Afghan Biographies

Ghani the right man for the job but at the wrong time

Subject Ghani the right man for the job but at the wrong time

President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai came to power promising a fundamental change in the logic and philosophy of governance. He has wasted no time and is sending the message that there is a new sheriff in town. But he faces some powerful interests in the power mafias, narcotics godfathers and land usurpers who control Afghanistan.The danger is that Ghani may move too quickly, upsetting the power structures that have paradoxically held Afghanistan together while perpetually threatening to tear it apart. 
Ghani prefers to be the one in control and has strong inclinations toward a highly centralized government. But for the deal brokered with Abdullah to work, decentralization will be the key. 
And there are two primary segments in Afghan society: the ones in the cities (40%) that want a leader like Ghani, who is educated and knowledgeable about the West, and the ones on the countryside (60%) who want someone traditional, someone who knows and understands Afghanistan. This fundamental different expectation cannot be met. Ghani with his anticorruption campaign cuts legions of government servants from income. And corruption was more than 13 years the grease to run the government machine in Afghanistan. Ghani’s personal style may be the cause of his downfall. The elites do not trust him. The power centres in Kabul have not had their power tested in a while. If he pushes too far, he could lose Abdullah and his supporters, which include some of Afghanistan’s most powerful figures. Ultimately, it may prove that being everyman’s president and a reformer could be too much to ask in a severely fractured country like Afghanistan with so many multilayered problems. Ghani may be the right man for the job but at the wrong time in history.(20150110)

Released 2015-01-10