A LANDMARK inquiry exposing the alleged murders of 39 Afghan prisoners and civilians by Australian special forces has been slammed by a Wagga veteran as "inexcusable".
Defence Force chief Angus Campbell yesterday released a redacted version of the Inspector-General's inquiry into the alleged misconduct by Australian Special Forces of operations in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016.
The report found "credible information" that special forces troops were allegedly involved in the murder of 39 civilians, of which some were prisoners who were executed to "blood" junior soldiers. It also accused them of deliberately covering up killings.
A Wagga veteran, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he has high respect for the special forces, but he did not condone the actions of those involved in the alleged killings.
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"As much as I don't want to throw my brothers under the bus, I fully support the inquiry into these allegations of murder," he said.
"If they are ... not a threat and neutralised that is where it ends - capture or kill. You don't capture and kill them at the same time.
"It is not excusable."
He understands there will be an initial reaction on the world stage that labelled "Australians as murderers", but he praised the government and ADF for holding themselves to account by making this public.
"They are not just sweeping this under the carpet," he said.
"I think it is brilliant they are taking it serious and holding themselves accountable on the international stage rather than waiting for someone from another nation saying 'you guys did this'. We came forward first."
Speaking to reporters at a press conference yesterday morning, General Campbell said he could never have had conceived that "an Australian would be doing this in the modern era". He said the distorted culture outlined in the report sought to "infuse military excellence with ego, elitism and entitlement".
"Such alleged behaviour profoundly disrespected the trust placed in us by the Afghan people who asked us to their country to help them," he said.
"It would have devastated the lives of Afghan families and community causing immeasurable pain and suffering and would have put in jeopardy our mission and the safety of our Afghan and Coalition partners."