Soldiers to be charged over raid

AN OFFICER in line for a medal is among a group of Australian soldiers who will face manslaughter and negligence charges over the deaths of five Afghan children in a bungled raid last year.
The soldiers, mostly from the 1st Commando Regiment, are facing an unprecedented court martial over the raid, codenamed Operation Pakula, near the village of Surkh Morghab in February 2009.
Well, thats it then. Soldiers can no longer go into battle for their country without worrying about legal charges. It could force them to be reluctant to return fire when they are in contact. That could add to our casualty count.
The soldiers were targeting an insurgent leader who was not found at an initial compound. A crucial part of the prosecution argument will rest on the decision to move to a second compound, and whether the intelligence was sufficient for it to be approached with the same level of stealth and tactics.
In the field, particularly in Afghanistan with no clear and recognisable enemy, all places needed to be approached with […]stealth and tactics. The interpretation of Intelligence in the field is often at odds with the opinions of staff officers in safe rear echelon compounds – particularly when you are being fired on. It goes like this: I’m being fired on from a second compound…f**k intelligence ….return fire…still being fired on…throw grenade….still being fired on…throw another grenade…thank God! Not being fired on anymore! Yes, it’s terrible that civilians died but the Taliban do that. They fire on Coalition soldiers from within a group of civilians and then use the resultant civilian casualties to wind up left wing armchair warriors. What are the Coalition soldiers to do in these circumstances? Take casualties, maybe die, because there might be civilians in the compound? The report suggests the Commando weren’t fully trained. Well, if true, that’s another problem but that can’t be sheeted home to the soldiers themselves. I have to back the Diggers on this one.


  • “I have to back the Diggers on this one.”

    I couldn’t agree more with that decision!

  • OA, this is 1 over.


    1, we are being fired at, send lawyers, over.

  • Stuff that for a joke, what is the maximum sentence you could face for refusing to go on operations V the max sentence for manslaughter?

    I’d be seriously thinking of refusing to do it if you are going to be legally handcuffed like that.

    Also, will this be taken to its logical conclusion? will we start looking at what used to be termed “collateral casualties” and trying to prosecute those who inflicted them, I imagine we might be able to track down a few Vietnam Vets who seem likely to have accidentally killed a civilian, certainly Korea Vets would be in the running given the enemy tactic of mingling in with refugee columns, and WW 2 should be great for finding similar cases – any Aussie who served in bomber command, anyone who strafed Jap shipping and anyone who was involved in any way in naval bombardments should get a look in, hopefully we can line up a few ex middle east diggers from the same timeframe as well.
    Its a shame we can’t do the WW1 guys, there were some terriffic arty bombardments back then, bound to have killed a civvie or two.
    Oh it must be good to be a lawyer.

    • A shark can smell a drop of blood in salt water from 10 km away. A lawyer can smell a compensation pay out from half way around the world.

    • Who’s smarter……a digger taking fire, making split second decisions that ultimately can mean life or death for himself, those under his protection, or the enemy……OR a lawyer sitting on his arse in a leather bound chair in a plush office with months to make a decision about when to open a file and being paid $5000 a day and never at a greater risk than tripping over his office carpet?????

  • Why are you people talking about lawyers….lets place it straight back on the intelligence groups….nothing to do with diggers working on Govt. instigated reports…..Govt. supply the reports, Grunts act on those reports….Grunts take no responsibility……they are there on the line working from reports from some fool nowhere near the action….take these pricks into the courts…..

    • Roly I guess what we are trying to say is that decisions for the op are made from afar, as we all know as a result of intelligence reports (good or bad as the case may be) but decisions in relation to after battle actions relating to legal ramifications are ultimately made by lawyers both military and civil. Since SVN legal eagles and civil rights leagues have made warfare a major minefield for the parties that play by the rules. The enemy have no rules and are not party to the restrictions placed on our blokes (being the party that plays by the rules). If they kill fifty innocents in a bombing attack it is lauded by their followers, not so if our side kills 2 or 3 whilst defending our position against incoming fire. Those of us who can see this have a certain disdain for the legal system.
      In our system soldiers, police and security personnel are being held to account for their actions by people who have absolutely no understanding of the realities of front line actions. Seems to be the way of the west these days. Rules for one side and none for the baddies.

  • In a nutshell Bob….

  • We can send in lawyers with the troops if no war crimes are committed the lawyers could still be used as human shields. It’s war troops have the right to kill anybody they want to say otherwise is Un-Australian.

  • It’s war troops have the right to kill anybody they want to say otherwise is Un-Australian

    Not sure what you mean there John?

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