Exit wounds: one man’s war on terror by Major-General John Cantwell with Greg BearupCanberra Times / ANU Literary Event: Meet the Author Series 2012
Australia has been at war for the past twenty years and yet there has been no stand-out account from these conflicts. The Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts have constituted major Australian military involvements since the Vietnam War. In the case of Afghanistan, Australia has paid much in blood and treasure. This lecture elucidates Australia’s military involvements in the Gulf and Afghanistan from a practitioner’s perspective. Major-General John Cantwell’s book Exit Wounds is his searing story of the realities of Australia’s recent wars and the enduring scars they leave on our armed forces.
Major-General John Cantwell AO DSC retired from the Australian Army in early 2012 after a unique career spanning almost 40 years. Starting as a 17-year-old Private in 1973, he rose through the ranks in a career that included Commanding Officer of the Royal Military College at Duntroon, Commander of a brigade of around 3,000 troops, the Deputy Chief of the Army, and Head of the Force Structure Review as part of the 2009 Defence White Paper. He was also Interim Head (and later, Chief of Operations) of the Victoria Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority, coordinating all Commonwealth, State and non-government efforts to recover from the deadly Black Saturday fires in 2009.
Major-General Cantwell served in three distinct wars: combat duty in Operation Desert Storm in 1991; as the Director of Strategic Operations in the US-led coalition headquarters in Baghdad in 2006; and as the Commander of all Australian forces in Afghanistan and the wider Middle East area of operations in 2010. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his leadership in action in Afghanistan, has been made a Member of the Order of Australia and an Officer of the Order of Australia, and received the United States Legion of Merit.
Book sales and signings will follow the lecture.
Presented by The Canberra Times and ANU Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies