Four Corners - In Their Sights
A Four Corners team investigates both the merits and the risks of the "kill-capture" campaign. Its proponents claim that the strategy has been successful in killing enemy commanders, but several missions involving elite Australian soldiers have gone horribly wrong, killing "friendly" local leaders and civilians.
Ask most Australians what the "strategy" in Afghanistan is and they would tell you it's about winning the hearts and minds of the population. The Government talks about the need to improve security, protect the population, build schools and hospitals and a lasting stable government. But running parallel with this "hearts and minds" approach is another far more contentious and highly secretive strategy - it's called "kill-capture". Using mostly Special Forces, the Coalition has been hunting down Taliban commanders one by one.
A Four Corners team reports on how the "kill-capture" strategy developed, how it's being implemented and expanded and finally examines the fall-out when things go wrong. The program gets access to the families and eye witnesses who were present when elite Australian troops undertook "kill-capture" missions. The program investigates three incidents, revealing why, in two cases, it appears the wrong people were killed and in another a suspect already detained was shot dead at close range.
After a decade of war in Afghanistan, is the "kill-capture" strategy doing more harm than good?
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