Robbo in Trouble

Yo, troops! Today we need to talk about former Australian SAS soldier Ben Roberts-Smith, or as the Aussies call him, “Robbo.” He’s been on the front page of every paper lately, and not for anything good. Robbo was Australia’s most decorated living soldier, a true-blue war hero. But now, the insider talk is that this bloke might have committed some heinous acts in Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, he lost his defamation case against some major newspapers. The judge, Anthony Besanko, found substantial truth to allegations that Robbo murdered unarmed Afghan civilians in Darwan in 2012. And it gets worse – Besanko ruled that our boy kicked a handcuffed prisoner off a cliff before ordering his squad to shoot a man named Ali Jan.

“Australia has a reputation for being very plaintiff-friendly,” said David Rolph, a media law professor at the University of Sydney. “Here we’ve got a comprehensive victory for the newspapers — that’s not something you see in every defamation case in Australia.”

Now, Robbo’s reputation is in tatters. He’s been stripped of his war medals and faces possible criminal charges. But this is where we need to dig deeper, team. What really went on in Afghanistan? What led a decorated war hero like Robbo to (allegedly) commit such atrocious acts?

Understanding the Case

Ben Roberts-Smith is an Australian soldier who served in Afghanistan and Iraq for over a decade, earning him numerous awards, including the Victoria Cross – Australia’s highest award for valor in combat. However, he now faces allegations of war crimes committed during his service in Afghanistan. These include two murders at a compound known as ‘the village,’ as well as other incidents involving the mistreatment of prisoners and civilians. The allegations have been investigated by both the Australian Federal Police and the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF).

Once hailed as the epitome of Australia’s valiant efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan, this top-tier operator enjoyed a rock-solid rep and was even dubbed Father of the Year. He was the poster boy for the Anzac legend, embodying the spirit of the nation’s most famous soldiers.

Bombshell Allegations

However, in 2018, things took a hard left turn. The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Canberra Times dropped a series of bombshell articles, accusing him of crossing the line into war crimes territory. Allegations included offing civilians and giving his troops the green light for “blooding” ops, ordering them to take out non-combatants.