July 2, 2008

Navigating the counterinsurgency field manual

John D. McHugh’s latest film for The Guardian is up. This is his fourth piece and we find John talking to Charlie Company in Afghanistan about what it’s really like to work as an American soldier trying to follow the guidance in the Counterinsurgency Field Manual Click the image above to watch John’s film.

June 30, 2008

Sean Langan talks after Taliban ordeal

Sean Langan drops by in the comments to say thanks to all those who worried about him during his kidnap ordeal at the hands of the Taliban in the borders area between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Just wanted to pass on my deep gratitude to all those in the foreign press corp. I lost my phones […]

June 30, 2008

Road trips down south

Another timely reminder of the dangers on Afghanistan’s southern ringroad. 35 police officers were suspended a couple of days ago following protests by truck drivers about police corruption and kidnappings on the road from Herat to Kandahar. Incredibly, 12 drivers were kidnapped last week on the road (and I think that that’s probably a conservative […]

June 24, 2008

Sean Langan freed

Sean Langan, regular at the Frontline Club and an award winning Channel 4 reporter who works on Dispatches, was freed yesterday after a three month kidnap ordeal in a deal forged by his family, “We are absolutely thrilled that Sean is back in the UK and free,” they said. “We can’t thank Channel 4 enough […]

June 23, 2008

War reporting is too expensive

[video:youtube:CT-Hq117w8s] Following on from Lara Logan’s broadside on the American media coverage of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars – the CBS Chief Foreign Correspondent said she would “blow her brains out” if she had to watch what passed for news in the US – The New York Times follows up with a round up of […]

June 19, 2008

Australian journalist shot in Kandahar

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that an Australian journalist was shot in the arm near Kandahar. The journalist is believed to be 36-year-old Jamie Kidston, a former cameraman for SBS Television, A [Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade] spokesman said the Australian, from NSW, was being treated at medical facilities inside Afghanistan. “Australian government officials […]

June 18, 2008

Afghanistan: Medieval Warfare?

The savagery of medieval warfare is widely acknowledged and understood; yet the idea of chivalry as an important and influential force in the conflicts of the Middle Ages somehow lives on in seemingly comfortable juxtaposition with this awareness. In By Sword and Fire I show that such notions of incongruent compatibility do not reflect the […]

June 18, 2008

Green Grass

I write this from my beautiful green garden in Kabul, which has changed so much as to be almost unrecognizable. We now have aubergine, mint, coriander, roses, grapes and mulberries growing, along with a lot of other stuff that I’m sure is edible but don’t know the names of. As always, there’s lots happening in […]

June 18, 2008

Are we just numb?

[video:youtube:zh2A_SYuhls] That’s the question Jon Stewart, presenter of the Daily Show, asked Lara Logan, chief correspondent for CBS News, on the show he presents last night, I mean, there were 51 people killed today in a Shia neighborhood in Iraq. Are we just numb? Have we lost our humanity with this entire situation? Yeah, we […]

June 17, 2008

In the frame with Véronique de Viguerie

Véronique de Viguerie‘s image on Afghan men in Kandahar is profiled on the excellent Verve Photo blog, “I took this picture in Kandahar. I was doing a story on the growing influence of the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. I was told that the Taliban were using poor people to work for them. So early morning […]

June 15, 2008

Returning to Afghanistan

Flying back to Kabul tomorrow and then on to Kandahar later in the week. Photo above is of the kit I’m taking with me (minus clothes and my aging Sony Vaio FS750P/W). Am looking forward to seeing how my new mini Asus copes in Kandahar (dust, heat, speed etc). Finally replaced my old Ipod mini […]

June 13, 2008

Alex heads back to Afghanistan

Live from the streets of London via Twitterpower. Alex begins the process of heading back to Afghanistan.

June 12, 2008

Silent mourning for Abdul Samad Rohani

TV and radio stations across Britain mourned the loss of Abdul Samad Rohani with a two minute silence. Meanwhile a memorial to the young reporter, who worked for the BBC in Helmand province, has been organised, The memorial had been organised by Afghan journalist unions for their murdered colleague. Some speakers read poems, a traditional […]

June 12, 2008

Films from the frontline

John D. McHugh’s latest video report from Afghanistan is live on The Guardian website. John also has another film, “Captain McChrystal’s Thanksgiving” and a new audio slideshow called “Not fit for task” up on the site too. Both are part of a “flash” presentation. John dropped me an email to say he’s working hard on […]

June 12, 2008

Banned from Afghanistan?

Sir Max Hastings says he’s been banned from the battlefields of Afghanistan by Defence Secretary Des Browne. Hastings has been a regular visitor to war zones for more than 20 years. Talking to The First Post he explains further, “I asked to go, as I’ve so often gone to British battlefields all over the world, […]

June 11, 2008

Are the Taliban winning?

Live streaming video from the Frontline Club events room tonight. Just click the image above to go to the live channel page at 7.30pm UK time, 11 June. Taking part will be Alastair Leithead (BBC), James Fergusson (journalist and author), James Appathurai (NATO), John D McHugh (photojournalist) and Mawlavi Abdulsalam Zaeef (Taliban) The British death […]

June 11, 2008

Abdul Karim al-Khaiwani sentenced to six years

Abdul Karim al-Khaiwani, a veteran journalist and one of Yemen’s most prominent democracy advocates, has been sentenced to six years in jail with hard labour for supporting an alleged terrorist group. He spoke with Amnesty shortly before he was imprisoned, “The authorities in Yemen are trying to silence me and they even appear to be […]

June 9, 2008

Murdered BBC journalist buried

Abdul Samad Rohani, the 25 year old BBC journalist murdered in Helmand province on Sunday, was buried in his home cemetery in the district of Marja today, “Unknown armed men had abducted Rohani and his body was found yesterday. He had four bullets shot at his chest. We are investigating the case.” A relative who […]

June 8, 2008

Abdul Samad Rohani killed in Lashkar Gah

BBC journalist Abdul Samad Rohani was found shot dead in Lashkar Gah in southern Helmand province, Afghanistan today, A BBC statement said Rohani’s “bravery – and that of his colleagues – have allowed us to tell a key story for audiences in the UK, in Afghanistan and around the world”. It added: “His death is […]

June 6, 2008

Foreign minister’s memorial

Radoslaw Sikorski, Poland’s Foreign minister, is in Afghanistan agreeing aid deals with Hamid Karzai’s government. He also unveiled a plaque in honour of his friend, Andy Skrzypkowiak, a British war correspondent who was killed in 1987. Back then Sikorski was himself a war correspondent, ‘I have the feeling I’m paying off a debt to my […]

June 4, 2008

Doug Schmidt outside the wire

Doug Schmidt will spend six weeks filing stories from the frontline in Afghanistan. He’ll be reporting for the Canadian newspaper, The Windsor Star, and blogging on his Outside the Wire blog.

May 28, 2008

Interview with Alex Strick van Linschoten

Frontline blogger Alex gets interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live – great bit of insight into how one the Frontline bloggers operates, where he goes, how he approaches work and travel. Worth a listen.

May 27, 2008

Declan Walsh in Garmser

The Guardian’s Declan Walsh reports from Garmser, on the frontline of the fight with the Taliban in Afghanistan via audio slideshow on the newspaper’s website.

May 27, 2008

BBC Radio 5 Interview

This link will take you to an MP3 of my interview yesterday with Chris Vallance on my way home from the airport. Light listening.

May 26, 2008

Reporting restrictions

David Carr writes in the New York Times about The Wars We Choose To Ignore. With war coverage shrinking to a mere drip – “3% of all American print and broadcast news as of last week” – down from 25% last September according to Project for Excellence in Journalism’s News Coverage Index, Carr highlights some […]

May 26, 2008

Who is Asne Seierstad?

Stephen Moss asks the question – Who is Asne Seierstad? A journalist, a writer, or something inbetween? Maybe a “literary journalist” he argues, The nomenclature matters. I met the American reporter Dahr Jamail, author of Beyond the Green Zone, recently, and while I admired the way he had gone to Baghdad to report on the […]

May 20, 2008

Interview with Peter Jouvenal

Kabul based Peter Jouvenal, one of the original Frontline agency journalists and an Afghan specialist is interviewed by TalkRadioNews military affairs correspondent Richard Miller. You can read about and listen to the 20 minute interview here or play it directly here. Peter touches on how he came to live in Afghanistan, his early days as […]

May 19, 2008

Close call

Click the image above to see the slideshow from Helmand province in Afghanistan via David Viggars

May 17, 2008

Flying low

John D. McHugh’s latest installment in The Guardian today details his move to an outpost of Speray in Khowst province about 900 metres from the Pakistan border I managed to get the back seat, the one that photographers always want. This is because in a Chinook there is a rear ramp, and as the pilots […]

May 16, 2008

John D. McHugh in the Guardian

I’m reliably informed Frontline Club member John D. McHugh has a big spread in the Guardian newspaper tomorrow. The piece will run online too, but it might be worth grabbing the papier mache version if you have access to a newstand near you. A wee bit of background, courtesy of the Guardian, for those of […]