AUSTRALIAN WAR CRIMES IN AFGHANISTAN: RACE, GENDER AND RESPONSIBILITY

Wadham, B. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Description

In November 2020, an inquiry into suspected war crimes committed by the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) was released in a report referred to as ‘the Brereton Report.’ The report documents a series of war crimes committed by ADF Special Forces, including the intentional killing and abuse of civilians and one incident it describes as ‘the most disgraceful episode in Australia’s military history.’ The report also makes clear that none of these incidents can be dismissed as disputable decisions made in the ‘heat of battle.’ General Angus Campbell has apologised for these crimes, offered to compensate the victims and promised to address what he described as a ‘self-centred warrior culture.’ However, the report raises more questions than it resolves and needs to be put in international and historical context. This panel tackles some of these questions, including: why does the public revere Special Forces units despite evidence of a uniquely dysfunctional and hyper-masculine culture?; what conditions make possible such widespread dehumanisation of Afghan civilians?; and, who should be held responsible when crimes like this are committed and how?
Period16 Dec 2020
Event titleAUSTRALIAN WAR CRIMES IN AFGHANISTAN: RACE, GENDER AND
RESPONSIBILITY: null
Event typeSeminar

Keywords

  • war crimes
  • defence
  • soldier
  • violence
  • afghanistan