Editor in Chief: Dr. Hussain Yasa Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Importance of US Election for other Nations

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Importance of US Election for other Nations

American engagement in many countries has made the US elections important throughout the world. Media outlets virtually all over the world cover the contentious election, and its results seem to be pivotal to them, too. They want to know who will win the historic American election. And what will be the result for them? Likewise in Afghanistan, what will be its effect on the fragile condition of Afghanistan? In America, republican nominee Donald Trump's supporters are hopeful, and wildly optimistic as he rides a wave of improved polls into Election Day. The backers of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton are nervous, and simply want it to be over, and won. Right now Mrs Clinton's poll numbers appear to be stabilising and perhaps slightly rising, but the national margin remains wafer thin at around 2.5 points according to polling averages. Mr Trump is challenging her in unusual places, like New Hampshire, a Democratic firewall state where the candidates are effectively tied. And he is pushing into predominantly white states like Michigan, where he sniffs vulnerability despite her almost five-point lead. At the same time she is reaping the benefits of the Clinton campaign ground game with a strong turnout among early voters, particularly among Latinos in key states like Florida and Nevada. In the last six election cycles, the Democratic Party has won 18 states totalling 242 Electoral College votes. That puts Mrs Clinton just a couple of states away from victory. Mr Trump has repeatedly promised to expand the electoral map — and his final days of campaigning could be read as bold or simply chaotic. However, Mr Trump is hoping to flip traditionally blue states made up of white, blue-collar workers, disaffected by the loss of manufacturing jobs in America. Both candidates have made last-minute trips to Michigan, suggesting the traditionally strong Democratic state is potentially in play.
Most of Afghan people predict Hillary Clinton will win this week's presidential election in the United States and that she will follow in current President Barack Obama's footsteps in terms of his policies. Meanwhile, it is said that Donald Trump will be dangerous for Afghanistan because he is an anti-Islam politician. Recently, Trump insulted Muslims; he believes that Muslims should not travel to the U.S. But some political experts believe that the results of election will not bring any changes to Washington's policies towards Afghanistan. What is more obvious is that this year's U.S elections are exceptional in history because these kinds of rivalry have not been seen in the United States previously. Clinton is the first lady in the U.S to be nominated as a presidential candidate in that country; so it might cause big changes particularly for U.S women. In regard to Afghanistan, Hilary Clinton was one of those democrat candidates who always tried to support the war against terrorism in Afghanistan whereas she was the one who voted YES back in October 2003 on $86 billion bill for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and then in January 2008 she said that she would have never diverted attention from Afghanistan and in June 2012 Clinton-Gates combo won push for Afghan surge. She also expressed her support from the Afghan women back in January 2013 by saying that the Afghan women are better off, but we must prevent reversal.
But neither candidate has said, during their campaigns, what approach they will take to Afghanistan in the event of their winning while it was expected that they may have something in their pockets about Afghanistan and their longest involvement in a battle after the Vietnam War.  Only the Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton did briefly touch on the NATO’s commitment towards US in fight against terrorism in Afghanistan something which she praised but again no specific word on Afghanistan and their long term commitment towards the ANDSF (Afghan National Defense Security Forces).
The former Secretary of State and First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton and a New York billionaire, Donald Trump, played a blame game and often locked horns over key issues. Their finger-pointing reached an unprecedented level in the history of US presidential elections. But the United States, as a super power, has a long experience of meddling in the elections of many countries. One of the concrete, palpable proofs to support this claim was the American interference in two Afghan presidential elections, as a result of one of which an unconstitutional dispensation under the national unity government was imposed on Afghans against their will. Similarly, the global player has influenced the elections of other nations such as Iran, Indonesia and Vietnam over the last century. Meanwhile, the US itself was faced with such an intervention in its 2016 elections. Clinton has accused Donald Trump of enjoying Russian support in the election showdown, and claimed that Russians had hacked into her emails. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has also voiced its concern about the potential foreign interference in US election.  
Anyway, the outcome of US presidential election may be more important for dependent countries like Afghanistan. While the US actions and policies in Afghanistan over the recent years have seriously damaged their reputation here. There are serious doubts about their intentions in various realms, from the fight against terrorism and narcotics to development and reconstruction affairs and to its interference in Afghan affairs. This scepticism now not limited to only Afghanistan will finally lead to the end of American unilateralism, which will be a great challenge for the future administration aside from other pressing issues. The new US administration should formulate its policies on global security, counterterrorism, counter-narcotics, justice for all, and respect for national sovereignty of countries in a way that leaves no room for doubt and bad thinking.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the newly emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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