Afghanistan successfully held provincial and first-round presidential elections. Various folk are in the running for President. Part of building a viable democracy is building the habit of elections and change-through-elections. Since the incumbent is barred from running again (two-term limit), a new President must result.
|Afghan women register to vote.|
The high turnout is encouraging, especially as the Taliban threatened to disrupt the election, and there were some killings. But more is required for a free political outcome than elections: a viable democracy requires a viable state which requires lots of day-to-day habits and expectations. Still, having a high turnout election successfully conducted is a positive sign, just not a definitive one.
As an aside, we tend to forget that the US is a revolutionary state. It has proved to be still willing, if sufficiently provoked, to fight to export its revolution. Always an inherently tricky matter. One could argue, after all, that the late Soviet Empire's attempt to export its revolution managed, in the longer run, to actually export the American one. Not what was intended ...
[Cross-posted at Skepticlawyer.]