Karzai aide says Afghan runoff vote is likely

Karzai aide says Afghan runoff vote is likely

The government of President Hamid Karzai is preparing for the likelihood that he will have to face an election runoff with his main challenger, Afghanistan’s ambassador here said Thursday, acknowledging an outcome that Western diplomats had been pushing for but that could complicate the debate over whether to send more American troops.

The comments by the ambassador in Washington, Said Tayeb Jawad, were the first in which Mr. Karzai’s government conceded that a runoff was likely, after weeks of investigation into stark cases of election fraud.

In an interview on Wednesday and in a follow-up telephone conversation on Thursday, Mr. Jawad said that although he had no direct contact with the commission auditing the vote, the Karzai government was preparing for the commission to announce Saturday that a runoff was necessary. [continued…]

$400 per gallon gas to drive debate over cost of war in Afghanistan

The Pentagon pays an average of $400 to put a gallon of fuel into a combat vehicle or aircraft in Afghanistan.

The statistic is likely to play into the escalating debate in Congress over the cost of a war that entered its ninth year last week.

Pentagon officials have told the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee a gallon of fuel costs the military about $400 by the time it arrives in the remote locations in Afghanistan where U.S. troops operate. [continued…]

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