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Camp Victory, Afghanistan

Airs Monday, August 30, 2010 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Photo of a group of Afghan officers stationed at Camp Victory in Afghanistan. This is the first film to examine the reality of building a functioning Afghan military — the cornerstone of America’s exit strategy.

"Camp Victory, Afghanistan" is a verité documentary that tells the story of several U.S. National Guardsmen stationed in Herat, Afghanistan and the Afghan officers assigned as their mentees. These Americans along with a band of Afghans have been given the enormous task of building the 207th Corps of the nascent Afghan National Army into an institution capable of providing security, stability, peace and justice to a tattered, volatile nation.

Although the United States has poured military aid into Afghanistan, money alone does not produce an army; people do. And these Afghans and Americans have more in common than anyone would expect. With lives on the line and the military budget ballooning, can a modern Afghan army be created when 80% of the enlistees are illiterate; all are impoverished; the weaponry is second rate; and the enemy is elusive, dangerous, and lawless?

Using nearly 300 hours of verité footage shot between 2005 and 2008, "Camp Victory, Afghanistan," directed by Carol Dysinger, is the first film to examine the reality of building a functioning Afghan military—the initial critical step toward bringing stability and peace to Afghanistan.

Photographs are displayed on Flickr, courtesy of Carol Dysinger and Bolo Productions Staff, and American Photojournalist, Robert Nickelsberg.

Video

Camp Victory, Afghanistan: Behind the Scenes

Above: "Camp Victory, Afghanistan" is a verité documentary that tells the story of several U.S. National Guardsmen stationed in Herat, Afghanistan and the Afghan officers assigned as their mentees. Language, culture, and history throw obstacles in front of Americans training Arghan civilians for the Afghan National Army.