‘Brutal truth’ is not Brereton Report, but ‘600 veteran suicides’: Jones

Sky News host Alan Jones says the “brutal truth” is not the Brereton report but the “600 veterans who have committed suicide” since Australian forces were first deployed to Afghanistan.

Mr Jones says Prime Minister Scott Morrison “must tell the whole truth” about the Brereton report, which highlights “Australian special forces were required to conduct all offensive operations”, fighting the Taliban and the insurgents, despite the fact that some of these missions could have been easily accomplished by our conventional forces, by any of our many thousands of infantry troops.

“But the government and the likes of (General Angus) Campbell and Co, ordered the special forces, due to their elite training and experience, and would therefore likely sustain fewer casualties,” he said.

Mr Jones said the report mentions that multiple and continuous rotations of Australia’s best forces may have had a contributing effect to the alleged behaviour of the exhausted soldiers, yet there is no responsibility for those who were commanding Australian forces in Afghanistan.

“Perhaps as they passed through their air-conditioned headquarters in Dubai, these ‘leaders’ might have reviewed those being asked to serve in a war,” Mr Jones said.

Mr Jones questioned what General Campbell and others in command where doing in the Middle East if not “reviewing the forces being sent into war and what role they were playing” to see whether they were best prepared and supported mentally.

“Prime Minister, it might be time to speak up. Where do you stand?” he said.

“Because you spoke to the world about ‘brutal truths.’ I will give you a brutal truth; over 600 veterans have now committed suicide since we first deployed our forces to Afghanistan in 2001.

“And you wonder how a few of the more than 3000 Special Forces personnel we sent may have committed some of the alleged actions that now need to be proven.

“I repeat Prime Minister, the brutal truth is not in the Brereton report; it is the 600 veterans who have committed suicide since we first deployed our forces to Afghanistan.

“And you have done nothing.”

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