The Taliban terrorised Kabul and major parts of their country in the run up to the presidential poll. Despite brave efforts by the foreign troops/Afghan forces, the 'D-Day' ended up as full of "blasts from hell" a la Shakespeare/Hamlet. The media showed great bravado by building a morale-boosting tempo for the voters. Prima facie, the Afghans, generally, more so in Kabul etc, showed real courage by voting in numbers which remain debate-able. Former Foreign Minister Tajik Abdullah Abdullah, whom Eric Margollis identifies as, "fronts for the Russian and Iranian-backed Tajik Northern Alliance" is the main contender, who has alleged "widespread rigging" by Karzai. He emphasised: "There might have been thousands of violations throughout the country, no doubt about it." Flaunting a hundred complaints sent by his team to the Election Commission, he warned: "This has to be prevented. That's critical for the survival of the process, "which promises better life for the Afghan people." Such denunciation of the electoral process has raised the pitch of the controversy to an uncomfortable level. Immediately after the polling ended, expressed doubts riled Kabul. Richard Holbrooke visiting Herat had to say to AP: "We have disputed elections in the US. There may be some questions here. That wouldn't surprise me at all. I expect it. But let's not get out ahead of the situation." "The US and the international community will respect the process set up by Afghanistan itself," he assured. Likewise Grant Kippen, Chairman of the Election Complaints Commission, acknowledged having received a wide number of "significant complaints." Atif B writing under a pseudonym from Kandahar in L A Times insists that the Taliban's objective was "to shutdown the election, and it succeeded." Apparently whatever happened has dangerous implications for all concerned, even Pakistan. First, it would ipso facto tar the credentials of the 'winner' who assumes the presidential position in Kabul. As a corollary, the incumbent's status would be worse than the tendency whereby Karzai is popularly ridiculed as being the 'Mayor of Kabul'. Second, it would bolster the position of the Taliban who have been claiming that election etc is an artifice adopted by the US to prolong the 'occupation'. As the credibility of the whole process gets undermined, it would alienate most Afghans even more. Third, ethnic factor still remains very strong, particularly due to the role of Northern warlords in 2001 and onwards. As such, a Tajik losing to a pashtun would induce inimical cross-currents. Robert Fisk highlights: "I doubt if anyone in Afghanistan voted yesterday because of the policies of their favourite candidate. They voted for whoever their ethnic leaders told them to vote for. Hence Karzai asked Dostum to deliver him the Uzbek vote. Abdullah relies on the Tajik vote, Karzai on the Pashtuns." Fourth, the Afghan state apparatus may decline further which could adversely affect the ground realities leading to more sufferings for the common people. Fifth, further foundering of the Afghan governance would embolden the Taliban whereby the attacks against foreign forces would increase as summer fades out. A natural outcome could be a steady rise in casualties among the US GIs deployed, generally, over a vast stretch of the South/East. July was the deadliest month for the US troops etc. As the number of body bags swelled, the support for the War shrank. While the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll reflects that the majority of Americans do not consider the War feasible, UK is mulling a hiatus. Admiral Mullen and Senator McCaine have jointly admitted that the US public was losing interest in the ongoing war. Though the latter endorsed the policy of President Obama yet he accepted that many mistakes made in the last three years had done great harm. Mullen opined: "I have said that over the last couple of years, that the Taliban insurgency has gotten better, more sophisticated." He added: "Their tactics, just in my recent visits out there and talking with our troops, certainly indicate that." The senator and the admiral also decried the weakening of the local support for the war. Pending General McCrystal's awaited new strategy, McCaine advocated "a reversal of this alarming trend" while emphasising: "We cannot allow Afghanistan to return to a base for terrorist attacks on the US and its allies." If the boll bubbles badly in Afghanistan, Pakistan could also see blues. As Eric Margolis, an authority on the region, underlines: "The northern Tajiks and Uzbeks, traditional foes of the majority Pashtun, are in cahoots with Russia, Iran and India, all of whom have designs on Afghanistan. They continue to dominate Karzai's faltering regime. The majority Pashtun are largely excluded from power." Having formally created such serious straying since 2001, the US would suffer more if the mess keeps festering. No wonder, US can't follow any strategy for the last eight years. George W fumbled through his second term despite stigmas and Obama is trying all his statesmanship to salvage US prestige/credibility. However, the post-election environment appears to be pretty inauspicious. If the blame-game in Kabul is only posturing even then it is puerile. As a policy it would be disastrous for the US and her allies including Pakistan. Margolis ends his brilliant article saying: "The conflict continues to spread into neighbouring Pakistan. Americans are being prepared for a widening of the war to defend Afghan democracy....The US and NATO watch in horror as their casualties sharply mount and they have nothing to show voters for the latest Afghan imperial misadventure but body bags and tantalising mirages of Central Asia's fabled oil and gas." Mark Harold writes in Global Research, last week: "What needs first to be clearly understood is that Obama's Pentagon has been much more deadly for Afghan civilians than was Bush in comparable months of 2008. During January-June 2008, some 278-343 Afghan civilian perished at the hands of US/NATO forces, but for comparable months under Team Obama the numbers were 520-630." Mark's arithmetic looks very sound and that should cause a lot of concern. The Afghan, generally, does not forget revenge for a wrongdoing; more so a murder. God only knows how many volunteers the US policy is gifting to the Taliban by such tactics. A report from Kabul indicates that Abdullah is bargaining for a senior post with Karzai who is expected to be declared the winner proving Malalai Joya right. The status quo appears to be perpetuating ethnic divide to the disadvantage of the Pashtuns. Moreover, too many cooks like Russia/India besides the US are likely to spoil the broth. Pakistan with its long border and millions of pashtun population protrudes confusion. US is relying too heavily on Greenbacks a la Iraq. George Friedman/Stratfor sees Obama following Bush's policy which translates as, "hold in Afghanistan until the political situation evolves to the point that a political settlement is possible." The Taliban have time, traditions and topography on their side. History proves that 'occupation', Jihad against them and avenging Afghan deaths etc, are wonderful war cries. Add fake elections too. Albert Einstein had said: "The only source of knowledge is experience." US lack that while the crucial clock clicks on. The writer is a former secretary interior E-mail: