Tracking the Taliban: Vaughan Smith’s video report from Helmand Province

February 17, 2010

I have just returned from a second trip with the Grenadier Guards, who I visited in Helmand in 2007.

They are now in Nadi Ali, in Helmand province, Afghanistan. I was there for a month, but my computer got waterlogged and so I haven’t posted anything to my blog from there so far. However, I am going to push out my material here over the next couple of weeks.

My first piece is about 2 Section of 6 Platoon, C Company, 1 Royal Anglians. They patrol out of Patrol Base Paraang on the southern edge of a village in Nadi Ali district called Kushal Kalay. They are tasked with keeping the Taliban out of Kushal Kalay so that other soldiers can more safely clear it of IED’s. The section commander is 22 years old.

The story was on Channel 4 News last Saturday evening. You can watch it above or follow the link. As Nico Pitney comments on the Huffington Post,

One hesitates to extrapolate much from one brief glimpse into the fighting in Afghanistan. But this clip does give some sense of why the world’s most advanced militaries are so challenged by these Taliban fighters. link

I plan to put up an extended version over the coming days. But next is another film going out on Channel 4 News, probably tonight, Thursday 18th February so keep watching this blog for more.