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August 17, 2009
Taliban threats loom over Afghanistan’s upcoming election

Some 60,000 American troops and their NATO allies in Afghanistan are trying to maintain order as national elections approach. The difficulty of that task was underscored during the weekend when a suicide car bomber evaded police and detonated his explosives right outside NATO headquarters in Kabul.

The United States believes the elections will legitimize the government, now led by a staunch U.S. ally, Hamid Karzai, who is widely expected to be re-elected to another term. But the Taliban is doing all it can to disrupt the vote — making threats of violence to any Afghan that goes to the polls on August 20.

Alex Their, the director of the Future of Afghanistan Project at the United States Institute of Peace, joins Martin Savidge to discuss the security situation during the election and how the results might impact the American mission in the country.

Afghanistan is actually a collection of many ethnic groups — the two biggest being the Pashtuns and the Tajiks. Many people are expected to vote along ethnic lines. Zeina Khodr of Worldfocus partner Al Jazeera English reports on what leading candidates are doing to bring out the vote, with the help of tribal elders.

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