Author Topic: The Abuse Scandal Rocking Australia’s Special Operations Forces  (Read 1724 times)

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Offline daftandbarmy

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The Abuse Scandal Rocking Australia’s Special Operations Forces

Brereton’s findings are due to be released before the end of the year. In the meantime, however, and following a number of multiyear investigations by some of Australia’s finest reporters, details of some of the alleged incidents are beginning to see sunlight. Central to the most recent media reporting is one raid that took place on Sept. 11, 2012 in the village of Darwan, a remote farming community in northern Uruzgan province. During a manhunt for an Afghan soldier who was believed to have killed Australian troops, Australian forces arrived in UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and shot at least three (and possibly more) Afghan civilians at close range, one of them after being kicked off a paanch, a high agricultural embankment.

Retired Cpl. Ben Roberts-Smith, who is a Victoria Cross recipient and the most decorated soldier in the Commonwealth, is also apparently suspected of battlefield misconduct. Roberts-Smith, who in 2012 was awarded a commendation for distinguished service for his part in developing and applying “lateral tactical concepts” as a patrol commander during combat operations in the Char Chineh district (where the village of Darwan is located), has been at the center of Afghanistan-related controversy for some time now, with many allegations revolving around his suspected involvement in the abuse and execution of detainees.

Although none of these allegations against him have yet seen the inside of a courtroom, it would be easy to surmise that momentum is building for something big. Sweeping organizational changes within the Australian Army, perhaps. A high-profile courtroom drama, maybe.
“To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.”
— Jerry Pournelle —