The defence force chief has said mandatory body cameras for Australian troops is among one of the recommendations being considered following the Thursday release of a long-awaited report into alleged war crimes committed by the Australian Defence Force in Afghanistan.
General Angus Campbell told ABC's Insiders on Sunday morning making body cameras mandatory for serving troops was one of the Brereton report's recommendations being worked through in light of war crime allegations and subsequent cover ups.
The Brereton report, a partially redacted 465-page report into war crime allegations and rumours against Australian special forces in Afghanistan between 2006 and 2013, was released on Thursday morning. It revealed there was credible evidence ADF personnel were involved in the unlawful murder of 39 people, mostly prisoners, farmers and civilians, and at least two instances of torture. It's since been described as an "aberration" and a "stain" on the nation's history.
Among the report's recommendations is the mandatory wearing of helmet or body cameras by personnel during engagements. General Campbell said he supports the move and believed it would be good for objectivity.
"I think it is a very good idea. It creates a degree of objectivity and a capacity for learning, development and record keeping," General Campbell said.
"That's a separate pathway to other review mechanisms which need to be strengthened and he recommends that as well.
"That material would become a digital archive, permanently and securely held so that if claims were to arise, they would be, they would contribute to understanding what may have happened."
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Insiders host David Speers asked General Campbell if he believed ADF legal officers helped to cover up the alleged war crimes by dismissing complaints and embellishing reports. General Campbell said he agreed the reporting process' independence was eroded over time due to the culture.
"I read it as a slow erosion and then ultimately a suborning of what are meant to be independent review processes so that instead of a mechanism to ensure that patrol reporting was correctly reviewed," General Campbell said.
"We see in Justice Brereton's report that over time this governance work was no longer rigorous, no longer independent."
General Campbell said the ADF had to own the harrowing details of the report in order to fix the issues that allowed them to happen in the first place.
"I want the ADF to acknowledge that this is something we've got to own because if we don't own it, we won't fix it and if we don't fix it, this horror may appear again and I just cannot accept that," General Campbell said.