Monday 18 May 2015, 7:00 PM

Preview Screening: Tell Spring Not to Come This Year + Q&A

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with directors Saeed Taji Farouky and Michael McEvoy.
When NATO troops withdrew from Afghanistan the Afghan National Army (ANA) took control of Helmand Province, an extremely dangerous region where attacks by Taliban fighters are the order of the day. The directors of Tell Spring Not to Come This Year accompanied an ANA company during a year of frontline duty in Helmand.

February 26, 2015

Afghanistan: Lessons Of War

By Isabel Gonzalez-Prendergast On 25 February, a panel of experts convened at the Frontline Club for a discussion on the war in Afghanistan and its ongoing legacy. Chaired by BBC Afghanistan correspondent, David Loyn, the debate spanned the period from 11 September 2001 to the present day.

August 24, 2011

Afghanistan: the mistakes began on 12 September 2001

  Watch event here. If you want to take part in further discussion about the impact of the War on Terror on our world today and how it might shape our future, come along to our FIRST WEDNESDAY SPECIAL: Changing world – conflict, culture and terrorism in the 21st century on Wednesday, 7 September. The […]

February 21, 2011

Blood and Dust film

Vaughan’s new film, Blood and Dust, is below for those who didn’t catch it on Al Jazeera’s People and Power strand. If you want to see it on a large screen we will showing it at the Frontline Clubon 6 March. Followed by a discussion about how war is represented by the broadcast media. Vaughan writes: I have […]

September 17, 2010

Afghanistan: the brittle compact between military and media

Vaughan Smith argues that news management by the military is a risky business. Smith founded the Frontline Club in London in 2003 and during the 1990s he ran Frontline Television News. He filmed the only uncontrolled footage of the Gulf War in 1991 after bluffing his way into an active-duty unit while disguised as a […]

July 28, 2010

Hunting Men

Here is my director’s cut. 22 minutes from Operation Moshtarak, exciting stuff. Shows the war as it really is. First shown on Channel 4 News in February 2010. Vaughan

February 20, 2010

Ambush in Helmand

Here’s my second piece on Channel 4 News, which was broadcast on Thursday night.  This piece also went out on PBS Newshour. They ran it with few changes but here is the link to that version as well…I think the subtiles look nicer. I will be working on longer director’s cut this weekend and will […]

February 17, 2010

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

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 […]

November 26, 2009

Stephen Grey: Afghanistan is “quite depressing”

Journalist Stephen Grey has recently returned from Helmand province and described his trip to Afghanistan as "quite depressing". He noted that casualties have increased in 2009 and said it has already been a hard winter for troops on the ground. Grey was talking to the War Studies Department at King’s College London yesterday about his […]

July 9, 2009

The front line in Afghanistan

The BBC’s Ian Pannell and cameraman Fred Scott are on the front line in Helmand. The British troops they film are taking part in Operation Panther’s Claw, which has cost the lives of seven British soldiers in the last week.   I picked this up via Dr Ken Payne on the Kings of War blog, […]

August 27, 2008

Taliban continue war against civilian contractors

Civilian construction companies and contractors working for the Canadians in Kandahar suffered another blow today as they were hit in an IED attack in Maiwand district, close to the Helmand border. One labourer was killed and 6 other workers were injured in the attack. The worker who was killed had just said he was going […]

February 19, 2008

The Talib who turned

There was little in the dismal reception room to dispel the all-pervading cold of the snow outside. Mice scurried among the relics of half-eaten food on plates scattered around an unlit wood-burning stove. Apart from a few blankets and a couple of kalashnikovs the space was bare. Perhaps I had expected finer trappings for Musa […]

November 19, 2007

3 Para

British Paras are renowned more for prowess on the battlefield than media savvy. However, that reputation may need to be revised with the publication of 3 Para by Patrick Bishop. This book is an account of 3 Para Battle Group’s tour in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, last year. Throughout their six months on the ground, […]

September 29, 2007

Newsnight – report from Sangin valley, Helmand, Afghanistan

This is the full 16 minute documentary that originally aired on BBC Newsnight on 26 September, 2007. It’s available for download on Google Video. My original text from the evening that I returned from Sangin: I have been out on operations with Colour Sergeant Jim Bastin of the Inkerman Company and a platoon of the […]

September 27, 2007

Afghanistan Newsnight website

You can view the 16 minute Newsnight documentary on the Newsnight website for, I think, three days. We’ll post the entire film on the blog, on YouTube and Brightcove as soon as we can. Meanwhile, take a minute to peruse the Newsnight Afghanistan page for related video, interviews and links to Flickr, Google Maps and […]

September 26, 2007

Pre-Newsnight showing build up

The Newsnight film shows in half an hour – and just in case you’re still tuned in here – there’s a bit more background and preamble on the BBC Newsnight website, Twenty years ago I left the Grenadier Guards to become a freelance cameraman. Three months later I was in Southern Afghanistan filming Afghans shelling […]

September 26, 2007

Interview with Brigadier John Lorimer

[video:youtube:QGf7fY98RhM] As promised earlier, here is an interview with Brigadier John Lorimer, the Brigade Commander of 12 Brigade, currently in Helmand.

September 26, 2007

16 Minute Film on BBC Newsnight Tonight

Tonight is the night: 10.30pm on BBC 2. BBC Newsnight plan to show my 16 minute film. I could get bumped off by a major news event and if this happens it should then appear tomorrow night. The film might get picked up by BBC World and shown internationally. The 16 minute film was shot […]

September 20, 2007

Owning up to war

Since leaving them 20 years ago I have always wanted to film my old army regiment, the Grenadier Guards, on operations and I have just returned from staying with them in Helmand, in southern Afghanistan, where they have been involved in intense fighting. It was not my first attempt at filming the Grenadiers in action. […]

September 5, 2007

They are not Tanks

[video:youtube:HEDRM6l0SKs] I was in Gereshk to witness the first deployment in Southern Afghanistan of what the military would call “proper armour”. A company of Scots Guards, called the Right Flank, arrived in a large sand-cloud with more than 20 “Warrior” armoured fighting vehicles. Soldiers frown and straighten their collars when you call them tanks because […]

September 5, 2007

The Military Press Officer

Lieutenant Commander Mike Parr of the Royal Navy has been with me wherever I go in Helmand. I would not have been allowed to come here without a “minder”. Mike’s main job is to make sure that I don’t compromise operational security. To check that I don’t put the soldiers lives at risk by what […]

September 2, 2007

Chocolate Melts!

[video:youtube:x0FeOOHDcKQ] The soldiers have been living on field rations, many of them for months on end. The rations aren’t bad. They contain the right balance of nourishment that the soldiers need but they are boring day after day. Some of the Guardsmen were joking with me that their protective jackets don’t fit them anymore because […]

August 29, 2007

Afghan Army Training

[video:youtube:kQ-S-ipUmQk] I have now attached myself to Colour Sergeant Jim Bastin of the Inkerman Company of the Grenadier Guards. He is part of the 3rd Kandak training team. I have been able to film him running through some basic drills with them on the helicopter pad. I am going to spend more time with both […]

August 29, 2007

Camel Spider!

I have never seen a camel spider (solifugae) before but have heard stories about them. I had company last night.

August 29, 2007

Sangin Patrol and the Mastiff

[video:youtube:z7oJLwUUEHg] This morning I went on patrol with the Queen’s Company of the Grenadier Guards and the First Kandak of the Afghan National Army commanded by Major Attaullah. The commander of the British ‘mentors” was Colour Sergeant “Spook” Boak. The job of training and fighting with indigenous forces is the sort of role that Special […]

August 27, 2007

Sangin River

[video:youtube:aP9WHMG2a90] I arrived in Sangin this morning by helicopter and met up with the Queens Company, Grenadier Guards. The was a soldier in the Queens Company 20 years ago. When the Parachute Regiment were in Sangin last year they were subject to almost constant attack from the Taliban. Attacks now are relatively infrequent but you […]

March 19, 2007

Fires of Helmand

I had often wondered what it would be like to be pitched from the warm, sleep inducing sightless world of an armoured personnel carrier straight out the door into a fire fight. The moment arrived on the west bank of the River Helmand in early March with almost no warning. “Fucking hell,” a Marine corporal’s […]

March 4, 2007

Afghanistan diary

In a ten day combat reconnaissance mission last week the Royal Marines of ‘J’ Company, 42 Commando, pushed into the Pashtun heartland of northern Helmand, the traditional bastion of the Taliban insurgency. Weaving between the towns of Sangin, Naw Zad and Musa Qala the marines conducted operations on a mobile patrol that covered more than […]