Australian soldiers in Afghanistan caught sunbathing
Australian soldiers in Afghanistan have been caught sunbathing in tactical positions, hitting golf balls into Taliban territory and greeting helicopters in flipflops and T-shirts.
A senior army commander, Lt Colonel Chris Smith, has condemned the behaviour of his troops, saying they expected to be treated as 'Roman gladiators' and had perceptions of war based on films and computer games.
In a report based on his six months commanding a mentoring task force, Lt Col Smith documented cases of ill-discipline and skylarking in the battlefield.
The report, written last year, was distributed by the head of the army, Lt General David Morrison, to serve as a wake-up call to the troops. It said there were "examples throughout Australia's commitment in Afghanistan of soldiers sunbathing in tactical positions sitting in chairs and facing inwards in enemy areas, listening to music in tactical positions".
"They give the impression that they expect everyone, including their superiors, to lavish them with attention and unregulated time when between tasks."
Lt Gen Morrison said he declassified the report because the military needed to expose its shortcomings. (© Daily Telegraph, London)