The US told Australia it could stop its joint military activities over Australian special forces’ alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.

General Angus Campbell, in charge of the Australian military, said this during the Senate’s foreign affairs, defense, and trade committee on Wednesday, The Guardian reported. He said that in March 2021, the US attaché in Canberra sent him a letter. The letter warned that the Brereton war crimes report could spark a US rule called the ‘Leahy rule.’

The Marines deployed to Australia for bilateral exchange Exercise Golden Eagle to enhance US and Australian interoperability and military-to-military relationships. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jody Lee Smith / via Wikimedia Commons)


The law says the US military can’t work with groups linked to “gross human rights violations.” The Brereton Report found ‘credible’ proof that 25 current or former Australian SAS troops unlawfully killed 39 Afghan prisoners and civilians between 2005 and 2016. Page 29 of the Brereton Report stated that the soldiers’ actions could not be considered incidents involving questionable decisions during intense combat.