Graeme Smith (journalist)

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Graeme Smith
Born (1979-06-03) June 3, 1979 (age 39)
OccupationAuthor, Researcher
Notable worksThe Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War In Afghanistan

Talking To The Taliban

Afghanistan's Insurgency After The Transition

Graeme Smith (born June 3, 1979) is a Canadian author and researcher. He worked as a political affairs officer for the United Nations in Afghanistan from 2015 to 2018.[1] He was previously a senior analyst for the International Crisis Group.[2] He has served as a foreign correspondent for The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper.


Smith was hired by The Globe and Mail as a staff reporter in 2001.[3] The newspaper appointed him as bureau chief in Winnipeg (2003), Moscow (2005), Kandahar (2006), Delhi (2010), and Istanbul (2011).[4] He also served as an adjunct scholar for the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.[5]

Smith investigated detainees captured by Canadian troops and transferred into Afghan custody in 2007, revealing widespread torture in local jails.[6] This became known as the Canadian Afghan detainee issue.[7] Two weeks later, Ottawa signed a new bilateral agreement with Kabul to protect prisoners.[8] Smith and his colleague Paul Koring won the Michener Award for public service, granted once a year by the Governor General of Canada.[9]

His 2008 multimedia series "Talking to the Taliban"[10] gave viewers the opportunity to watch 42 Taliban insurgents discuss why they fight, and made public the raw video along with articles and short documentaries. The project won several prizes - including an Emmy Award.[11]

During his coverage of the 2011 civil war in Libya, Smith found documents that showed the Chinese government offered large arsenals of weapons to Muammar Gaddafi, in violation of UN sanctions.[12][13] China apologized.[14]

Other documents Smith discovered in Libya contributed to the scandal over engineering giant SNC-Lavalin's role in the country,[15] and the coverage won three magazine awards.[16] A Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation resulted in corruption and fraud charges against the company, and a senior executive was convicted, marking an important test of Canada's Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.[17][18]

His bestselling book, The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War In Afghanistan, published in 2013 by Knopf/Random House Canada, described the war in southern Afghanistan from 2005 to 2011. The book was nominated for four literary awards and won the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction, Canada's richest prize for non-fiction.[19] An updated U.S. edition was published in 2014,[20] along with a French translation in 2015.[21]

In 2012, he joined the International Crisis Group as head of the organization's office in Afghanistan.[22] He writes research papers about politics[23][24] and security,[25][26] and contributes op-ed articles to publications such as The New York Times,[27] Reuters,[28] and other media outlets.[29]

Selected awards[edit]

Selected bibliography[edit]


  1. ^ "New York Times wedding notice". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Staff". International Crisis Group. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  3. ^ Hansen, Leah. "In Conversation With Graeme Smith". The Eyeopener. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  4. ^ Halfnight, Drew. "Q&A with Graeme Smith of The Globe and Mail". Newspapers Canada. Archived from the original on April 17, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  5. ^ "CCS Staff". US Naval Postgraduate School. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  6. ^ Smith, Graeme. "From Canadian Custody Into Cruel Hands". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  7. ^ Sabry, Omar. "Torture of Afghan Detainees: Canada's Alleged Complicity and the Need for a Public Inquiry" (PDF). Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  8. ^ Koring, Paul. "Canada signs new Afghan detainee agreement". The Globe and Mail.
  9. ^ "The Story behind the Story". The Michener Awards Foundation. Archived from the original on 9 April 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Talking To The Taliban". The Globe and Mail.
  11. ^ Mercurio, Antoinette. "Emmy adds to honours for School of Journalism alumnus Graeme Smith". Ryerson University. Archived from the original on April 14, 2015.
  12. ^ "Documents reveal China may have armed Gadhafi forces". Public Radio International. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  13. ^ Barnard, Anne. "China Sought to Sell Arms to Qaddafi, Documents Suggest". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Anderlini, Jamil. "China confirms Libya arms sale talks". Financial Times. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  15. ^ "SNC-Lavalin's Gadhafi disaster: The inside story". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  16. ^ "National Magazine Awards Foundation announces the Winners of the 36th National Magazine Awards". Canada Newswire.
  17. ^ Marotte, Bertrand. "RCMP charges SNC-Lavalin with bribery, fraud". The Globe and Mail.
  18. ^ Osborne, Michael. "SNC-Lavalin Charged With Foreign Corruption Offences". The Litigator. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  19. ^ "Graeme Smith's Afghan war memoir wins $60K non-fiction prize". CBC. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  20. ^ Perry, Tony. "'The Dogs Are Eating Them Now', an unflinching account of Afghanistan". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  21. ^ "Et les chiens bouffent les cadavres. Notre guerre en Afghanistan". Presses de l'Université Laval. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  22. ^ "Staff". International Crisis Group.
  23. ^ "Afghanistan's Political Transition". International Crisis Group. Archived from the original on April 6, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  24. ^ "Afghanistan's Parties in Transition". International Crisis Group. Archived from the original on April 6, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  25. ^ "Afghanistan's Insurgency After The Transition". International Crisis Group. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  26. ^ "The Future of the Afghan Local Police". International Crisis Group. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  27. ^ Smith, Graeme. "Grabbing the Wolf's Tail". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  28. ^ Smith, Graeme. "U.S.-funded Afghan police prey on those they're paid to protect". Reuters. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  29. ^ Smith, Graeme. "Taliban factionalism rises after Mullah Omar's death". Lowy Interpreter. Retrieved 13 August 2015.

External links[edit]