August 20, 2009 — Ballots boxes are on their way to Kabul in cars, helicopters and on the backs of 3000 donkeys. The count won't be final until early next month. Voter turnout is called "uneven," with attacks near some polling places. Some fraud and corruption are guaranteed, and two people with indelible ink on their fingers reportedly were hanged. President Obama calls today's voting the most important event of the year in Afghanistan. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke says holding an election in a time of war is "extraordinary." Will the results be perceived as credible by the Afghan people? Will they lead to peace with the Taliban and better governance? Will they alter America's role in a dangerous region?
Jonathan Landay: National Security Correspondent, McClatchy Newspapers
Brian Katulis: member, Democracy International Election Observation Mission
Nathaniel Fick: former Marine, Operation Enduring Freedom and CEO of Center for a New American Security
Nicholas Schmidle: Fellow, New America Foundation