The 10 Best Documentaries About The War In Afghanistan

Jul 29, 2023 | Best Of, History, Military/War

The war in Afghanistan has been an ongoing conflict for almost two decades. It began with the September attacks and resulted in the toppling of the Taliban, followed by a period of US-led rebuilding efforts that lasted until 2008. In recent years, the Taliban have once again seized power, taking over major cities within days and causing chaos throughout the country. To truly understand this complex situation and its long history, it is worth exploring documentaries about War in Afghanistan which will provide insight into what has happened – and why – since 2001.


1. The fall of Kabul: The last days of the war in Afghanistan

This documentary tells the story of a city filled with fear and uncertainty during its last days of war. It captures the real stories of those who have escaped and been left behind in Afghanistan, as thousands desperately dashed for the airport in Kabul. As the Taliban took control over the Presidential Palace, chaos ensued on what was once a peaceful country. See how people fought to make their escape from this deadly conflict, and witness first-hand accounts from those affected by one of history’s most tragic wars.


2. Fighting The Taliban: The Battle Inside Afghanistan

Fighting The Taliban is a powerful documentary that follows Ben Anderson, an experienced journalist, and the brave Marines of Bravo Company. Led by their courageous commanding officer Captain Ryan Sparks, they venture into Marjah in Afghanistan to take on the Taliban. This documentary offers a unique insight into counterinsurgency warfare as it tells the story of one of the biggest military operations in Afghanistan’s war history. Get an up close and personal look at this incredible story and join these courageous soldiers as they fight for freedom!


3. The Complete History of The Afghanistan War

This two-part documentary examines the history of Afghanistan and explores the rise and fall of the Taliban. It delves into their ideology, how they came to power, and why outsiders have failed in attempts to control them. The video also looks at how Islamic ideology has shaped modern day Afghanistan and why it’s been referred to as a graveyard for empires due to its ferocity in resisting foreign powers’ influence. Watch this video to get an understanding of what happened during this tumultuous time period!


4. The Complete History of The Afghanistan War

For over fifty years, Afghanistan has been at the center of conflict and bloodshed. From the Soviet invasion to the US-led coalition forces, this war-torn nation has been in a state of turmoil. Now, after an almost 20 year absence from Kabul, The Taliban have reclaimed control with little resistance from Afghan National Army soldiers trained by western forces. In this documentary we look back on the history of the Afghanistan War – tracking its roots all the way up to present day events – and consider what may lie ahead for this region that is seemingly only known violence and destruction.


5. Obama’s War

In this documentary, FRONTLINE takes you to the unforgiving landscape of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. We follow Echo Company of the 2nd Marines, 8th Battalion as they take on President Obama’s mission to combat terrorism at its roots. With exclusive interviews from top generals and government officials, we get an inside look into the debates over how best to handle this challenge. We also see first-hand how these rank-and-file soldiers are working hard to build trust with local communities for economic development purposes. This is a must watch for anyone interested in understanding what it takes to fight terrorism today.


6. The Day The West Invaded Afghanistan

The War in Afghanistan has been one of the longest and most complex conflicts, beginning with the U.S.-led invasion in 2001. This video showcases how NATO became increasingly involved in combat operations over the years and eventually transferred full security responsibility to the Afghan government in 2014. Learn about this conflict from its beginnings to today as we explore The Day The West Invaded Afghanistan!


7. 11 days and a Wake Up

This documentary is a powerful and moving story about the brave soldiers of Cpl Pruitt Rainey’s platoon. In just 11 days, they were attacked by over 200 Taliban insurgents in the Battle of Wanat. Nine heroes lost their lives while 27 were wounded – but nine others returned home to be buried on July 24th 2008. This film follows these brave men as they fight for their country, suffer losses, and ultimately find solace in coming back together after eleven long days apart.


8. Afghanistan: Inside the Taliban’s Emirate

This FRANCE 24 documentary brings you an exclusive first-hand look inside the Taliban’s Emirate in Afghanistan. Our team has witnessed the grim reality of their rule, from Kabul to Kandahar and Wardak province. In just four months since they swept to power, the Taliban have had to make a rapid transition into running the daily business of a state. Get an up close view of how this is playing out – watch now!


9. Afghanistan under the Taliban

Afghanistan has been suffering under Taliban rule for a year now. In this video, we take you on an eye-opening journey and explore what life is really like in the rural province of Maidan Wardak, as well as in Kabul. We meet Dr. Roshanak who used to be part of parliament and Aisha who dreamed of a career in politics before being held back by the oppressive regime. Then we travel to Istalif where potters are struggling due to economic crisis, and speak with members of the Taliban about their views on why poverty persists in Afghanistan. Finally, we look at how America’s longest war has impacted Afghan citizens since it began after September 11th attacks in 2001 – all from an honest perspective that will have you rethinking your view on what life is truly like under Taliban rule.


10. Afghanistan: The Surge

The war in Afghanistan has been a source of frustration for many people. Want to know why? Watch this movie and follow one Marine platoon as they are sent to the country in 2010, when President Obama introduced his “surge” initiative. This documentary will give you an inside look at what happened during that time period, and how it has shaped the conflict since then.

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David B