'This important book tells the sorry story of how Australian special forces came to specialise in targeted assassination, doing the dirty work for a corrupt local government propped up by American power, without Australian army or political leaders being able to give them a good reason for risking their lives' Geoffrey Robertson AO, KC, author and human rights barrister
It was Australia's longest war, and also our most secretive.
In the craggy mountains, green belts and digital battlefields of Afghanistan, concepts of heroism and decency started to warp and Australian special forces operators moved apart on the question of how the war should be conducted - with tragic consequences.
For more than a decade, Australia's special forces (SASR) were pushed to the limit as brutal engagements killed 20 Australians and an estimated 11,000 Afghans. Also pushed were the limits of Australian and international law, as Australia's operators fought against - and with - brutal tribal warlords and narco-barons.
Increasingly enmeshed in a US-led targeting program that attempted to kill its way out of the war, the Australian SASR became one of the most feared and lethal force elements in the country. But with a corrupt Afghan government, ancient enmity washing into each Afghan valley, and Canberra and Washington uninterested or bereft of strategy, kill/capture missions became their own end, not a means.
In the aftermath of the war, rifts, rumours and media reporting triggered an independent Inquiry into alleged war crimes, the subsequent Brereton Report and a sensational defamation trial - challenging the hard-won reputation of our elite forces, including Australia's most visible and decorated soldier.
Australia's secret war inside the ISIS caliphate
'Mosul is a raw and honest account of Australia’s most recent conflict, compellingly told through Mckelvey's masterful writing,' Dr Aaron Pegram, Australian War Memorial
'An important and enthralling account of a little-known conflict and its lasting implications for Australia.' Jeff Popple, The Canberra Weekly
'Mckelvey has delivered the first real inside look at the Battle for Mosul. Mosul reads like a thriller along with serving as a cautionary tale of the human costs of modern warfare on participant and civilian alike. First rate.' Leigh Neville, author The Elite: The A-Z of Modern Special Forces
'To date only fragments of the story have come out and (Mosul) does a good job of showing the big picture.' - Derek Parker, The Spectator
SONGS OF A WAR BOY
Epic in the simple way of the Greek tragedies, Songs of a War Boy is attentive to the absurd, unshrinking...and gracious in its acceptance of human experience.
Judges comments, National Biography Award
AND DEATH OF
A story of mateship when there is nothing else left. Leading from the front until your last breath to protect those in your command.
General David Hurley (Ret'd), Governor General of Australia
Really impressive book. This guy's story is f--king hardcore.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson