Ben Anderson

Ben Anderson is a reporter for the BBC and the Discovery Channel.

Diary: in Afghanistan

Ben Anderson, 3 January 2008

30 June. We were all chatting over a cup of tea outside the Naafi last night when a soldier sat down next to me and introduced himself. He asked what we were talking about, but didn’t listen to my answer. His eyes were glazed and he was swaying slightly, struggling to keep upright. I thought he was stoned or drunk and looking to start a confrontation. But instead he just said: ‘I’m scared.’ I told him he’d be lying if he said otherwise, or mad. But my words had no impact. Then he said that on the last big operation, he and a friend were lying next to each other when his friend got shot through the eye and died instantly. The Taliban attack was so heavy that no one could move, so for an entire hour he just had to lie there next to his dead friend.

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