ADF issues 13 termination notices following damning Afghanistan war crimes report

The Defence Force has begun the disciplinary process of SAS members, with 13 individuals issued termination notices.

It follows a lengthy investigation by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force, who looked into 57 allegations of wrongdoing by Australian Special Forces between 2006 and 2013, but almost all of the incidents uncovered occurred between 2009 and 2013.

The report revealed there was “credible information” to substantiate 23 incidents of unlawful killing of 39 people by 25 current or former ADF personnel, predominantly from the Special Air Service Regiment.


Most of those were Afghan prisoners, farmers and other civilians who did not pose an immediate threat.

Around 26,000 Australians served as part of Operation Slipper, which was Australia’s longest operation.

Lieutenant-General Rick Burr says that the 13 individuals have been issued with proposals for terminations, with a strict process to now follow.

“At this point in time, no individuals have been separated from the Australian Defence Force.

“Administrative action includes receiving a notice proposing to terminate the individual’s service. The individual then has the opportunity to respond within a minimum of 14 days.

The decision-maker must consider any written response that the individuals provide before making a decision.

“Each matter and individual circumstance will be considered on a case-by-case basis. It is essential that privacy be respected and that procedural fairness is followed, and that no further comment be made until the process is complete,” the Lieutenant-General said.

Related article: Damning report accuses Australian soldiers of “unlawfully killing” 39 Afghan people