New Defense Minister overturns decision to strip medals from Afghan veterans

Newly appointed Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton has overturned the decision to strip 3,000 soldiers from citations after working in Afghanistan.

Last year, Secretary of Defense Angus Campbell revoked citations of credited units of the Special Operations Task Group as “collective punishment” after a report was released revealing evidence of Australian war crimes. Recommended.

But Dutton said only those convicted of war crimes would lose medals.

“You shouldn’t punish 99 percent for 1 percent,” Dutton told 2GB radio.

“This tells people very clearly that before Anzac Day, we want to reset, serve our country, and provide support to those who have died in that service,” he said. Said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) and Interior Minister Peter Dutton
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) and Interior Minister Peter Dutton are watching during a questioning time in the House of Representatives of the Houses of Parliament in Canberra, Australia, on March 15, 2021. (Sam Mooy / Getty Images)

The minister said that about 40,000 Australians served in Afghanistan, many of whom lost “companies and family.” He said Anzac Day should be used to properly commemorate their contributions.

Australia and New Zealand celebrate Anzac Day on April 25th to commemorate military personnel engaged in war and conflict.

The announcement by Dutton came after a November Breton survey found evidence that up to 25 Australian soldiers were involved in the killing of at least 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners while on duty in Afghanistan. .. Inquiry recommended filing a formal complaint against 19 defense personnel.

“We have now set up a special agent’s office, and those individuals are investigated by that office, and they can see their individual problems,” Dutton said. It was.

General Campbell’s recommendation to remove the quote was repelled by the public and Prime Minister Scott Morrison in just a few hours. After release..

Dutton, on the other hand, was also critical of restrictions on Anzac Day events.

“I don’t know why you can get 30,000 people in a soccer match, but you can’t get the same number in Anzac Day service,” he said. However, he begged the Australians to comply with the registration process.

“I want to see good numbers, and I want to see people register.”

The Anzac Day event was canceled last year with the launch of COVID-19, but this year the march was subject to strict contract tracking and registration rules.

In Melbourne, only 900 veterans are enrolled out of a capacity of 5,500. At the same time, only 600 individuals and 120 associations have registered for the 10,000-seat event in Sydney.

Vietnam War veterans John Howard said some veterans may have withheld registration to protest the regulation, and RSL Victoria CEO Jamie Twidale said the issue is more subtle. Suggested.

“It’s a bit of a combination,” he said. Told 3AW Radio..

“There may be a small element of a little protest that says,’If you need to register for contact tracing, don’t register at all,'” he said.

“Some groups think,’Leave my place to someone else and go somewhere to commemorate’ in a limited place.”