The Australian special forces are set to wear body cameras during combat, a recommendation from the Brereton Report, which examined alleged war crimes by Australian troops in Afghanistan. However, this decision has sparked controversy among some soldiers and veterans, who argue the cameras may affect battlefield decision-making and could erode trust within the ranks.
- The Brereton Report, investigating alleged war crimes by Australian troops in Afghanistan, recommended the use of body cameras by special forces. The cameras are hoped to provide an objective record of actions on the battlefield.
- The Chief of the Australian Defense Force, General Angus Campbell, supports the implementation of body cameras, seeing it as a tool for learning, development, and record-keeping.
- However, some soldiers and veterans, including Liberal MP and former soldier Andrew Hastie, voiced concerns that the cameras would inhibit soldiers’ ability to make quick decisions in the heat of battle and could undermine trust within the ranks.
- Critics argue that the solution to issues identified in the Brereton Report, including a “breakdown in moral and ethical standards,” lies in rebuilding trust and reinforcing command and accountability, not in technology.
- The Brereton report found credible evidence that 25 current or former Australian SAS soldiers unlawfully killed 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners between 2005 and 2016.