News / Asia

Taliban Attacks in Kabul Also Target Public Opinion

Afghan policemen fire toward a building that the Taliban insurgents took over during an attack near the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 13, 2011.
Afghan policemen fire toward a building that the Taliban insurgents took over during an attack near the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 13, 2011.

Tuesday's insurgent attacks in the Afghan capital of Kabul were aimed at high-value targets in an effort to influence public opinion about the direction of the war. The Taliban, unable to win militarily, seems to have shifted to terrorist tactics.

The coordinated attacks by small teams of Taliban fighters targeting secure, but high-profile sites in Kabul, have received extensive media coverage worldwide. But they are likely to have more of an impact on public opinion than to actually achieve any strategic victory.

The insurgent teams attacked the U.S. Embassy, the headquarters of the NATO-led security force, the Afghan intelligence agency and other areas around the center of the city.

Afghan security forces responded and, with some minor help from NATO troops, were able to put down the attacks with very little damage to Kabul, Afghans or foreign nationals.

In a press release, Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack while praising the effective response of the Afghan authorities.

Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqi said the attackers' only aim was to sow terror. He said Afghan forces are ready to repel such attacks whenever they occur.

"Their main objective and aim is to create terror. As they did today," said Siddiqi. "And they should be informed and notified that Afghan forces are much ready today, much equipped today, and they are trained today and if they want to attack us again they will face the consequences, and whenever they attack the Afghans they will be killed and they will be killed badly, as they were today."

The attacks in Kabul are the latest in a string of high profile attacks this summer, including attacks on the Hotel InterContinental and the assassination of President Karzai’s brother in Kandahar.

According to NATO spokesman General Carsten Jacobson, the Taliban are shifting to these kinds of very visible attacks because, with NATO having conducted a surge of troops, the insurgents no longer can win on the battlefield or hold territory.

Kate Woodsome interviews Ekram Shinwari, VOA's Afghan Service, Kabul, Afghanistan


"The insurgents did not shift or change their tactics voluntarily; they didn't have a chance. We are not seeing any more open operations in the field against our formations because they haven't got the capability to do it," said Jacobson. "So the terrorists did not succeed in their military aims, they succeeded in the attention that they were gaining. That is what terrorists do all over the world: they search for a high-value target, for something that is public, they strike and then they count on the public effect that they have. It is terrorism and nothing else."

With a drawdown of coalition troops already under way - its ultimate aim being the total withdrawal of Western combat troops by 2014 - the West also is focusing on training Afghan forces.

In addition to counter-insurgency operations in the country's hills and villages, however, Afghan troops also may have to conduct a counter-terrorism campaign. And part of that fight will have to take place in the arena of public opinion.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid