20 Nov 2020

Australian special forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan

From First Up, 5:49 am on 20 November 2020

A landmark Australian military inquiry has identified a culture of secrecy and deceit and evidence Australian special forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan over 11 years. The 4 and a half year investigation, conducted by Major General Paul Brereton, found special forces were involved in the murder and torture of 39 Afghan civilians. The inquiry also found evidence soldiers gloated about their actions, kept kill counts and planted phones and weapons on corpses to justify their actions. It has also recommended the investigation of criminal charges against 19 current and former Australian service personnel. Defence Force chief General Angus Campbell yesterday apologised for the actions of the soldiers and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has expressed his sorrow about what took place. Investigative journalist Jon Stephenson is the co-author of Hit and Run, the book which led to the Operation Burnham Inquiry. He spoke with Ellie Jay.