Opinion – ADF Must Back Those Who Serve

Ross Eastgate, Defence columnist for the Townsville Bulletin opines on this subject 13 July 2017

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“As the ABC for whatever reason selectively leaks socalled ‘secret’ reports of investigations into alleged ADF special forces activities in Afghanistan, the ADF leadership is conspicuous by its silence.

Reports the ADF Inspector General (IGADF) and the ADF Investigative Service (ADFIS) are investigating fatal incidents involving civilians in Afghanistan have ignited conflicting reactions.

According to some reports there were concerns within the ADF special forces community some individuals had caused unnecessary deaths of noncombatant Afghanis, including children.

Others are apparently concerned at what they regard as unnecessary scrutiny of events which are an unfortunate and not always avoidable consequence of combat.

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Continuing media speculation about whether ADF personnel acted appropriately or not in Afghanistan is unhelpful on many levels.

It provides daily fodder for discussion in mosques and schools in Australia and Afghanistan, giving succour to those we are fighting.

If ever there was a time for the risk averse, PR driven defence hierarchy to give clear support to those it expects to take the risks, it is now.

If the outcome of current investigations improves the way Australian forces operate the exercise will be worthwhile.

Any punitive outcome would be a betrayal of those who serve



  1. Gregory Campbell says

    As a Vietnam Vet, I find it disappointing that any such investigation is even being considered. For heavens sake, they are in a war zone and the first rule of this type of warfare is ‘Shoot first, shoot straight and shoot fast.”
    When the Taliban and ISIS have young kids fighting for them, they are at risk of being eliminated by our troops….give our blokes a break, and support them.(Better than was done for we Vietnam Vets.)

  2. Butch Mathew says

    people get killed in war, outside agencies, unless involved , should shut their traps. & should be treated as though, they’re traitors , after they make Un -Australian remarks / reports

    The ABC are almost a SOCIALIST channel as is CNN,so they will beat it all up. OUR BRAVE SOLDIERS FIGHT FOR US…..and the ARSEHOLES pick holes in what they do!!! TYPICAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HOW STRONG WILL THE ARMY CHIEFS BE………civvy careers coming up ……?????????????????

  4. Pat McGowan says

    If members of the ADF have concerns about the action of fellow members – report them internally! Do not whisper amongst yourselves, do not accept the unacceptable but do not allow non combatants to determine the rights or wrongs of actions taken under combat conditions. The ADF surely must be competent to judge its own…..if the ADF processes were open and seen to be effective (though details should be held in camera) the media would find other bins to rubbish through!

  5. Michael Connolly says

    As a former SF member I abhor this type of witch hunt. Take a look at the last debacle re: the Commando being charged with murder the manslaughter, brought about by that absolute disgrace of a female Brigadier Army lawyer. This allegations (Chinese whispers) has the hallmark of a grievance by another member of SF, who has more than likely some grudge against person/s in his unit so what better way than to allege he has done something wrong. If you have an honest belief that something is wrong you do it whilst serving not when you are out, shows the morals of some one who lacks moral fibre.

  6. Jim Sturla says

    Typical, these people sit in an air conditioned office, they wear nice clean, they have all the nice amenities like proper food, water etc. they go home to a nice clean home and a comfortable bed, the only danger they face is driving their car, they have the audacity to tell an infantryman how he should conduct himself. I remember John Wayne saying in one of his films “If you don’t walk the walk don’t talk the talk”.

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