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Peter Galbraith on Afghanistan45:01
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Ambassador Peter Galbraith, shown in Vermont in 2007. (AP)
Ambassador Peter Galbraith, shown in Vermont in 2007. (AP)

Peter Galbraith was the No. 2 man in Afghanistan for the United Nations.

Until yesterday — when he was fired after writing a scathing letter accusing the UN of caving on election fraud that looks like it will keep incumbent Afghan President Hamid Karzai in power.

As the White House bears down on a decision on whether to massively increase U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, this is not an academic matter. It goes to the legitimacy of the government U.S. troops will fight and die to support.

This hour, On Point: The man who raised hell. Peter Galbraith on Afghanistan now, and the American way ahead.

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Ambassador Peter Galbraith joins us from Townshend, Vermont. Until yesterday he was the second-highest ranking UN official in Afghanistan. He was recalled Wednesday by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon after clashing with the head of the UN mission in Kabul over the outcome of Afghanistan’s disputed election. Author of “The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End” (2006), he has written extensively on U.S. policy in Iraq and has been an outspoken advocate of an independent Kurdistan. He served as the 1st U.S. Ambassador to Croatia under President Bill Clinton.

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Update:  On the On Point blog, we've transcribed excerpts from Galbraith's interview, including his comments on being fired, the Afghan elections, and how the legitimacy of the Karzai government affects U.S. strategy.

This program aired on October 1, 2009.

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