Afghanistan

Rahm Emanuel Bruised Karzai's Ego

It seems Rahm Emanuel's tough guy bluster works, even in a country where the strongmen control militias and poppy fields, not congressional committees. In The New York Review of Books, Daily Beast contributor Ahmed Rashid writes that the chief of staff's threat that Obama would not commit more U.S. troops to Afghanistan without a "legitimate" and "new" government in Kabul was the final piece of persuasion that forced Hamid Karzai to acquiesce to a runoff for president on November 7. Rashid writes, "The underlying message was that if Karzai still refused to listen, he could be held responsible for allowing Afghanistan to go down the tubes or be taken over by the Taliban. Even though Karzai has a gigantic ego and was still in a state of denial, he could not get around that one."