Britain Covered Up Afghanistan War Crimes

One of Britain’s top army generals was warned in writing in 2011 that UK special forces were executing prisoners in Afghanistan. That’s according to a report released Thursday by the BBC.

There may have been 54 such executions, according to the BBC

British forces killed captured and unarmed Afghan men as part of a practice of “blooding,” enabling new recruits to get their first “kill.” In this, British special forces behaved in much the same way as Australian special forces under Ben Roberts-Smith. 

The findings stem from a judge-led inquiry in the UK regarding alleged war crimes. A number of senior officers’ emails were released.

The officer told about the killings, Gwyn Jenkins, was a special forces colonel in the British army. In a story reminiscent of the “sin-cake eater,” Jenkins received a string of promotions in the six months after burying the documents in a classified archive.

He is now a four-star general and the second most senior officer in the UK’s armed forces.

As The Australia Institute said in calling for a Royal Commission into Australian war crimes in Afghanistan, “The claim that no one in the higher chain of command knew what was going on…defies common sense.”

Australian whistleblower David McBride stands trial

Meanwhile, the army legal officer who blew the whistle on the Australia army’s war crimes in Afghanistan faced trial in Canberra this week. McBride pled guilty to leaking classified information and is the first person charged over the Afghanistan war crimes fall-out.

In the UK and Australian armies, legal officers are meant to ensure units operate according to international law, and report any suspicious incidents to military police. But these officers generally report on events based solely on what they are told by the soldiers on patrol. 

McBride went above and beyond to break the story. “It’s extremely likely that I will be facing prison and not just short term but for quite a long time,” McBride told media.

Feature image courtesy of @dxstub via Unsplash.

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