The summer of 2009 has been without a doubt a bad one for ISAF, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. The increase in fighting this summer has led to debates in most of the troop contributing nations as to how they perceive Afghanistan’s future and their role in it. A complex insurgency has spread across the country as different groups have come together under the banner of the Taliban fighting both the international troops and the Afghan government. In the south and the east of Afghanistan, where guerilla warfare has been ongoing for at least three years, the fighting has intensified and an increase in the technical abilities and tactical skill of the Taliban insurgents has taken a heavy toll on coalition soldiers. In the north and west of Afghanistan—previously considered safer areas—the security situation has worsened considerably and troops who had been able to focus predominantly on reconstruction work are increasingly finding themselves soldiering in far more traditional ways. The Afghanistan general elections of 20 August can be considered a very limited success at best, not only because of the extensive and seemingly well based accusations of vote rigging, but also because in many parts of the country although the ISAF forces could secure the voting sites themselves, they could not provide sufficient security to stop Taliban intimidation from dissuading many Afghans from going to the polls in the first place. As the fighting has increased across the country, it is the Afghan civilians who are paying highest price.