The decision by the Australian Director of Military Prosecutions, Brigadier Lyn McDade, to bring a range of charges, including manslaughter, against three members of 1 Commando Regiment for their part in a night action in Afghanistan when the Taliban Leader they were hunting down surrounded himself with civilians who died when grenades were thrown into the building they were occupying, has engendered considerable controversy 'across the ditch'.
There will be those who say that we should respect legal process and yes we should but to my mind the greater question is whether the charges should have been bought in the first place by a uniformed civilian with no understanding of the realities of combat. Charlie Lynn, Member of the NSW Legislative Council, speaks for many in his article on the subject here
Look, war is shitty. Night action particularly so and in a war where the other mob don't wear uniforms there will always be an enhanced chance of civilian causalities.
I think the decision to prosecute was wrong. This was no My Lai massacre. Brigadier McDade would learn much from going to Afghanistan and going out on a night patrol that comes under enemy fire. Then perhaps, and only then, can she make the call she did.
Others may disagree. That's your privilege.
January 27 in history
5 hours ago