No Front Line
Rating: 5 / 5
Long form journalism sometimes makes for vapid books, but multi-Walkley and Logie award-winning reporter Chris Masters has contributed a book that is historically significant and absorbing.
Australian armed forces personnel have been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2000, and the conflict—the longest war in post-Federation Australian history—shows no sign of ceasing, so the Australian SAS remains in demand. Masters’ respect for the courage of the Australians he was embedded with does not lessen his ethical concerns, or dilute insights into concepts such as ‘precision targeting’ and the bloodless way that our society describes the bloody business of warfare.
Masters’ exacting presentation of events and exploration of issues is made all the more pertinent given the recent release of a report by sociologist Dr Samantha Crompvoets about cultural dysfunction in our country’s elite soldiery, illegal violence in combat zones, and drug and alcohol abuse.