Commentary: Afghanistan will test U.S. resolve

On Thursday, Afghanistan picks a new leader. But, as with much in that country, the issue is whether progress is possible.

Current President Hamid Karzai has been tied to that nation's illegal poppy production, which funds the Taliban. While Karzai is expected to win, the BBC reported this week that tens of thousands of official ballots were simply up for sale in some areas. Direct bribes to voters were more prominent in others.

And the recent spike in violence — rockets on Tuesday hit the presidential compound and a suicide attack on a military convoy in Kabul killed 10 — is seen as a Taliban effort to discourage voters. So anyone could win.

But for the United States is there reason to suspect Karzai or any other candidate can make changes for the better in Afghanistan?

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