How the ‘good war’ went bad: elite soldiers from Australia, UK and US face a reckoning
As coalition troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan after 20 years, former soldiers, key officers and the public are asking what went wrong with some special forces
The only two references to Canada in this article that I could find were detainees and Capt Semrau. No new news here.Bumped with this article.
It's probably also the first (?) time that CANSOF were facing allegations as well.
As coalition troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan after 20 years, former soldiers, key officers and the public are asking what went wrong with some special forceswww.theguardian.com
The Chief of the Defence Force has paused any internal disciplinary measures for senior army officers who failed to prevent alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, as the ADF waits for an official external investigation to be completed — something that could take years.
General Angus Campbell's move last year followed an edict from Defence Minister Peter Dutton that the ADF wait for lengthy criminal investigations to conclude before commanders faced any internal military consequences for wrongdoing that occurred under their command.
According to Freedom of Information documents obtained by the Australian newspaper, a further 21 personnel who served in Afghanistan have been told they should "learn from their experiences".
The decision comes despite 17 lower-ranked soldiers being issued termination notices for "alleged failure to meet ADF expectations and values" following the landmark 2020 Brereton report.
According to three Defence sources with knowledge of the situation, Langford had for some months felt that his position had become untenable.
Langford was under review for a potential “administrative censure” over an alleged lack of oversight as the special forces commander, but sources confirmed that this was never finalised and did not lead to him being sacked. However, Langford has told close confidants that he was then left with the impression that he had to go.
The fallout has escalated tensions inside the Australian Defence Force, with some soldiers believing Langford was mistreated while the top brass has avoided any scrutiny.
‘A massive loss’: Senior officer who led special forces in Afghanistan felt his position was untenableThe senior officer was “voluntarily” discharged in recent weeks after falling out with the Chief of the Defence Force.www.theage.com.au
This was a civil trial, so it doesn’t establish criminal culpability, but- it’s still a court looking at and weighing claims and facts, and it went decidedly not in his favour. It certainly suggests the possibility that he may face charges.Bumped with a few more follow-up developments ...
"Ben Roberts-Smith has failed to prove he was defamed in articles alleging he committed war crimes, with a distinctive tattoo on his ribs central to his case ..."
King George V thoughts applies.I find it appalling that regardless of the members conduct, that anyone suggest that a medal for bravery be stripped.
The fact that he may or may not have murdered Afghans, is a separate issue from his actions that resulted in the VC.
Convict or not, him based on the merits of the case, but that doesn’t change his actions in the face of the enemy.
More on the medal stuff from an AUS academic ...I find it appalling that regardless of the members conduct, that anyone suggest that a medal for bravery be stripped ...
... In the aftermath of the Brereton Report, Chief of the Defence Force General Angus Campbell announced the Special Operations Task Group would be stripped of a Meritorious Unit Citation for conduct in Afghanistan. The announcement caused a media and political uproar, and then Prime Minister Scott Morrison reversed the decision.
It has since emerged that at least three senior officers, including Campbell, have attempted to return their own medals, awarded for distinguished command and leadership in action. In all three cases, the Coalition government denied this request.
Campbell has reportedly asked a group of former commanding officers to return their medals. In Senate Estimates, he stated such a move would represent a step towards accountability for the command failures in the Afghanistan operation.
The Labor government has appeared more willing for medals and awards to be handed back or stripped than its Coalition predecessor was.
The problems that Campbell has encountered in attempting to revoke honours, and in trying to hand his own back, highlight the fact that commendations have both military and political significance – which makes any decision to revoke honours particularly difficult ...