“Afghan President Hamid Karzai stepped up a confrontation with his opposition Saturday, ordering this year's presidential election to be moved up by at least three months despite the top election official's concerns that insufficient preparation time, funds and international forces could render the results illegitimate. Karzai's decree may also intensify tensions with the United States, which backed an Independent Election Commission decision scheduling the vote for Aug. 20 so that an additional 17,000 U.S. troops could be deployed to bolster security. Some 60,000 troops from the United States and 40 other countries are currently helping Afghan security forces battle the al Qaeda-backed Taliban insurgency, and getting reinforcements in place within the next three months presents Washington and its NATO allies a huge challenge. A vote that is not seen as free and fair could deal a serious blow to the Obama administration's emerging strategy for blunting the insurgency, which relies in part upon rebuilding popular trust in the political system. ''There are concerns about the legitimacy of this vote,'' said a Western official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.”
How many thousands more Americans will we put in harm’s way to protect a government that never was, is not and never will be (in our lifetimes) a functioning democracy? It would be wiser to simply quarantine Afghanistan.