Queen's University

Taliban attacks U.S. Embassy in Kabul

2011-09-16

Queen’s University has two experts who can talk about today’s Taliban attacks on the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

Political and military expert Christian Leuprecht says the Taliban are trying to show they are still a threat by attacking a major target.

“It’s clearly a symbolic attack. The U.S. embassy is always the most fortified building in a developing country. It’s a Kabul equivalent of a World Trade Centre,” says Dr. Leuprecht, who teaches in the political studies department and is a fellow in the Queen’s Centre for International and Defence Policy. “By attacking a civilian base and not a military base, the Taliban are trying to undermine the legitimacy of the coalition’s authority. The timing is significant – just a few days after Sept. 11. The Taliban were probably planning an attack on the West but their plans got thwarted so this is the best they could do – an attack on the West within Afghanistan. They are trying to show they are still credible by attacking the single most symbolic target in Afghanistan. The Taliban are trying to say ‘we can strike anywhere, anytime and nobody is safe.’”

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Douglas Bland is a School of Policy studies professor and former chair of Defence Management Studies at Queen’s University. He regularly comments in the media about military and defence issues. Please note Dr. Bland is only available for phone interviews.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.ca or Christina Archibald at 613-533-2877 or Christina.Archibald@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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