Voices of War Podcast - The Situation in Afghanistan

By Vedran Maslic September 17, 2021

What do a soldier, an aid worker and a refugee have in common? They all share the experience of war. And while one is an active participant, one seeks to heal its wounds and one deals with its impact, their personal, raw and often times visceral stories are rarely heard. Rather, war is too often depicted as clean, precise, and distant. It occurs ‘over there’ and happens to ‘them’.

‘The Voices of War’, a podcast created and hosted by Vedran ‘Maz’ Maslic,  aims to challenge this view and has a simple vision—to bring to life the true costs of war, through the voices of those who have lived it.

Maz's first experience of war was during the siege of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where, as a ten-year-old, the world he knew came apart. Not long into the war, he became a refugee in Germany where his life was precarious at best and outright dangerous at worst. Nearly four years later, his family was lucky to migrate to Australia, where he later joined the Army. Having served in Afghanistan and Timor Leste, he again saw the impact of war, except this time as a uniformed participant. Since then, he has established a not-for-profit in Bosnia, studied in Sweden, worked as a consultant in Iraq, lectured on intercultural and interpersonal communication, and now, back in the Australian Army, manages doctrine and instructs on interpersonal communication and human terrain analysis. Over the years, he has realised that most of our social narratives of war were simple, sanitised and rarely account for its true horrors and abject inhumanity.

It is this gap in our social discourse of war that this podcast seeks to fill. He speaks with development workers, soldiers, refugees, negotiators, academics, medical practitioners, and anyone else whose life has been shaped by war, be they a survivor, perpetrator, mediator, or healer of it. The aim is to dissect war into its most-basic definitive parts to demystify and, perhaps more-importantly, de-glorify it. He wants to make lucid the magnitude and scale of human suffering caused by war within those professionally engaged with it—be they an advocate or prosecutor of it—as well as within those who merely observe and judge it from afar through mainstream and social media. By doing this he hopes to dislodge, ever so slightly, our collective tendency to view war as the solution to our many local, regional and global challenges.

'The Situation in Afghanistan' Themed Episodes

To get a broad and useful insight into the unfolding situation in Afghanistan, we recommend the following four episodes recorded with Western experts on Afghanistan and the region as well as with a prominent Afghan security analyst and journalist. We have split the episodes into two themes—causes and consequences—and suggest listening in the following order:


1. Dr Mike Martin - Update on unfolding situation in Afghanistan 

2. Hizbullah Khan - Situation in Afghanistan as seen by a local analyst and journalist



3. Hizbullah Khan - On the current situation and the future of Afghanistan

4. Dr Mike Martin & Dr Christopher Ankersen - Afghanistan Update and Future

The Cove will continue to share more of Maz's podcasts with you via our website and also on our Apple and Spotify Cove Podcast playlists. You can also stream Maz's other podcasts via his website (unable to listen via the DPN, but you can access useful information). 



Vedran Maslic

Vedran ‘Maz’ Maslic is an Officer who recently returned to the ADF after an extended break from the uniform. During his time away, he travelled extensively, completed further post-graduate studies and gained experience in multiple professional domains including entrepreneurship, international development and academia. Now, back in uniform, he is looking forward to becoming actively engaged in the continued development of a more intellectually potent ADF.


What an insightful piece of work. As I listened to the first podcast, it was hard not to envision Dr Mike Martin in his description of the lead up to the fall of Afghanistan as Rowan Atkinson in Blackadder might describe the First World War. I guess the only question is ‘why was he (Dr Mike) was not on our payroll?” Great work Vedran.

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