The main preoccupation of the upper ranks of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is virtue-signalling. The chief of the ADF, General Angus Campbell, had wanted to strip the medals from 3,000 soldiers who had served in Afghanistan, ostensibly over the findings of the Brereton Report released in 2020.
The most significant passage in the Brereton Report is on page 120:
After squirters were ‘dealt’ with, Special Forces would then cordon off a whole village, taking men and boys to guesthouses, which are typically on the edge of a village. There they would be tied up and tortured by Special Forces, sometimes for days. When the Special Forces left, the men and boys would be found dead: shot in the head or blindfolded and with throats slit.
General Campbell believed this of the troops under his command. We know this because he didn’t denounce the report for including this passage in it. It also means that he doesn’t have any understanding of Australian troops. A previous head of the ADF, with a prediliction for wearing women’s shoes, once said “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” By that standard, General Campbell’s silence on the Brereton Report’s more idiotic passages means that he is unfit for command.
General Campbell had tried to strip medals from veterans of Afghanistan last year but was stopped by the then Defence Minister, Peter Dutton. Dutton’s failure was not following through to the logical conclusion of sacking General Campbell. Richard Marles has given General Campbell the green light to proceed.
It must be a sign that war is coming, because our ADF doesn’t have much in the way of weaponry. Esprit de corps is about all we are armed with and there is no surer way of crushing that than impressing on our soldiers that there is no honor in their undertaking. Napoleon had said “Give me enough ribbons to place on the tunics of my soldiers and I can conquer the world.” Giving medals to the worthy is the most cost-efficient defence expenditure we can make. …
The system has lost the competence to be self-correcting. Cathartic event coming. Brace yourselves for impact.
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