Reflecting on his time in Afghanistan as the head of the UN mission in 2006 and 2007, Tom Koenigs, writes in his book,Machen wir Frieden oder haben wir Krieg (“Are We Making Peace or Do We Have a War”), “If people would want to know what I think I have done right in the last two years and what I have done wrong, what has been improved, or if it was worthwhile, these are all questions to which, if I am entirely honest, I know no answers.”
NATO had concluded in 2009 that the Taliban controlled 70 percent of Afghanistan, effectively rendering fair and free elections impossible. Yet, the Obama administration agreed to let Mr. Karzai have his elections, which cost the U.S. and its allies $300 million and brought Afghanistan to the verge of another civil war.
Subsequently, UN Chief Representative Peter Galbraith made public the massive vote rigging of Afghanistan’s 2009 presidential elections. Otherwise, the deception probably would have remained unknown. Ambassador Galbraith lost his job for his honesty.
This article was originally published in the Diplomatic Courier’s September/October 2013 print edition.