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Aussie troops goofed off in Afghanistan

March 14, 2013 at 11:28 AM

CANBERRA, Australia, March 14 (UPI) -- Australian forces in Afghanistan have sunbathed in tactical locations and hit golf balls into Taliban territory, says a report slamming troop readiness.

The documented cases of "skylarking" are revealed in a partially declassified report written in January 2012, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Thursday.

A senior commander, Lt. Col. Chris Smith, wrote the report after leading a task force in Afghanistan for six months.

The chief of army, Lt. Gen. David Morrison, declassified portions of the report to publicize the problems and has ordered officers to stamp out bad behavior.

Saying the army must be "the hardest critics of our own performance," Morrison said "an army that believes its own press based on the fantastic work that our men and women have been doing in Afghanistan set themselves up for failure in the future."

The army shouldn't "benchmark" itself against the Taliban, he said, adding, "we've got to be better and bigger than that in the service of our nation."

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