National Geographic Channel Takes An Unflinching Look At America's Longest War - Afghanistan - As Experienced By The Men And Women On The Front Lines
Network Presents New Two-Hour Special Featuring Raw Battlefield Footage, Soldiers' Photographs and Testimonies For A Comprehensive 360-Degree View Of The Entire War
"Not once in a minute of time over there did I ever fight for any piece of Afghanistan ... I fought for my men and I fought for my country and I fought to get home" - U.S. Army MSG David Dzwik
Inside the Afghanistan War Premieres Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2012 -- The longest war in America's history was sparked by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Less than a month later U.S. forces entered Afghanistan and ousted the Taliban. Chronicling a conflict that has spanned more than a decade and bridged generations, Inside the Afghanistan War shares the comprehensive 11-year-trajectory from its swift and relentless beginnings to the eve of the U.S. pullout in 2014.
Transporting viewers to war-torn Afghanistan, National Geographic Channel (NGC) delivers an all-inclusive, raw panorama of a complex war fought on a terrain known as "The Graveyard of Empires." Inside the Afghanistan War, premiering Monday, Nov. 5, opens the door to a heart-pounding realm of survival, death and rebuilding - seen and heard through the rolling cameras of soldiers, rare photos and firsthand accounts of servicemen and women. From the producers of Inside 9/11 and Inside the Iraq War, Inside the Afghanistan War charts the shifting goals of coalition and Afghan forces as the evolving War on Terror enters its second decade.
Inside the Afghanistan War brings viewers the soldiers' perspective, from the deciding moment to enlist during the waking hours after 9/11 to the harrowing battlefield accounts that were often buried in the back pages of the daily papers as the media's attention shifted to the conflict in Iraq. See the changes in tactics on the ground as strategic focus shifted from remote northeast outposts to the more populated south of Afghanistan as the 2014 planned U.S. exit from the conflict drew nearer.
Hear U.S. Army Col. Mark Mitchell's accounts of the first U.S. casualty of the war, when a prisoner riot claims CIA agent Mike Spann.
Follow Major Allison Black, the only woman among an AC-130 gunship crew of 13, during a bombing campaign of the city of Kunduz. She was given the nickname "The Angel of Death" by U.S. ally General Dostum, who was convinced the U.S. had a "laser" during the weeks of air strikes.
Embed with Capt. J.J. Konstant in the summer of 2005 as his team of marines is charged with eliminating Ahmad Shah's cell, which has adopted the use of improvised explosive devices in the Pech Valley and is responsible for the deadliest day of the Afghanistan war, in which 16 Navy SEALs are killed in a rescue operation.
Objective and unabated, Inside the Afghanistan War captures all angles of the war, in many cases with helmet cams worn by soldier in combat. Raw footage of combat from different periods of the war offers a level of in-depth perspective never before seen by the American public: PFC. Channing Moss sits atop his truck as a gunner when a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) blasts through the windshield and lodges inside him, unexploded.
"I was like, 'Oh ****, something's in me,'... I remember blankin', and when I came to, I smelled myself smoking," Moss said.
Maj. John Oh and his surgical team defy Army protocol after being warned that Moss is a human time bomb - the dramatic surgery to remove the grenade lodged inside Moss is all caught on camera, despite warnings from an explosives expert.
"He said we'd all be 'pink mist,' so that's all he needed to say," Oh said.
Fast-forward to 2010, as a company of U.S. soldiers is charged with the task of ousting the Taliban from Kunduz province. With helmet cameras rolling, viewers experience the shock and panic of a mine-clearing operation gone wrong, as Spc. Matthew Hayes steps on an undetected plastic mine.
"Do you want it to be a land mine or you want it to be an RPG?" Sgt. Dean Lee wisecracks to Hayes as he is being stabilized. "Better get our story straight now for the chicks back home."
While many of the soldiers chronicled in Inside the Afghanistan War would like to know what a straightforward victory feels like, it may be impossible to know the lasting effects of a war that will be in its 13th year before U.S. troops are expected to come home.
Inside the Afghanistan War is produced by Towers Productions, Inc., for NGC. For Towers Productions executive producer is Jonathan Towers; co-executive producer/writer is Kristen Akers Gozdecki; executive in charge of production is Seneca Lester; and field producer/additional writing is Nicolas Zimmerman. For NGC, executive producer is Jack Smith; vice president, production and development is Kim Woodard; and executive vice president of programming is Michael Cascio.
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