Leadership & Ethics

We Need to Talk About Marine A

By Tom McDermott June 15, 2021


Click here to access a copy of the article 'We Need to Talk About Marine A' Constant War, Diminished Responsibility and the Case of Alexander Blackman.

"The story of 'Marine A' is one that should be considered deeply. This is not just a tale about a soldier's decision to pull a trigger on a bright Afghan morning. Nor is it just about justice and vagaries of a military legal system. Blackman's case is instead a microcosm of the human and social impact of fifteen years of consistent war - a tragic theatre of lessons that reaches in 'breadth, width and depth' from the hidden risks of Counter Insurgency (COIN) tactics, through the psychological influence of constant combat, and as far as strategy and the relationship between a society and its millitary."

Tom believes we all need to talk about 'Marine A'. In this article, he not only provides a case study, but also a number of legal, tactical and cultural questions, for you and your colleagues to discuss and consider.  



Tom McDermott

Tom McDermott is a serving Australian Army Officer and a student of strategy and military ethics. You can follow him on Twitter via the handle @helmandproject.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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