War Crimes: Where does ultimate responsibility lie?

Only a Royal Commission will determine the answer
by Allan Behm

War crimes are perhaps the worst manifestation of a ‘victory at all costs’ culture that can so easily persuade individuals, whether political leaders or combatants, to abandon their moral compass and to cross the boundary between legality (however moot that might be) and criminality.

This paper argues that the Afghanistan Inquiry Report may be premature and/or unsafe in its conclusions and judgements regarding matters that were beyond the scope of its terms of reference, and, in consequence, calls for a Royal Commission into war crimes in Afghanistan, their antecedents and their implications for the moral character of the ADF.

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