by Patrick Appel

Believe it or not, this is one of Christian Brose's more cheery nightmare scenarios:

One worst case outcome is the Iran scenario -- a disputed election result, allegations of fraud, and a drawn-out political fight laced with street protests and sporadic violence. This could be set off by either a narrow Karzai win or a suspicious Karzai blow-out (Ahmadinejad style). One could imagine days, even weeks, of protests by the losing candidates' supporters demanding a recount, or a revote if none is declared, ultimately leading to an unpopular Karzai dispatching the U.S.-backed Afghan security forces to do battle with his political opponents under the banner law and order.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.