Ackerman gets a response from Peter Galbraith, a former United Nations official in Afghanistan:

The run off was certain to be more fraudulent than the Aug 20 vote with more ghost polling centers and the same corrupt officials in charge. We are now stuck with the same corrupt and inefficient [incumbent President Hamid] Karzai that we had for the last seven years but now he is also rightly seen as illegitimate by a large segment of the Afghan population and by public opinion in the troop contributing countries. No amount of spin can obscure the fact that we spent upwards of $200 miilion on an election that has been a total fiasco.

And if this isn't a golden opportunity to drastically scale back our commitment, what would be? A clear reversal of course by Obama would be a sign that he can make a decision that the Beltway establishment does not have the strength to make; that he really is a change agent; that preventing Iraq from imploding again is now a more serious worry than propping up an unpopular, corrupt regime in Kabul ... and losing more decisively to the Taliban in the end.

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