The Explosive True Story of an Afghan Desert Siege
The shocking account of the reality of modern warfare, and the meaning of military sacrifice as seen from the ground in Helmand, Afghanistan
In December 2007, Stephen Grey, a Sunday Times reporter, was under fire in Afghanistan, ambushed by the Taliban. He was inside the biggest UK-led operation, which included Prince Harry, fought on Afghan soil since 9/11: the liberation of a Taliban stronghold called Musa Qala. Taking shelter behind an American armoured Humvee, Grey turned his head and witnessed scenes of carnage. Two cars were riddled with gunfire. Their occupants, including several children, had died. Taliban positions were pounded by bullets and bombs dropped on their compounds. A day later, as the operation continued, a mine exploded just yards from Grey, killing a British soldier.Who, he wondered in the days that followed, was responsible for the bloodshed? And what purpose did it serve? A compelling story of one military venture that lasted several days, Operation Snakebite draws on Grey's exclusive interviews with everyone from private soldiers to NATO commanders. The result is a thrilling and at times horrifying story of a war which has gone largely unnoticed back home.
Stephen Grey is a 39-year-old journalist based in London, writing mainly about national security issues. He is best known for breaking the international exclusive story of the CIA's secret rendition programme.A former editor on the Sunday Times's investigations unit, the Insight team, he continues to contribute to that newspaper, as well as to the New York Times, Guardian, Times, Independent, New Statesman and Newsweek. He has reported for Channel 4's Dispatches, BBC Newsnight, BBC Radio Four and the World Service. His book on the CIA rendition programme, Ghost Plane, was published in 2006.