If you're looking for a way to learn something new about international politics over your coffee break, take a look at the Stories About NATO channel on Film Annex. Stories About NATO is a global interactive platform to inform viewers on current NATO actions in Libya, Kosovo, and particularly Afghanistan. Each video runs about a minute in length, so you can watch many of the videos, if not all of them, before you have to get back to work.
Though the videos are short, don't underestimate their impact. I would suggest beginning with "The NATO: Parts 1 and 2," which depict an American military installation engaged in combat with enemy forces. In the interviews conducted after the incident, the demeanor of the soldiers is not what I expected. They speak about the incident as a matter of fact, but there is also a hint of consideration, if not respect, for the way their enemy fought. As one solider says, "those guys put their life on the line just like our guys did." It's an unexpected sentiment to hear from a man who "those guys" attempted to kill. This is just one of many surprises to discover in these videos, which range in focus from interviews with Afghan Special Forces to coverage of a Taliban ambush near Kandalay. Even if you watch just one, it will show you something you've probably never seen before.
Watch The NATO: Part 1
Stories About NATO also provides contact points on their channel, where viewers can ask questions and offer suggestions. When you visit their site, you should also note that the footage in the videos is provided courtesy of natochannel.tv under Fair Use, with the stipulation that is be used to portray a balanced view of events. In keeping with this spirit, Stories About NATO does not support or deride NATO's actions in place like Afghanistan; it aims to offer information and provide a platform for people to discuss the facts and explore ways to make a difference. So watch a few of the videos, and if you find yourself with questions, or if you just feel like talking about what you've seen, simply click a button and join the conversation.
Go ahead, get in involved. It's what they're there for.
To view the films suggested in this article, visit my WebTV Channel or go to www.storiesaboutnato.com.