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Topic - Sarah Chayes
Amid Taliban threats of violence, Afghans will vote Saturday for a new president in an election that not only will begin their country's first democratic transition of power but also may provide clarity about how many U.S. and foreign troops will remain in their war-torn nation after this year.
"They let Karzai boil it down to a personal relationship between the U.S. government and him. That was a mistake," said Ms. Chayes. "There aren't a lot of other countries where the entire institutional relationship with the population of that country boils down to a kind of psychodrama with one individual, which is the way the U.S. government has allowed it to devolve in Afghanistan."
That is because Mr. Karzai will continue to play a significant behind-the-scenes role, said Sarah Chayes, a senior associate in the South Asia and Democracy and Rule of Law programs at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.