Lost at the Hindu Kush


Ard/wdr Reportage (2012)

They call themselves “the forgotten battalion”, and they are not entirely wrong. It is only when disasters happen that the German army’s most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan becomes the focus of attention.

The report shows the challenging everyday life of the soldiers in OP North in Baghlan province three weeks before the shooting rampage of an allied Afghan soldier in mid-February.

The commander Nikolaus Carstens and the ordinary soldiers tell their stories: How useful, how effective is the mission on the ground actually? Who can you trust? Who is actually the enemy? Injury, death, the risk of falling victim to combat or attacks – all of this hangs over them like the sword of Damocles. And what will happen when the Bundeswehr leaves the country?

The Afghans in Mazar i Sharif give the reporters different answers. Some families feel hope for the future. One mother describes the time of Taliban rule, which could not have been more terrible. The security of the country is to be placed in the hands of the Afghan army and police in the near future. Until then, the soldiers in OP North are fighting against the Taliban, the mistrust of the population and the threat of attacks – a lost cause in the Hindu Kush?

Author: Gesine Enwaldt, Kersten Schüßler, Geza Zalmai

camera: Tim Scherret

editing: Peter Klum

editor: Britta Windhoff, Swantje von Massenbach (WDR)