Peter Galbraith Fired for Speaking Out on Afghan Election Fraud

Peter-GalbraithThe UN’s number two official in Afghanistan, Peter Galbraith, has been fired after a clash with head of mission Kai Eide over how to handle fraud in the recent presidential elections.  Galbraith alleges that Eide is covering up massive corruption for reasons of expediency.

My New Atlanticist essay, “Galbraith Fired, Refused to Hide Afghanistan Election Fraud” rounds up the reporting on this story and concludes:

It should be noted that Eide heatedly rejects these charges and that senior UN leaders contend that the role Galbraith envisioned went well beyond the UNAMA mandate. It’s rather clear, however, that in attempting to be “neutral,” Eide and his team have essentially been forced to ignore obvious fraud. That, combined with the fact that the Obama administration has apparently decided that they have no choice but to recognize Karzai as the winner of the election, stolen or not, left Galbraith in an untenable position.

If it were possible for my esteem for the UN to drop further, it would.  As it is, it’s just another check in the “Nothing more can be accomplished here” column.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Wayne says:

    Fraud and corruption are usually the big reasons many societies especially the great ones collapse. The “peasants” lose faith in their government and it is all downhill after that. The U.N. was a great idea but has shown to be corrupted and ineffective. One of the biggest problems we had in Vietnam was tolerating a corrupt government. The greatest threat for the U.S. is corruption. I am not sure exactly how to address some of them such as multimillion book deals and speaking engagements for ex Presidents and their families or paying voters for votes by using taxpayers money but I hope someone finds a way.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    My interpretation of this incident is that Galbraith’s crime is not so much what he was saying but the way he said it. Lèse majesté.

    It does highlight the fundamental conundrum of our Afghanistan policy. As I understand it counter-insurgency consists in maintaining the support of the people for an existing government. Is that really the case in Afghanistan?

  3. Idiot says:

    Now we know what it takes to get fired from the UN. Stealing, corruption, embezzlement, failing to supervise people who repeatedly molest minors while on peace keeping missions, nah.

    Got it. Glad to have clarity.

  4. Joe says:

    I think the UN may be starting to outlive its usefulness.

  5. gustopher says:

    Are all the Viagra ads surrounding this post a clever comment on the impotence of the UN?

    Anyway, we cannot be seen to be supporting a corrupt regime, or the mission in Afghanistan will fail. Karzai needs to go, and the US needs to push him out, if needed.