Weapons of Choice Image Credit: The U.S. National Archives

Weapons of Choice

Rearming Australia for its offshore ambitions


Dehjawz-e Hasenzay is a small village in Uruzgan Province, south-central Afghanistan, a dusty mudbrick maze on the dry plains of the largely mountainous region. Late in the evening of 9 July 2006, a seven-vehicle convoy carrying a Quick Reaction Force of Australian commandos rolled into a firestorm to cover the extraction of Canadian special forces from the village. The Canadians had volunteered to be the spear point for a raid targeting Osami Bari, a local Taliban war chief.

Bari was killed in the opening minutes of the fight, cut down as he tried to get off a rocket-propelled grenade shot at the raiders. The mission, to reduce the Taliban’s war-fighting capacity, was successful. A little too successful, really.

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