Taliban Vows to Disrupt Afghan Vote

Group Says Election Part of Failed US Strategy

In a statement issued today, the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan urged Afghans to stay away from the August 20 elections, and threatened to block roads in an attempt to disrupt the polling stations.

The group said the election was part of the failed US strategy in the nation, and was “paid for and secured by foreigners.” It also urged local Taliban to do everything they could to prevent people from voting.

The legitimacy of the vote is already in serious question as the government acknowledges that hundreds of polling stations in Pashtun-heavy portions of the country will probably never open. Spokesmen say this could amount to as many as 10 percent of the 7,000 polling centers being set up across the nation.

Though these polls will be kept closed over fears of violence in Taliban-heavy portions of the nation, barring people in those areas from voting is likely to further disenfranchise civilians in those regions, many of whom are already opposed to the government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.