Investigating senior officers, and where appropriate, taking action against them, is an important part of restoring the reputation of the Australian military abroad.
Now is the time to reflect carefully on what we ask of, and how we best support, those soldiers who serve in our name.
There is ‘credible information’ Australian soldiers were involved in war crimes. But investigating and prosecuting these will be incredibly difficult.
This might appear a radical suggestion, but military units have been moved, shuffled, re-branded, disbanded and reactivated frequently throughout Australia’s history.
When an atrocity is committed in war — and the army fails to respond — it is due to a moral failure of command. It’s time for the army to show the same courage as those veterans who have spoken out.
On Tuesday, the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force tabled a report, detailing an inquiry into 55 separate incidents, dealing predominantly with the killing of “non-combatants”
Sending specially trained operatives into hostile territories dates back to Colonial days. In the past decade, special operations forces have become central to America’s counterterrorism efforts.
Trained and funded by Australia and the US, Detachment 88 is winning the fight against terrorism in Indonesia, though not without some controversy and continued challenges.
We need to acknowledge that ‘band of brothers’ military culture has a dark underbelly – and that individual acts of atrocity might be a reflection of broader, systemic issues.
Unlike most domestic criminal law, the laws governing the behaviour of Australian armed forces apply to criminal conduct alleged to have taken place overseas.
Initially heralded as the beginning of the end for IS, the effort to take back Iraq’s second city is flailing.
British armed forces have to adapt to a changing threat. Small, highly-trained units will be a key part of that.