New VPR Documentary Examines Afghan Police Training

"Afghanistan's Other War" airs 12/15 and 12/18; will be distributed nationally

A new documentary, "Afghanistan's Other War," produced by Vermont Public Radio, will air Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m., and Saturday Dec. 18 at 4 p.m. This special program is based on the reporting of VPR's Steve Zind during three weeks in September when he was embedded with 1,500 members of the Vermont National Guard in Afghanistan.

Narrated by Zind, the half-hour program follows Vermont Guard soldiers engaged in the complex and critical mission of training Afghanistan's police. Listeners will hear the soldiers training their Afghan counterparts and their reflections on the challenges and progress made during their year-long deployment.

"Over the last couple of years, non-combat operations - such as training police and building relationships with the Afghan people - have become a crucial aspect of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan," Zind said.

Zind traveled to three provinces with the guard, accompanying soldiers on their mission to train the Afghan police force. His extensive reports, photos, and online journal are available at VPR.net.

"The war in Afghanistan is one of the biggest stories of our time, and there is no substitute for reporting from the location," said John Van Hoesen, vice president for news and programming. "'Afghanistan's Other War' deepens our understanding of the role the Vermont National Guard played in Afghanistan, providing meaning and context not just to the Vermont story but to the national story as well."

Zind reports on the Vermont Guard for VPR, and his coverage has included deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, returns to Vermont, as well as military funerals. In 2006, Zind traveled to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, to talk with members of Task Force Saber as they returned from duty in Iraq. He has also been on several reporting trips to Iran, where he first visited in 2004 in search of family history. He returned to Iran as a reporter in 2005, 2006, and 2009.