The United States has warned it may suspend cooperation with Australian special forces following a report on alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, prompting adjustments in employment arrangements and raising concerns about US involvement.
During a Senate hearing, it was revealed that the United States warned it may suspend cooperation with Australian special forces due to a report on alleged war crimes in Afghanistan. The Australian Defense Force chief, Gen Angus Campbell, confirmed that employment arrangements for an army member had been adjusted in response to the US’s concerns. The US embassy had sent a letter to Campbell stating that the findings of the Brereton report, which implicated 25 special forces personnel in unlawful killings, could trigger the application of the Leahy law. The Leahy law prohibits US assistance to foreign security forces implicated in human rights violations. The adjusted employment arrangements were meant to address the concerns and ensure the resumption of US-Australian special forces engagement. Senator Jacqui Lambie criticized the US’s involvement, claiming they were dictating what would happen to Australian personnel. Campbell assured that there was no inappropriate conduct and that the change in employment was made with care.