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Poor governance in Afghanistan as dangerous as Taliban: Mullen

world Updated: Sep 16, 2009 14:02 IST

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Questioning the "legitimacy" of the Afghan government, a top US military commander on Wednesday said that poor governance in the war-torn country is posing as dangerous a threat as the Taliban.

"I consider the threat from lack of governance to be equal to the threat from the Taliban," Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing.

Responding to the concerns of US Senators about poor governance, Mullen said the legitimacy of the Afghan government at every level is a real concern.

"There needs to be a level of legitimacy that the Afghan people see in their government, whether it's local to national, and there's a great question about that right now, and so far, the elections are not helping," Mullen said.

"I think we need to get through these elections, see what the results are, see who we're dealing with, what's the government look like, and move forward accordingly. But that issue of legitimacy is a huge, huge issue," Mullen said.

Senator Graham said the biggest threat to Afghanistan now is not the Taliban, but it is governance. "I would agree with that," he said. "That vacuum is a combination of poor government and lack of troop presence. Would you agree?" the Senator asked.