Afghan assassination leaves political vacuum

The assassination of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s half brother, a powerful political figure, highlights the vulnerability of the government as U.S. forces begin to withdraw and turn over more responsibility to the Afghans, analysts say.

Ahmed Wali Karzai was shot to death Tuesday by a close associate in his home in Kandahar province, where as head of the provincial council he gave full support to U.S. military operations against the Taliban while refuting allegations he was becoming rich off opium trafficking and gun running.

“Whether or not the Taliban is directly responsible for the assassination it will certainly redound to their benefit,” said Lisa Curtis, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a think tank. “It sends a message to the people of Afghanistan that President Karzai doesn’t really have full control of the country.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, War in Afghanistan