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‘None of this can be excused’: Report helps settle debate within veteran community

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The Brereton report’s finding that Australian soldiers carried out alleged killings outside the heat of battle has helped settle a debate among current and former servicemen and women.

Australia Defence Association Executive Director Neil James told Scott Emerson the report provides a clearer, fuller picture than what has been previously reported in the media.

“None of this can be excused as being battlefield action.

“These were all cold-blooded, intentional, premeditated, deliberate killings of people who has already been captured and were unarmed.

“A lot of the scuttlebutt that’s been going around some of the veterans community … has – wrongly – thought these were combat actions.”

In addition to being morally repugnant, Mr James said the alleged crimes committed were “completely counterproductive to our efforts in Afghanistan”.

“Every time … Afghans protested about some of the incidences … the Australians tended to write it off as just Taliban propaganda.

“The fact that we weren’t prepared to listen is part of the problem.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Image: Getty

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