As civilians prepare to head to the polls on Saturday, few expect the presidential election will have much effect in bringing peace to the war-torn country.
Afghanistan deployed more than 100,000 troops and police to guard polling stations in a presidential election which the Taliban has threatened to disrupt with suicide bombings and rocket attacks.
Every election in the last decade has been marred by violence in Afghanistan, where Taliban militants are fighting US-backed government forces and demand the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.
Violence in Saturday's election, in which President Ashraf Ghani is widely expected to win a second five-year term, could deepen political instability, embolden the Taliban and set back efforts to get stalled peace talks back on track.
Of the 18 candidates, only Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, who as chief executive of a unity government is effectively prime minister, have a realistic chance of victory.
But few Afghans expect will have much effect in bringing peace to the war-torn country.
Whatever the turnout, Afghans are choosing a leader who will almost certainly have to negotiate with the Taliban at some point.
The Taliban have so far refused to negotiate with Ghani – whom they consider a Washington puppet – and he was totally marginalised during negotiations.
TRT World's Hasan Abdullah has more from Kabul.