. Flynn, the top military intelligence officer in Afghanistan, told the newspaper, "If we are going to conduct a population-centric strategy in Afghanistan, and we are perceived as backing thugs, then we are just undermining ourselves," he said. "The only way to clean up Chicago is to get rid of Capone."The Atlantic*
*  Check out the rest of the short piece--it summarizes the challenges that AWK presented to the outsiders quite well.

What does this mean for the future of Kandahar?  I don't know.  Depends on who killed him?  Who replaces him?  Can we finally focus on institutions rather than individuals?  Um, maybe.  Probably not since the key individual is still President Hamid Karzai and he is determined to undermine institutions.

So, does this matter?  Yes.  How?  I have no idea.

For a good piece on who killed AWK, see here.  And this article does suggest a bright side--this should end any talk of making AWK governor.  Such an appointment would have been incredibly embarrassing.

More as we figure things out.

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