I’m a great fan of PBS’ Frontline documentary show, and their show on Afghanistan, Obama’s War,absolutely captures the potential and the pitfalls of the current moment and America’s choice of how to proceed in Afghanistan.

Besides the interviews with key players like General McChrystall, the best parts of the show come from journalist Martin Smith’s time spent with a US Marine company in Helmand province. Watching the great patience of these soldiers as they leave their spartan base daily for long and dangerous patrols, as they reach out to local Afghans and try to persuade them that they can be safe and secure from the Taliban, makes you appreciate the difficult task that we in the West have given to our soldiers there.

During one of these conversations, the question of one Afghan villager, “If you guys can’t win this war, how can we help you?” sums up the problem – when can we provide enough security for the locals to feel secure, and when will the locals trust that we have the will to stay long enough to do this job?

For students of military chaplaincy, the last few minutes of the show features a chaplain leading worship at a Marine FOB in Helmand province. MP+

Watch the full documentary online here.