Shortlisted for NSW Premier's Literary Award's Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction.
Rogue Forces is the explosive first insiders’ story of how some of Australia’s revered SAS soldiers crossed the line in Afghanistan, descending from elite warriors to unlawful killers.
Mark Willacy, who won a Gold Walkley for exposing SAS war crimes, has penetrated the SAS code of silence to reveal one of the darkest chapters in our country’s military history.
Willacy’s devastating award-winning Four Corners program, ‘Killing Fields’ captured on film for the first time a war crime perpetrated by an Australian: the killing of a terrified, unarmed Afghan man in a field by an SAS soldier. It caused shockwaves around the world and resulted in an Australian Federal Police war crimes investigation. It also sparked a new line of investigation by the Brereton inquiry, the independent Australian Defence Force inquiry into war crimes in Afghanistan. It was a game changer.
But for Willacy, it was just the beginning of a much bigger story. More SAS soldiers came forward with undeniable evidence and eyewitness testimony of other unlawful killings, and exposed a culture of brutality and impunity.
Rogue Forces takes you out on the patrols where the killings happened. The result is a gripping character-driven story that embeds you on the front line in the thick of the action as those soldiers share for the first time what they witnessed. Willacy also confronts those accused about their sides of the story.
At its heart, Rogue Forces is a story about the true heroes who had the courage to come forward and expose the truth.
This is their story. A story that had to be told.
'[T]his brilliant and courageous book should be required reading for anyone seeking to paint our most recent military adventure as morally unambiguous. As Willacy shows, the “moral injury” sustained by many veterans was often a case of friendly fire.’ The Australian
Mark Willacy has been a journalist for more than 25 years and has reported for the ABC from more than 30 countries. Mark is a seven-time Walkley Award winner and in 2020 he was awarded Australia’s highest honour in journalism, the Gold Walkley, for exposing alleged Australian SAS war crimes in Afghanistan. His winning Four Corners report ‘Killing Field’ made headlines around the world and sparked a federal police war crimes investigation. Willacy’s investigations provided evidence for 12 cases named in the Brereton Report, the independent Australian Defence Force inquiry into war crimes in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016. As the ABC’s Middle East correspondent for four years, Mark reported on the ground from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the 2003 war in Iraq. He was also the Japan correspondent in 2011 when the country was hit by its most powerful earthquake in more than a thousand years. Mark has twice been named Queensland Journalist of the Year and in 2019 he won a Logie Award for his Four Corners’ world exclusive on the Thai cave rescue.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia (August 18, 2021)
Length: 416 pages
Raves and Reviews
'[T]his brilliant and courageous book should be required reading for anyone seeking to paint our most recent military adventure as morally unambiguous. As Willacy shows, the “moral injury” sustained by many veterans was often a case of friendly fire.’
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