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On Thursday, Afghanistan will hold the second presidential election in the country’s history. While every election in Afghanistan is a reason to celebrate, the mood surrounding this vote will not match that of the country’s first ballot, held five years ago.

That’s because there is a fear that the country is losing its way, that the Taliban are resurgent and that the government in Kabul is unable to stop them. Another successful vote in Afghanistan will be an important step forward in the country’s development, but it is only a part of a much larger process — the creation of a safe and stable society, a competent government and a growing economy. All are in short supply.

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