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Deep article on problems regarding Australian SAS


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This is a long and penetrating piece not just about recent problems, but of how the SAS and commandos are used and super heavily at that. The article shows that current SAS purported war crimes don't exist in isolation, but in fact are but the latest in a long line of war crimes and claims of same going clear back to the Boer War. It lays the ducked responsibility for their continuation chiefly on Australian high command and the pols. The deployment stats are shocking. Some Australian SAS troopers have had eight (8) tours in the same province, and there is apparently intense competition between the SAS and Commandos to receive missions, and things seem to have gotten out of control. Things are so bad the Australian SAS may not survive at all. Got quite the education from the article, but what caught my eye to begin with was the spectacular picture of an SAS motorized patrol in the Afghan desert. Blink twice, and you'd swear it's WW II, but the vehicles aren't the same, and the armament is considerably nastier.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/aug/16/australias-special-forces-problem-why-the-sas-is-facing-a-crisis

Regards,

John Kettler

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I think the British SAS went through a reorganisation relatively recently as well, they got rid of the volunteer regiment if I remember correctly, known as "The Artist's Rifles" which had been around for a long time that civilians could apply to join.  I think it was absorbed into something else and the SAS just recruit from the serving military (mostly the Parachute Regiment and Royal Marines I would guess).  A shame in a sense as it was a characteristic thing where you would have a certain type of person applying directly and going through selection.  I'm not sure of the root cause, I seem to remember something about a lack of standards in some sense.

I hope the Australian military are able to learn from and correct whatever has been going on.  This sort of thing, apart from the moral aspect, is destructive in its own right as you loose the chain of responsibility and build parallel structures when you cover for others doing things against the law or regulations, and things can get out of control.

I sometimes meditate on whether I would be strong enough to be the one to make a stand against what can become a sort of hidden code of silence and acceptance in a situation like that, especially dealing with the occasional nutter who can end up in units that operate on the edge like these ones.

Edited by fireship4
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The pen pushers and other do gooders have their field day. They have their opinion, but don't know the land, the people, or the troops. Already found guilty without their day in court. With international law special forces are a spent force. Locate an SAS patrol(The hard part). Surrender with a platoon and the mission of the patrol is stuffed. According international law the patrol must now feed and defend the enemy troops.Prisoners of war and detainees protected under international humanitarian law - ICRC The fourth 1949 Geneva Convention and Additional Protocol I also provide extensive protection for civilian internees during international armed conflicts. If justified by imperative reasons of security, a party to the conflict may subject civilians to assigned residence or to internment. Therefore, internment is a security measure, and cannot be used as a form of punishment. This means that each interned person must be released as soon as the reasons which necessitated his/her internment no longer exist. 

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9 hours ago, fireship4 said:

I think the British SAS went through a reorganisation relatively recently as well, they got rid of the volunteer regiment if I remember correctly, known as "The Artist's Rifles" which had been around for a long time that civilians could apply to join.  I think it was absorbed into something else and the SAS just recruit from the serving military (mostly the Parachute Regiment and Royal Marines I would guess).  A shame in a sense as it was a characteristic thing where you would have a certain type of person applying directly and going through selection.  I'm not sure of the root cause, I seem to remember something about a lack of standards in some sense.

Marginally incorrect ...

21 & 23 SAS (Reserve) | The British Army (mod.uk)

 

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Quote

21 & 23 SAS processes applications from male and female applicants, with no previous military service. Applicants must be no older than 42 years 6 months when applying to join the Army Reserves (AR). They will then be sponsored out to their recommended local AR unit to complete basic training and gain experience before being allowed to attempt SAS Reserves Selection.  Ex Regular and AR applicants must be no older than 43 years 364 days on weekend 1, of the Selection Induction Weekend (SIW) of SAS(R) Selection.

Technically correct, the best kind of correct. 

It seems 21 & 23 left UKSF in 2014 and became part of the newly formed 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade, but were re-integrated in 2019.  All of this is according to Wikipedia (apart from the quote I used from the MOD website you linked above), citing Jane's International Defence Review and an Army briefing note, (both not readable on the net at first glance), and an article in the Telegraph (behind a paywall).

Edited by fireship4
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9 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

The pen pushers and other do gooders have their field day. They have their opinion, but don't know the land, the people, or the troops. Already found guilty without their day in court.

To quote the actual report

Quote

the Inquiry has found that there is credible informationof23 incidents in which oneor more non-combatants or personshors-de-combatwere unlawfully killed by or at the direction ofmembers oftheSpecial Operations Task Groupin circumstances which,if accepted by a jury,would be the war crime of murder

Quote

None of these are incidents of disputable decisions made under pressure in the heat of battle.The cases in which it has been found that there is credible information of a war crime are ones inwhich it was or should have been plain that the person killed was a non-combatant, or hors-de-combat.

Quote

the Inquiryhas found that there is credible information that junior soldiers were required by their patrolcommanders to shoot a prisoner, in order to achieve the soldier’s first kill, in a practice that wasknown as ‘blooding’. This would happen after the target compound had been secured, and localnationals had been secured as ‘persons under control’.

 

Im sorry but thats not pencil pushers having a field day on some gray area difficult situation.

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They have already been found guilty by the media without their day in court. First no war has been declared like Vietnam, still the government deploys our troops. How can a 4- or 6-men patrol take prisoners without jeopardizing their mission? My opinion don't send them out in the first place. The country is Islamic Australia was deployed because they harbored Bin Laden which the Afghanis were obliged to do according Shariah. Bin Laden was eventually taken care of in Pakistan, mission accomplished! We don't have any more business there. Yes, the present regime will lose against the Taliban you can't win a war there if you follow the Geneva conventions. Yes, the taking of POW's was something they did sometimes in WW 2, now you better have a suicide pill. Our troops have rights and that means to be duly represented in court. Now they want to take away decorations from people who had nothing to do with it and disband the unit altogether. According the Geneva convention you must wear a recognized uniform and don't dress like a peasant if you get caught you may get? You guess it shot. These are just the questions I like to ask, and I could be wrong. 

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1 hour ago, holoween said:

You are.

This is a hobby site not a political discussion forum; my final statement people are presumed innocent till found guilty in a court of law. The army spokesman on the media should follow Senator Lambie's advice, she is an ex-service person too. 

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On 12/27/2020 at 2:14 PM, chuckdyke said:

This is a hobby site not a political discussion forum; my final statement people are presumed innocent till found guilty in a court of law. The army spokesman on the media should follow Senator Lambie's advice, she is an ex-service person too. 

Just to be clear - it has been fellow SAS soldiers who have spoken up about the behaviour of their colleagues.

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On 12/26/2020 at 11:17 PM, chuckdyke said:

They have already been found guilty by the media without their day in court. First no war has been declared like Vietnam, still the government deploys our troops. How can a 4- or 6-men patrol take prisoners without jeopardizing their mission? My opinion don't send them out in the first place. The country is Islamic Australia was deployed because they harbored Bin Laden which the Afghanis were obliged to do according Shariah. Bin Laden was eventually taken care of in Pakistan, mission accomplished! We don't have any more business there. Yes, the present regime will lose against the Taliban you can't win a war there if you follow the Geneva conventions. Yes, the taking of POW's was something they did sometimes in WW 2, now you better have a suicide pill. Our troops have rights and that means to be duly represented in court. Now they want to take away decorations from people who had nothing to do with it and disband the unit altogether. According the Geneva convention you must wear a recognized uniform and don't dress like a peasant if you get caught you may get? You guess it shot. These are just the questions I like to ask, and I could be wrong. 

You don't beat an insurgency by warcriming your way through the local populace.

These aren't noble heroes, they're people who reckoned the rules didn't apply to them, adrenaline junkies pretending to be hard men making hard decisions.

And the sad thing is that there are many people who don't want the dirt that their so called special forces committed brought to public attention.

As usual the root of the problems with many special forces units who went off the reservation appears to be profound failures in leadership.

Edited by Grey_Fox
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4 hours ago, Grey_Fox said:

You don't beat an insurgency by warcriming your way through the local populace.

These aren't noble heroes, they're people who reckoned the rules didn't apply to them, adrenaline junkies pretending to be hard men making hard decisions.

And the sad thing is that there are many people who don't want the dirt that their so called special forces committed brought to public attention.

As usual the root of the problems with many special forces units who went off the reservation appears to be profound failures in leadership.

 
 
 
 

Sorry I have got you down as a ........... War has not been declared, they have not been charged yet. People like you believe anything they read in the media. I already pointed out this is a site for wargaming hobbyist. They may have a case to answer for and it is not up to you or me or the media to find them guilty. What is also a war crime is to fight not in a uniform, using children to do your dirty work. The Taliban don't go by the Geneva convention their rules of war is penned down in the Al Quran and the way they interpret it. Get an English copy and read it. My opinion about Afghanistan the moment Bin Laden was taken care it was mission accomplished and get out of the place. 

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3 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

War has not been declared

Doesn't that make these incidents even worse in that case? People are not allowed to commit murder just because "oh, it's not a REAL war". Laws still apply.

3 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

People like you believe anything they read in the media.

And it looks like you are using any warped form of logic to excuse murders just because the people who committed them wear a uniform.

Edited by Grey_Fox
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9 minutes ago, Grey_Fox said:

Doesn't that make these incidents even worse in that case? People are not allowed to commit murder just because "oh, it's not a REAL war". Laws still apply.

And it looks like you are using any warped form of logic to excuse murders just because the people who committed them wear a uniform.

When were they found guilty of murder?  I like to report you to the curators of this website. This is a website for hobbyist. We shoot pixels, is that also against the 19th century Geneva convention? The government never declared war in Afghanistan, the Australian army doesn't fight the Afghan army. There has been an enquiry and we just wait how it all works out. But you in your almighty wisdom found these guys guilty. Get of your high horse. 

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When there's video footage of an unarmed civilian lying on his back being shot multiple times in cold blood, I have difficulty not calling that what it is.

When members of the unit give eyewitness accounts to the inquiry of prisoners being executed as part of initiation rituals, I have trouble not calling that what it is.

Edited by Grey_Fox
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1 hour ago, Grey_Fox said:

When there's video footage of an unarmed civilian lying on his back being shot multiple times in cold blood, I have difficulty not calling that what it is.

When members of the unit give eyewitness accounts to the inquiry of prisoners being executed as part of initiation rituals, I have trouble not calling that what it is.

How do you know it was a civilian? There is objective thinking and subjective thinking. Like Word War two members of the resistance wore civilian clothing and their executions were not regarded as a warcrime in Nuremberg. It will be an interesting court case, till then they are presumed innocent till found guilty. In modern war a cell phone is what we call a mobile phone is a dangerous weapon indeed. They are triggers for IED's it was the weapon of the Arab spring. What did the videographer do? Just filming and not trying to stop it? Why are we still in Afghanistan? Is the question. I am puzzled the Taliban were allies of the US till they had to give shelter to Bin Laden. That's all it takes in that culture 'Peace be with you' and you are entitled to be a guest for 3 months. Not surprised he eventually made his way to Pakistan. Oh yes there are calls of all members to hand over their medals whether they were involved or not. It seems unfair to me but I could be wrong.  

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So in your hypothetical scenario it's acceptable to kill even unarmed surrendering enemies?

Nice how you ignore the eyewitness accounts given by fellow members of these units of executions carried out as part of initiation rituals.

It does seem like the "videographer" (in reality a helmet cam) did nothing because the unit has normalized the execution of civilians.

 

Edited by Grey_Fox
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