The Dogs Are Eating Them Now

Graeme Smith won the won the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction in 2013 for this book on the war in Afghanistan.

Graeme Smith

The Dogs Are Eating Them Now is a highly personal narrative of our war in Afghanistan and how it went dangerously wrong. Written by a respected and fearless former foreign correspondent who has won multiple awards for his journalism (including an Emmy for the video series "Talking with the Taliban") this is a gripping account of modern warfare that takes you into back alleys, cockpits and prisons — telling stories that would have endangered his life had he published this book while still working as a journalist. Smith was not simply embedded with the military: he operated independently and at great personal risk to report from inside the war, and the heroes of his story are the translators, guides, and ordinary citizens who helped him find the truth. They revealed sad, absurd, touching stories that provide the key to understanding why the mission failed to deliver peace and democracy.

From the corruption of law enforcement agents and the tribal nature of the local power structure to the economics of the drug trade and the frequent blunders of foreign troops, this is the no-holds-barred story from a leading expert on the insurgency. Smith draws on his unmatched compassion and a rare ability to cut through the noise and see the broader truths to give us a bold and candid look at the Taliban's continued influence — and at the mistakes, catastrophes and ultimate failure of the West's best intentions.  (From Counterpoint Press)

Read an excerpt | Author interviews

From the book

But we had all misunderstood: it was just another suicide bomber, one of dozens in the city that summer. The bomb detonated near a military vehicle and set it on fire. The rapid pops and banging sounds had been caused by the ignition of overheated ammunition inside the burning vehicle, a phenomenon known as a "cook-off." A soldier was killed in the attack, and the troops who rushed to the scene accidentally shot dead a young boy. The Taliban were not invading after all, but tension in the city had reached a fever pitch.

From The Dogs Are Eating Them Now by Graeme Smith ©2013. Published by Knopf Canada.

Author interviews

Journalist Graeme Smith on Canada's mission in Afghanistan

10 years ago
Duration 9:50
Featured VideoCanadian journalist Graeme Smith reflects on what was accomplished during Canada's mission in Afghanistan.