US made its own rules, leaving ally in a bind

ON FEBRUARY 25, 2002, Admiral Chris Barrie sat in his offices at Russell Hill in Canberra with a seemingly intractable problem on his plate.

Operation Anaconda was due to get under way in Afghanistan, a massive assault on al-Qaeda in the eastern mountain ranges. Australia had SAS troops on the ground, and there was a good chance they would take captives.

Yet Australia had no workable policy on handling prisoners

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