Australian defence chief warns of further criminal charges over war crimes in Afghanistan

Australia’s Defence Force chief, General Angus Campbell, has warned that there may be further criminal charges over allegations of war crimes committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.

According to the Guardian, speaking at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Campbell said the Office of the Special Investigator (OSI) was continuing to investigate allegations of war crimes made against Australian soldiers.

He also acknowledged that the military had failed institutionally, stating that “if we have failed as an organisation, then we need to face that”.

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Campbell’s comments come after a former SAS trooper was arrested and charged with the war crime of murder last month, over the alleged shooting of an unarmed Afghan civilian.

The inquiry had previously found credible information to implicate 25 current or former Australian Defence Force personnel in the alleged unlawful killing of 39 people in Afghanistan.

Campbell warned of some “very, very uncomfortable days coming forward” and stressed the importance of upholding the correct values and behaviours of the Australian military to restore its reputation.