NATO’s new leader has called on Afghan voters to defy the Taliban and support the upcoming Presidential election. Anders Fogh Rasmussen made Kabul his first foreign trip after taking over as Secretary General of the Alliance at the weekend.
The Taliban has vowed to attack the August 20th election, and has warned Afghans not to vote. Rasmussen, though, promised NATO and local forces would provide security during the campaign and on the day itself. However, following a recent surge in violence, it’s not clear how many voting booths will actually be open. Bombings and attacks across Afghanistan are at their highest level since the US-led invasion in 2001, and escalated dramatically after American and British forces went on the offensive against the Taliban in Helmand province this summer.