Monday , November 29 2021

The army chief told workers to learn from the war crimes investigation in Afghanistan and “never let it happen again.”


The army chief asked the Australian Defense Forces (ADF) staff to help each other and “never let it happen again” before launching the results of the interrogation into possible war crimes in Afghanistan.

In a message to ADF staff, Lt. Gen. Rick Burr wrote that the allegations in the report were “very serious and very worrying.”

“They don’t reflect who we want to be,” he said.

The results of the investigation prepared by the ADF Auditor General will be released to the public tomorrow (Thursday).

Although the report is expected to identify serious incidents, it is expected to address the failures in the order chain.

Former SAS operators told ABC Investigations that senior officials knew or turned a blind eye to the misconduct and alleged criminal acts committed by Afghan special forces in Afghanistan.

The direction of the joint response of the commanders was included in the army chief’s message, emphasizing the “seriousness of the report”.

Lieutenant General Burr told commanders that they had to suspend all training for the unit on Thursday so that staff could see the live stream of the General Defense Force regarding the findings of the consultation.

Commanders were ordered to ensure that all staff watched the video or read the transcript at the end of the day and to encourage open internal discussion.

However, the Army chief also gave instructions that General Angus Campbell, the head of the ADF, would be “the only spokesman for the defense” in all matters of investigation.

“The report is serious, it’s very worrying, and it’s not what our Army wants to be, but unfortunately I can’t discuss it,” which, if approached by the media, is intended for use by all other ADF personnel.

Campbell sat down to talk to Defense Minister Linda Reynolds.
General Angus Campbell will be the sole spokesperson for the Defense’s response to the IGADF interrogation.(Equipped: Australian Defense Force)

In his message, Lieutenant General Burr called for help from the affected personnel and asked them to go through “difficult times” with each other.

“We all need to understand what happened and what that means for our Army,” he wrote.

“Our people will have the opportunity to ask questions about the Inquiry Report, to understand, to learn from it and to come out stronger together so that it doesn’t happen again.”

Lieutenant General Burr said he was ready to act on the interrogation report.

“I still don’t know the nature and scale of these actions. They can be significant,” he wrote.

The specific cases revealed by the investigation will be investigated by a new Office of the Special Investigator, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced last week.

However, it is understood that publicly published findings will not name individuals.

Lieutenant General Burr said the ADF will develop a comprehensive package of Military Vocational Training to help staff learn from the survey, “and together we will prevent serious misconduct from happening again.”

The lieutenant general concluded the directive: “Together, we will create a stronger, more capable and effective army for the nation.”

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