Australia defence chief pledges changes after damning Afghanistan report

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Through: Reuters | Melbourne |

Nov. 22, 2020, 11:32 a.m.


Australian Defense Force Chief General Angus Campbell presents the findings of the Inspector General of the Australian Defense Forces’ Afghanistan investigation in Canberra on Thursday, November 19, 2020. (Mick Tsikas / Pool Photo via AP)

Australia’s top military official said on Sunday that the country’s defense force must “ possess ” a recent report on soldiers who committed crimes in Afghanistan and promised changes to ensure the atrocities do not happen again.

The report, released Thursday after an investigation into the conduct of special forces personnel in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016, found high-ranking commandos forcing young soldiers to kill defenseless captives in order to “blood” them in battle. .

Defense Chief Angus Campbell said on Sunday he would be held accountable to ensure the report is dealt with thoroughly, as well as for his duties and performance as commander in the Middle Orient in 2011.

“I want the ADF (Australia Defense Force) to recognize that this is something we have to own because if we don’t own it we won’t fix it and if we don’t fix it that horror can still appear. once and I just can’t accept that, ”Campbell told ABC television.

The report, which recommended sacking 19 current and former soldiers for possible prosecution, has caused shame and anger in Australia, a country which generally honors its military history with fervor.

“I see levels of responsibility here,” Campbell said. “I am determined to see deep, comprehensive and lasting change where it is needed.”

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