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August 18, 2009
Afghan election excitement overshadows Taliban threat

As election day in Afghanistan approaches, tens of thousands of American and British troops there are doing all they can to guarantee the security of millions of Afghan voters. But the Taliban is doing all it can to let these voters know that they are not safe.

On Tuesday, with the election two days away and the campaign winding down, the Taliban launched a series of attacks on the capital city of Kabul. A suicide car bomber attacked a NATO convoy on the outskirts of the city, killing at least seven people and wounding another 50. Two mortar rounds also landed near the presidential palace.

U.S. President Barack Obama insists winning the war in Afghanistan is vital to America’s security interests, and a free and fair election no doubt would help that cause. But security concerns remain front and center.

Kimberly Marten, a professor of political science at Columbia University’s Barnard College, joins Martin Savidge to discuss the impending vote, U.S. strategy ahead of the election and the role of warlords.

Read what a U.S. Marine embedded trainer with the Afghan National Army had to say about the atmosphere ahead of elections: Securing the vote in volatile northeastern Afghanistan

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