Australian Special Forces in Afghanistan and war crimes allegations
By Tom Frame
Published by UNSW Press
RRP $49.99 in paperback
This book, to use Tom Frame’s own words, examines the context, explores the operations, and traces the events that led to Australian soldiers being accused of war crimes in Afghanistan against the backdrop of the rapidly changing strategic situation that confronted the Australians in responding to ‘Afghanistan’s intricate human terrain’.
He explores the background to the allegations – the gradual demise of the Afghan state and society, the decision to deploy Special Forces personnel to Central Asia after 2001, the inquiries into apparent mistakes and alleged misconduct, and the shocking hearsay and rumours that led to a formal inquiry, culminating with the release of the Brereton report – the findings of a long-running inquiry into war crimes allegations involving members of the Australian Special Forces during their deployment to Afghanistan – on 19 November 2020.
Concluding the day before the Brereton report’s public release, this book sheds light on why the inquiry was necessary, how its investigations were conducted, where the media influenced its direction, and what the public expect to be told about its military elite.
And where and how the failures of leadership and discipline occurred. And the importance of restoring a nation’s belief in a revered institution.