In Afghanistan's disreputable 2009 presidential election, everyone's a loser. Hamid Karzai's "victory", achieved by fraud and now by default, has left him a tarnished, diminished figure. The US administration that orchestrated the whole process still lacks the credible partner in Kabul it says is essential for success.-- Simon Tisdall
The UN's reputation for probity lies critically wounded in the gutter, a victim of inaction and bitter infighting among officials. Nato's mission looks even more rudderless and ill-defined than before. The cause of the Afghan people, bemused and terrorised by turns, is no further forward and may in truth have been set back.
P.S. 2 Nov: Andrew Sullivan:
The surge has failed in Iraq to create the national unity it was designed to achieve; and its security achievements are just not replicable in Afghanistan. Expecting Karzai to reform now when he is in a civil war and just defeated his opponent makes no sense at all. Enormous pressure on him for years made no discernible difference.