World News Brief, Wednesday October 21

Karzai set to accept election run-off; US considers pushing for a Karzai-Abdullah coalition; Indonesian president sworn in; Iran accues Pakistan of co-operating with terrorists; and more

Top of the Agenda: Afghan Elections Affecting US Policy

According to American and European officials, Afghan President Hamid Karzai appears set to accept a runoff election (WashPost) after findings by an international audit stripped him of nearly one-third of his votes from the first round. This leaves Karzai with less than the fifty percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff.

The Obama administration--still considering the decision of whether to increase US troop levels in Afghanistan--is debating (NYT) whether to push Karzai and his opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, to form a coalition government to avoid a runoff altogether.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Japanese officials in Tokyo, Tuesday, that prolonged uncertainty over the Afghan government should not halt (NYT) the administration's efforts to decide on a new strategy and should not slow military operations there.


The coordinator of President Obama's original Afghan policy, Bruce Riedel, says the Taliban and al-Qaeda maintain a lethal alliance that US-led forces must defeat in Afghanistan.

The Economist says diplomats in Kabul are worried that the International Election Committee (IEC) will refuse to accept the results or battle the UN-backed election committee's orders on legal grounds. A weekend of "long and acrimonious meetings between officials" on both sides suggests the IEC will challenge the results.


A CFR Backgrounder looks at the Afghan national security forces.

An interactive CFR timeline tracks the history of the US military effort in Afghanistan.


PACIFIC RIM: US-Chinese Trade Disputes Continue

China's Ministry of Commerce has ruled to impose tariffs (WSJ) as high as 36 percent on nylon imports from the United States saying the imports are hurting its domestic industry. The announcement is the latest in a series of US-China trade disputes after the Obama administration announced it would impose duties on Chinese tires over the next three years.

Indonesia: Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been sworn in (BBC) for his second five-year term after a strong victory in July. He gained popularity in part because of a clamp down on corruption.



Iran accuses Pakistan of ties to suicide bombing.
Turkey detains Kurdish group.


This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on