Many considered the elections to be a litmus test of the Taliban’s relevance. If its fighters succeeded in their plan to disrupt the Afghan electoral process, it would say something about the insurgents’ clout — if not their capacity to conduct attacks, then their ability to instill fear.
Saturday’s vote was marred by hundreds of small-scale Taliban attacks, and more than 40 people were killed. But it would have taken much more than that to derail the elections. And, thanks to the growing strength of the Afghan security forces, the Taliban does not appear to have the capability to retake major urban centers.
The other threats to Afghanistan – the fragility of its economy and institutions — stand a better chance at destabilizing the country and throwing the U.S. investment here into a tailspin.
For example, it appears increasingly likely that the government will be financially blacklisted by next week for failing to pass an anti-money laundering law, a designation that would hinder Afghanistan’s ability to do business with much of the world.