Australian Defence Force’s Chief of Joint Operations Provides an Operational Update for 2011 - 8 December, 2011
9 December 2011
Lieutenant General Ash Power, Chief of Joint Operations, gives an operational update before taking questions on various issues with Major General Angus Campbell, Commander Joint Task Force 633.
8 December 2011.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Please let me formally welcome you to the General John Baker Complex, home of Headquarters Joint Operation Command.
From this location I command all of Australia’s operations and exercises of a joint or coalition nature. While we have been up and running for some time, this is the first time that we have invited you en masse to have a look over the facility and the efforts of the dedicated team of about 600 Navy, Army, Air Force and Defence civilians who call it their workplace. For those familiar with US terminology we are the equivalent of a COCOM – Combatant Command – like Pacific Command or Central Command.
Unlike our US allies however, who have broken the world up into discrete areas of operation and assigned a COCOM to lead in that region, we have just one command,
HQJOC, and my area of operation spans Australia and the rest of the globe. This means that on any given day the people in this building are dealing with a myriad of unrelated activities. In the past fortnight we’ve been monitoring and reporting multiple combat events in Afghanistan, a rotation of troops in the Solomon Islands and on a UN Mission in the Middle East, an exercise with People’s Liberation Army in Chengdu, China, planning for next year’s major regional exercise in the Pacific, RIMPAC, closing down one of our bases in Timor Leste, monitoring the arrival and interception of suspected illegal entry vessels to our North, conducting Search and Rescue missions as requested by the Regional Coordination Centre and ensuring the ADF is well prepared and postured to support the upcoming disaster season in Australia and the region.
If you take stock of 2011, HQJOC has planned and executed nine joint or combined exercises that varied in size from the large, biennial Exercise Talisman Sabre through to the small contingent we had in regional China last week. On the operations side, 2011 has seen 24 operations run from this location. Some of those, such as ADF support to the Queensland floods, support to the New Zealand authorities after the Christchurch earthquake or the recent remnants of war disposal task in PNG have been completed while others remain ongoing. Currently JOC has 12 ongoing operations around the globe. This includes the ADF assistance to Customs and Border Protection Command under Operation RESOLUTE.
Out here, I have all of the specialist staff I need to effectively plan and execute missions and operations. As you walked around the building you saw our 24-hour watch, the Joint Control Centre, and the large group of people who are dedicated to planning, conducting and supporting operations. Hidden among that group are a couple of key individuals I’d like to draw your attention to.
HQJOC includes permanently assigned liaison officers from our two major departmental partners for operations – AusAID and the Australian Federal Police. The importance of these individuals within the headquarters cannot be overstated. The ADF rarely conducts operations by itself. We work closely with our whole-of-Government partners and the ability to easily cross pollinate ideas and concepts with our partners is crucial to what we do. Often when events warrant it we will take in additional liaison officers from other agencies or I will send HQJOC personnel to other organisations to achieve the same effect. This liaison function underpins the effectiveness of my Headquarters.
While we plan, execute and support many activities at HQJOC, our focus, as it has been for some time, is Australia’s commitment to Afghanistan. As you all know, 2011 has been a challenging year in Afghanistan for our ADF personnel on the ground, their Afghan partners and the Australian people.
It is a year that will unfortunately be marked by the deaths of four Australian soldiers in the most troubling circumstances. Lance Corporal Andrew Jones, Captain Bryce Duffy, Corporal Ashley Birt and Lance Corporal Luke Gavin. Their deaths, particularly the circumstances of their deaths have affected each and every one of us.
That we recently had three soldiers survive, albeit wounded seriously, a third incident is particularly concerning for me, their commanders on the ground and most importantly, the families and loved ones of those we deploy into Afghanistan.
Unfortunately our casualties in 2011 weren’t just limited to the deaths of those four men. Army Aviator Lieutenant Marcus Case was killed when the Australian CH-47 he was a passenger in crashed in Southern Afghanistan in May. Engineers, Corporal Richard Atkinson, Sapper Jamie Larcombe and Sapper Rowan Robinson; Commandos Sergeant Brett Wood and Sergeant Todd Langley; and Infantryman Private Matthew Lambert all fell while serving alongside their mates on operations during this year.
We have also suffered 50 battle casualties, personnel wounded in action, while serving in Afghanistan during 2011. Let there be no mistake, these deaths and these casualties weigh heavily here and on my commanders in the Middle East.
My intent today is to provide greater context to what we are doing in Afghanistan. I recognise that many of you have in fact experienced it first-hand so I intend to keep things at what we describe as the operational level, and as an operational level commander I am responsible for planning and executing the ADF’s military campaign.
The ADF’s mission in Afghanistan is clear.
• It is to support the development of the 4th Brigade, 205th (Hero) Corps, of the Afghan National Army so that it can take the lead responsibility for security in Uruzgan
• It is to prevent Afghanistan from once again harbouring terrorists.
• It is to work within a 49-nation strong coalition known as the International Security Assistance Force which has been operating under a UN mandate for the last 10 years.
As you know, these simple and clear statements do not mean it is simple and clear for those tasked with achieving them. Afghanistan introduces a level of complexity to military and civil operations that at times is simply mind boggling. Each and everyday our personnel face a range of issues and threats which span from fighting insurgents, difficulties with cultures and attitudes - that change from valley to valley - through to simple problems of dealing with the harsh environment itself. I recognise just how hard it is for the team on the ground to execute those three, quite simple and clear mission objectives.
The key to supporting them is to develop, assess and refine a campaign plan which supports the mission over time. Our campaign plan seeks to effectively transition the lead for security in Uruzgan to the 4th Brigade by 2014. Our Whole-of-Government partners are working to ensure that the governance and economic requirements are also at the point that the transition to Afghan lead can be accomplished.
Our focus on the campaign is why I have a team in Afghanistan at the moment reviewing this plan. It is why I spent the last week in Afghanistan speaking with my own commanders and senior officers in ISAF and Regional Command – South, as well as the ANA. Military campaigning is not a ‘set and forget’ process and as things change so must we, always with a view to our end state, in this case transitioning security lead in Uruzgan. From my discussions last week and my observations throughout this year, I remain very confident that this is achievable.
The 4th Brigade, 205th (Hero) Corps, of the Afghan National Army, is now at its full organisational complement of six Kandaks or Battalions, and it has an ever improving Brigade Headquarters element.
The 4th Brigade has four infantry Kandaks, a combat support Kandak and a Combat Services Support Kandak. In many respects it is similar to the light infantry brigade we have in Townsville.
Through the course of this year many of you have been exposed to the activities of our ANA partners whilst embedded with our mentors in Uruzgan. For most of the year you have been exposed to the newer elements of the Brigade, those Kandaks where our mentoring effort is most heavily focused. While I recognise our need to ensure your protection whilst under our care the downside of placing you with the units where the ADF’s mentoring effort is strongest is that you are seeing those ANA personnel and units at the lower end of their development cycle.
In our campaign analysis, we believe that one of the Infantry Kandaks will soon be categorised as ‘independent’, that is capable of conducting assigned missions without ISAF assistance. The other three are at varying levels but we are progressing them. The Combat Support Kandak, the organisation which provides offensive fire support and specialist troops to the Brigade continues to improve but given the complexity of its tasks it will continue to be a focus of our efforts for some time. Likewise the Combat Service Support Kandak which provides administrative and logistic support to the Brigade has been closely mentored throughout the year and we will continue to focus closely on it in the months ahead.
So that means no two organisations within the 4th Brigade look the same or are at the same level of capability. Of course this makes it difficult to judge how the 4th Brigade itself is progressing. Now there is a quote from General Patton which I like and it characterises this problem – “Success demands a high level of logistical and organisational competence.” – and he’s right. With this in mind the 4th Brigade’s effectiveness can only be measured by the effectiveness of its Headquarters and the Combat Support and Combat Service Support Kandaks. We and ISAF currently assess the 4th Brigade as ‘effective with advisors.’
We have focussed efforts on the Headquarters of the 4th Brigade this year and there have been some very positive results. We have seen a range of independently planned and executed activities by the Brigade staff … an encouraging sign for the future. Importantly it has been the Brigade’s integration with other elements of the security and government infrastructure within Uruzgan that have been the most clear sign of progress. The Provincial Operational Coordination Centre coordinates activities that occur in the province. It allows Governor Shirzad, Brigadier General Zafar and the Provincial Chief of Police, Brigadier General Kahn, to effectively plan and coordinate the security effort. In its own Afghan way this capability has proven to be vital in the province and has been a success since it was implemented last year. In fact it has been so successful that often it reacts to incidents in the province, whether it be an attack, a disturbance or a health issue completely independently, and our mentors find themselves scrambling to catch up and find out what’s going on. The Afghan’s are keen to take charge and they are regularly showing that they can.
I’ll leave the details to Commander Joint Task Force 633, General Campbell, if you have questions but in simple terms, our operations in the 2011 fighting season, essentially the beginning of March through to the end of October were significantly enabled by a winter campaign that sought to disrupt the insurgents’ traditional rest and resupply period. Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) troops with their partners from the Afghan National Police traversed Uruzgan and the immediately surrounding areas targeting those locations that intelligence indicated insurgent commanders were congregating in, or caches were being established. Similarly dedicated joint patrols by the Mentoring Task Force and their Afghan partners uncovered a large number of caches and prevented insurgent consolidation.
When spring hit the province we simply stepped up the intensity resulting in a very successful fighting season within Uruzgan. The Tangi Valley which links Tarin Kot to Deh Rawud to the West was cleared in a major operation. The Tangi had become a secure rest area for insurgents moving from large scale operations in Kandahar and elsewhere in Helmand. Clearing the valley, establishing new Afghan security outposts and opening up trade and travel between Deh Rawud and Tarin Kot was a key success of Mentoring Task Force – 2. Mentoring Task Force – 3 focused their efforts to the East at the Charmestan 3-ways which links the Mirabad Valley to the North and South. Again this area was known as an insurgent transit area. It is now dominated by an Afghan security outpost and the change in atmospherics has been extremely positive. We and our Afghan partners have pushed further East and North this year to expand the security presence.
Finally, the arrival of the 6th Kandak allowed Commander 4th Brigade to establish a permanent presence on the key supply line between Kandahar and Tarin Kot. Patrol Base Sorkh Bed has been sited to allow dedicated security over the area we know as Route Bear. It has a strong military purpose, but like everything in Uruzgan, the benefits to commerce and the community by improving security between Kandahar and Tarin Kot were immediately obvious.
Importantly all of the security operations within Uruzgan, or on its approaches, have been coordinated to either take advantage of or support the major undertakings by ISAF and Afghan troops to our south and west. This coordination is a key focus of the Combined Team – Uruzgan Headquarters and is greatly enabled by the many embedded staff the ADF has at Headquarters ISAF, ISAF Joint Command and Regional Command – South.
Of course, we have also changed our disposition throughout the year to better support the increased capability of the ANA Kandaks. We had traditionally dispersed our mentoring force across Uruzgan. Now we maintain a permanent presence within a major patrol or forward operating base in the three major valleys that radiate from Tarin Kot and at Sorkh Bed to the south. We use mobile mentoring teams to regularly visit, assist and assess the ANSF positions within Uruzgan.
This year’s mentoring operations have been intimately supported by wider ranging SOTG activities which have kept the insurgent leadership off-balance and, in some cases, completely ineffective. We know, for example, that the individual charged with commanding the insurgency in Uruzgan, the Shadow Governor, was relieved of his position recently because of dissatisfaction with his performance. That individual, who had not returned to the Province from a safe haven in Pakistan for many months, was simply unable to coordinate insurgent actions across the province, nor was he able to lead his fighters. His reluctance, and that of his fighters, was a direct result of effective, partnered, disruption operations last winter and this fighting season.
This season, partnered Australian and Afghan patrols have:
• Found and secured 161 insurgent weapons and equipment caches.
• Found and destroyed 8 significant drug labs and caches.
• Were involved in 159 contacts with insurgents.
• Suffered 33 Improvised Explosive Device strikes, and
• Found and destroyed 102 emplaced Improvised Explosive Devices.
It’s at this point I’d like to focus on our adversary and provide an assessment of his campaign. On 1st May this year the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban Shadow Government for Afghanistan, issued a proclamation announcing the commencement of Operation BADAR. The operation was the insurgency’s spring offensive. In Uruzgan, Operation BADAR has failed. It has not arrested the expansion of the Afghan security presence; it has not resulted in the withdrawal of ISAF elements from the province and it has not stopped Uruzgan’s provincial leaders from actively working to improve the province.
The Taliban leadership went to great pains to describe efforts to meticulously plan operations in order to reduce civilian casualties, yet even their most comprehensively planned activity in Uruzgan, the coordinated attacks of 28 July, resulted in deaths of at least 18 civilians, including 12 children, and injuries to a further 35 innocent people. In the attacks, unfortunately as well, two Afghan Police Officers were killed and a further six wounded however, none of the targets of the attacks, the Provincial Governor, Chief of Police or other officials were harmed and every insurgent involved in the attack was killed.
It is our assessment that these spectacular attacks, primarily designed to influence the perceptions of the Governments and populations of ISAF-contributing nations, the media and the troops of ISAF will continue. Much is made of this style of attack and for those unfortunate enough to be caught up in them the effects are all too real. The key issue however is that in a campaign sense they are not enduring.
Yet the insurgent propaganda campaign, often linked to those spectacular attacks, is on the increase. You can expect over-inflated claims, false allegations and distortion of known facts, specifically focused on ISAF-contributing nations. An example of this is the casualty claims regularly released to support insurgent operations – and I had my PA staff check. For the month of October the insurgent leadership claimed to have killed more than 1090 ISAF troops and a further 1589 of our Afghan National
Security Force partners. These figures are simply untrue.
So as the snow begins to fall in Afghanistan what’s next? Firstly let me reassure you the pressure we maintained during the last winter will be sustained this year. It is obvious that the impact we had in winter directly affected the fighting season as it dawned upon us.
Secondly we will continue to adjust our force to ensure it is focused on the mission we have. Our approach to transitioning security responsibility to Afghan Forces is conditions-based with our military assessment being that this will occur no later than 2014 – the date agreed by Heads of Government at the 2010 Lisbon Summit and of course President Karzai.
The actual composition and disposition of the Australian force will continue to change to meet the evolving security environment in Uruzgan. It has done so continuously since the ADF commenced operations in Uruzgan in 2005.
Our plan is to ensure the 4th Brigade is capable of planning, undertaking and supporting independent operations within the next couple of years. It is highly likely that there will be challenges and there will be setbacks – progress will not be even nor will it be linear. Our flexible approach will allow us to deal with these challenges. If the ADF is to successfully achieve its mission in Afghanistan we must continue to focus on the long-term goal – transition of security to the Afghan National Security Forces.
Major General Campbell and I would welcome any questions you may have in relation to Afghanistan and if you have any questions regarding JOC or the other operations we are running such as in the Solomon Islands or East Timor I’d be happy to take those as well.
I’ll open up the floor to questions and you’ll all get a go.
QUESTION: How concerned are you about the recent attacks, the recent suicide bombings on tribes [indistinct] have some seem to be specific religious targets. Is that of particular concern [indistinct]?
ASH POWER: It's not new if you go through Afghanistan's history, but in recent times it's something which is a little out of the ordinary. So the first thing I'd like to do is offer my condolences to those who are caught up in that sort of attack. But not unexpectedly the Taliban claim no responsibility and [indistinct] reported that the threat may have come from elsewhere. These are a concern because, you know, what we are trying to do is assist the government of Afghanistan to provide protection to its population. These sorts of things undermine those efforts. So we'll continue to work through those.
I've asked some questions in relation to the - [indistinct] nature of that. I'm not going to jump to any conclusion at the moment. It is something which we need to [indistinct].
QUESTION: Do you think the Taliban was actually to blame?
ASH POWER:I honestly don't know Brendan. They claim - you'd expect them not to claim responsibility for this. They act with [indistinct]. That people have the intention to go and deliberately kill innocent civilians is something that shows [indistinct] and they would get very bad press if they did claim it. And, quite understandably, they haven't don that.
QUESTION: Would you expect - sorry, can you give us any specifics at all on how your day-to-day tactics have been changed by the attacks that have come from the soldiers? I understand there may be operational security issues but what can you tell us specifically about how that's been responded…
ASH POWER: Because of the three incidents in particular we look to see if there are linkages across all three. None are evident. We are still investigating to find out the root causes of why those actions took place.
We have reviewed our force protection measures. We have taken additional steps to make sure that our people are appropriately protected as they get around their day-to-day business.
You will ask me, no doubt, whether this breaks the bond of trust between the ANA and our people. It certainly challenges it. The guys in the field are working very hard to re-establish that trust. Quite understandably they're set… and there's been… they're upset. And there's been a bit of a setback because of these types of activities. We will investigate it, try and determine what the root causes were. We're still working very hard to track down the perpetrator of the last incident. We're not sure where he is at the moment.
But these are things which do set us back a bit. Certainly when I was in the field just last week, none of the soldiers at [indistinct] raised this as a real concern to them that's going to take their focus off the mission. They know their job as soldiers is to get on and do the job they've been given. Despite the setbacks and the concerns that they would understandably have, they're getting on to do the job and I'm particularly proud of them.
Angus, if I could just ask you to chip in if you wanted to add anything.
ANGUS CAMPBELL: You covered [indistinct].
ASH POWER: Great back up mate, well done.
QUESTION: Following that, on the specific of it, are there new things in place so that when there is, for example, parades and so on, have there been adjustments made so that there's extra over-watch? Are there situations where there is always a gun at the ready in case anything happens now where that might perhaps not have previously been the case?
ASH POWER: We have certainly reviewed the way we used to do business and we have adopted new practices to make sure that our people are better protected.
So quite understandably I'm not going to be able to go into the specifics of that but I am very comfortable that the robust nature of our analysis and the increased force protection and posture [indistinct] taken in the field currently have us as well protected as we possibly could be, and still enable us to get on and do the mentoring that we're required to do.
QUESTION: General, are they wearing their armour inside the bases now?
ASH POWER: Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't.
QUESTION: What determines when they do and when they don't?
ASH POWER: The commander on the ground will make that determination.
QUESTION: The commander on the ground?
ASH POWER: Yep. Now, I trust my tactical and subordinate commanders. Some of you asked in the [indistinct] can I watch battles as they unfold. Thankfully I can't. There is separation between this headquarters and what happens in Russell; done deliberately. And I've deliberately separated what happens in this headquarters and General Campbell's headquarters, and it's the same down at the tactical level. We've got to give them breathing space to get on and perform the mission. They know the left and right [indistinct], to work to the parameters within that which they work and I trust them to do that job.
QUESTION: General, is there any - do you have any information that you're able to share with us about the most recent [indistinct]. You say you haven't been able to find him. Any suggestions he is in Pakistan and perhaps might have made any contact with elements of the Taliban?
ASH POWER: I've read reports that have indicated that he is trying to get to Pakistan. I've read reports that he may have been able to link up with insurgents of some sort. I've also seen other reports which indicate he may be somewhere else. So - but where he is specifically at the moment I just can't tell you.
QUESTION: But do you have any information aside from reports you've seen which - sorry, you mean media reports?
ASH POWER: Media reports and intelligence reports.
QUESTION: Right. So you've seen the intelligence reports that suggest he might be attempting to get to Pakistan or link up with insurgents?
ASH POWER: Yes, I've seen those reports and I've seen other intelligence reports since then which indicate he's still in Afghanistan. So it's - trying to track down where we are with the truth and best ascertain how we can still conduct operations because it's still a high priority for us to grab hold of that individual so we can ask him some questions; you know, what was in his mind when he decided to shoot those who were sent to his country to assist him and his country to fight their way through this war.
QUESTION: So you wouldn't be able to say anything more at the moment than has been said about what connection he may or may not have had with insurgents or specifically the Taliban?
ASH POWER: The indications we've had from all three of these really unsavoury incidents is that they were not planted there by insurgents. We're still going through the deeper analysis of all those sorts of things. It is a concern and we're not going to stop working until we've got to the bottom of it as best we can. There are reports, as I've just said to you, that the last bloke who is on the run has been trying to link up with insurgents so he can be secreted to a safe area. We don't conduct operations in Pakistan so [indistinct] be a safe area. But where he is specifically at the moment, can't tell you. What is undiminished is our determination to grab hold of him.
QUESTION: Because there's been some - a bit of research recently, more and more research, showing that in fact a lot of these attacks, particularly the ones on US soldiers, are actually more often more commonly due to combat fatigue than say the role insurgents. Do you think that's a likely scenario across the three attacks?
ASH POWER: I'm not going to speculate on the specifics of why the individuals have perpetrated these attacks and did them in those particular instances. I can tell you we've done a bit of a literature review of Coalition partners' experiences in this sort of thing, and we're looking at a whole range of explanations as to why someone could do this. And I can't rule anything in or out at this stage.
QUESTION: Is one of the possible objectives from your campaign review, planned review an earlier exit from Afghanistan than the end of 2014? And have you had any discussions with or from the government around accelerating the process for withdrawal from Afghanistan?
ASH POWER: The review which is taking place in here at the moment specifically looks at the way we do our mentoring. Our mentoring model has been stood up as the exemplar by COMISAF as the model it wants to try and emulate throughout the rest of Afghanistan because in many respects we're ahead of the game; we're doing it very, very well.
As a result of these green on blue incidents, we're just wanting to make sure that the model we've got is robust enough if it's going to be replicated throughout the rest of the country.
Initial analysis and my assessment is our model is excellent, absolutely right. There's enough force protection built into it to provide the force protection required by those who are doing the advising and mentoring functions.
Transition is a process, you know that. It's already started across Afghanistan. Tranche One was announced back in the early part of this year; kicked off in July. Tranche Two has just been announced by President Karzai to kick off earlier next year.
So there are provinces and districts inside Afghanistan where transition is already occurring. What we are doing now is setting up the 4th Brigade to be prepared to start its transition process whenever ISAF and the Government of Afghanistan make the determination that it's ready - that Uruzgan is ready to go.
My assessment, once again, that sometime early next year Uruzgan may well be announced as being very, very close, if not ready, for transition; maybe Tranche Three, maybe Tranche Four. Tranche Three I'm hoping for.
That will then take six to 18 months for transition. And, as I said before, the kandaks inside the 4th Brigade are at an uneven level because we've been doing some work with some of them for much longer than others.
We are not looking to - no-one has put any pressure on me, and I've not asked anybody to try and accelerate the process. It's conditions based. So when the conditions are right we'll start going through the process.
Withdrawal is not something we're doing. As part of transition we're going to change the shape of our force so, over time, our mentoring efforts will be reduced because the 4th Brigade will be at a stage where it can look after itself independently. We will leave mentors at some of the more senior headquarters to access enablers, to make sure that we support them beyond our mentoring effort at the kandak level.
And then we're looking at options now that I'm putting together for the CDF to take to government as to where we may reinvest some of that dividend that we get out of the mentoring effort. Do we look at putting more people embedded in headquarters throughout the country.
Now, the headquarters in Afghanistan will change as well. Because we've got an ISAF operational level at headquarters at the moment running the war - IJC - when we transition everything it will be the Afghans running the war. Therefore the ISAF contribution will need to change. We'll need to have our people positioned to slot into that. No-one knows what those headquarters structures are going to be like. So we're looking at all those sorts of options.
We're also looking at a raft of options for the Special Ops guys. They may have a role beyond 2014; I don't know. That's a decision the government is going to have to make. All I've got to do is provide CDF with various options that he can take forward to government.
So we're not withdrawing; we're transitioning and reinvesting some of the effort.
And the other thing we're about to do is put a small team in to look at what are the implications of drawing down over time. There are a lot of vehicles and other equipment in theatre that all of us have there. We've been putting stuff in there for 10 years. You know, as the ISAF footprint gets smaller all that stuff has to come out. How do we fit ourselves into that overall.
QUESTION: You'd acknowledge, wouldn't you General, that if there's capacity to be reinvested, that the Australian people through the Australian government might like to see that reinvested back in Australia?
ASH POWER: Absolutely.
QUESTION: And therefore gradual withdrawal beginning, and say from within six months from the beginning of next year.
ASH POWER: Well, it will be transition. And the shape and the numbers of what we're looking forward beyond 2014 may be very, very different to what we've got in theatre now. Now, I don't know. I'm going to come up with the options.
We're working in a bit of a planning vacuum at the moment because one of the key meetings that will take place that will provide greater clarity for all of us is going to be Chicago in about May of next year. That will give us a clear indication where the US is, and then as a result where the rest of us will need to be as President Obama makes various decisions.
But we are transitioning, we're not withdrawing. We're reinvesting where possible. And, certainly, I'd like to see as many Australian soldiers come back out of Afghanistan as possible. But we do have a long-term commitment there. That's been made clear to us by the Prime Minister.
QUESTION: General, there's been some reporting that the last Afghan soldier who fired on Australian troops had committed some crimes previously in some village before h