Senior sources said the top-secret appointment was made after months of negotiations and was cleared by defence chief Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston and the Federal Government. He was a key player in the transfer of the Australian headquarters from Iraq to the UAE and had dealings at the highest security levels with senior officials and the UAE military.North West LHIN Mike Hindmarsh3 of 3
His new role mirrors that of former special forces commander, Duncan Lewis, who is national security adviser to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Mr Hindmarsh's ex-boss. Dozens of ex-Australian soldiers work for the UAE military in leadership, training and mentoring roles, developing links between the two armed forces.
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He is a major general for the Emirati military, according to his own statements and a UAE government website. The UAE and its partners in the war have been accused of atrocities. Toumajan says he is not involved in that war. More importantly, it represents a marked escalation of the role US private military contractors play in foreign conflicts. While military contractors have become deeply entwined in warfare all over the world, they traditionally have stuck to strict limits: advising, training, and supplying foreign armies — but not actually serving in them.
His business cards also proclaim he is a UAE general. Yet he also insists he is not actually in the UAE military. If his unit ends up firing on innocents, from a military ethos standpoint, that blood is on him. But in such a case, who would investigate or discipline him? For this individual? Another issue is precedent. If other Americans follow his lead — and there are surprisingly few laws to stop them — then former US officers could command foreign troops in ways that could harm US interests or lead to war crimes.
The precedent is now set. A top executive at a company tasked with making sure Toumajan complied with US regulations said he resigned because Toumajan would not grant access needed to ensure he and the Joint Aviation Command were in compliance. Meanwhile, the year-old Toumajan has been photographed wearing a flight suit with an Emirati flag on his shoulder and what appears to be the insignia of a UAE general on his epaulets.
The UAE, a federation of seven tiny desert monarchies, has become a lucrative honeypot for US military contractors. Over the last 10 years, a parade of former top US military officers have offered their skills and prestige for sale to the country.
Abu Dhabi was the grazing patch for Erik Prince, the scandal-tarnished founder of Blackwater, who helped the UAE set up an army of Colombian mercenaries. Through his spokesperson, Prince declined to comment. Through a spokesperson, he declined to comment. Former general Stanley McChrystal, the one-time commander of US forces in Afghanistan, who was forced from his command after a blistering profile in Rolling Stone, was on the strategic advisory board of Knowledge International ; that company, according to one of its executives and other sources, was hired to oversee Toumajan.
An aide to McChrystal said he was no longer on the advisory board. Conway declined to comment. A spokesperson for Mattis did not respond to emails. An executive from Harbour Group, which does public relations for the UAE, referred calls back to the embassy.
Australian Army veterans advising foreign army accused of war crimes
Three sources who know Toumajan well say he started in Abu Dhabi shortly after leaving the US Army and quickly charmed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, widely seen as the most powerful person in the country. For several years, as it ramped up its military, the UAE dabbled in aggressive operations, supporting Sunni rebels in Syria to fight against al-Assad, for example, and sending arms to the Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar as he fought the government of Tripoli.
But not until the Yemen conflict started in did the UAE get down to prolonged and sustained war.Siri saw dental
It joined in the leadership of a coalition of Arab and North African nations to fight Houthi rebels who are backed by Iran. The coalition has used brutal tactics, including what critics say are indiscriminate and disproportionate bombings and blockades that prevent food and assistance from reaching desperate civilians. He commands the Presidential Guardwhich defends the royal family and conducts special operations.
Sources with knowledge of the UAE military say both of these men are key to the way the country is fighting its war in Yemen. The Australian Department of Defence declined to comment.
On the morning of March 17,news reports of a massacre began emerging after the survivors docked at the port of Hodeidah in Yemen — with 42 dead bodies in the hull of their ship. The unarmed Somali migrants were headed across the Red Sea Straits toward Eritrea, survivors said, when their boat came under withering machine gun fire from a helicopter.
By April, Human Rights Watch announced that the helicopter attack had likely been a war crime. Suspicion fell upon the UAE, and Human Rights Watch sent a letter to the country, demanding that it disclose more about its role.Updated May 10, The United Arab Emirates, which is accused of war crimes in its conflict with Yemen, has discussed buying more Australian military equipment during high-level talks in Canberra. Amnesty International Crisis Campaigner Diana Sayed said it was "seriously alarming" the Australian Government intended to further develop 'defence industry opportunities' with countries with such appalling human rights records as the United Arab Emirates".
The Turnbull Government insists all applications to export defence and dual-use goods are considered on a case-by-case basis and must take into account human rights. Earlier this year, the Turnbull Government unveiled its defence export strategy which aims to make Australia one of the world's top 10 nations for global military sales within 10 years.
UAE discusses military deals in Canberra drawing human rights criticism
Topics: defence-and-national-securitydefence-industryfederal-governmentworld-politicsgovernment-and-politicsaustraliaunited-arab-emirates. First posted May 10, Contact Andrew Greene. If you have inside knowledge of a topic in the news, contact the ABC. ABC teams share the story behind the story and insights into the making of digital, TV and radio content. Read about our editorial guiding principles and the standards ABC journalists and content makers follow.
Learn more. Donald Trump has launched his plan for ending the nationwide lockdowns. And he's given it a catchy title with familiar cadence: Opening Up America Again. When Bruce Woodley hopped in the shower back in the mids, he had no idea the little ditty he belted out would become a national source of comfort amidst a global pandemic.
She was standing by The Tan, the happy Melbourne playground and running track of the Aspen set, and she had a beanie firmly planted on her long tawny, blonde locks. By Alison Branley. A juvenile white-bellied sea eagle is back in the skies near Tasmania's Bruny Island after surviving being coated in fish oil and a enjoying a bubble bath spruce up. Exclusive by Defence reporter Andrew Greene. Twitter: Christopher Pyne. Related Story: Former Australian soldiers caught up in Yemen's civil war.Aliens movies
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What is Trump's coronavirus strategy? I Am Australian When Bruce Woodley hopped in the shower back in the mids, he had no idea the little ditty he belted out would become a national source of comfort amidst a global pandemic.
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Site Map.Updated December 14, Australian defence force veterans are earning tens of thousands of US dollars a month in the United Arab Emirates advising troops fighting in a bloody Middle East conflict dogged by allegations of war crimes and indiscriminate civilian casualties, an ABC investigation can reveal. Since the alleged murder by the Saudi Government of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October, there has been growing international concern about the Yemen war, which involves a Saudi-led coalition, including the UAE, fighting Houthi rebels.
Questions are also being asked about what one of Australia's most respected former special forces commanders knew about a squad of US mercenaries killing the UAE's enemies in Yemen. Despite this, Australian military veterans and former federal police officers have flocked to the country, seeking good pay and comfortable conditions in return for training some of the UAE's most elite troops.
The ABC searched LinkedIn and found almost former soldiers and federal police whose profiles indicated they are or were training Emirati soldiers. He believes there are more Australian military contractors in the UAE than any other nationality. Mr Butson spoke to the ABC because he had previously been named in an article as a "mercenary" and wanted to clear his name.
Mr Butson said the same held true for the dozens of other Western military veterans who were there. He also said he was not concerned when, halfway through his time with the Presidential Guard, the Emirati troops went to Yemen to fight. And I was thinking, 'that's a good thing'," Mr Butson said. Two facts stood out when the ABC examined the LinkedIn list: many of the men are veterans of Australia's two frontline special forces units, the commandos and the SAS; and many are training the UAE's most elite military command, the Presidential Guard.
That may be because the Presidential Guard is commanded by a retired Australian major general with a decades-long background in our special forces, Mike Hindmarsh.
Four months later General Hindmarsh announced his retirement and was soon serving as a national security advisor to the Emirates' de-facto ruler, heir to the throne and architect of their role in Yemen, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Last month Buzzfeed America published explosive allegations about a mercenary hit squad targeting figures in the conflict in Yemen in late to early Among the evidence the mercenaries provided to prove their story was a so-called "target card" with details of one of the people they were to kill.
Plainly visible at the card's top right was the Presidential Guard insignia, leading to questions about what General Hindmarsh knew about the operation. The ABC has independently confirmed the existence of the target card with one of the hit squad's members.
It is also deeply involved in the Yemen war and the SOC have been seen using high-tech Western-made weapons and technology there. All spoke anonymously because of the sensitivity of discussing a senior UAE general in the wake of the detention of British PhD student Matthew Hedges on spying charges. The ABC tried to contact General Hindmarsh on multiple occasions for this story, but he did not respond.It later sold, but the new owners eventually lost it and another firm was retained to design a film studio on the property.
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United Arab Emirates poaches former major-general Mike Hindmarsh as security adviser
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He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his distinguished leadership in this position. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours of for his distinguished service in that position. For his "distinguished command and leadership in action in the Middle East", Hindmarsh was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. On 8 February an ABC News report questioned the extent of Hindmarsh's knowledge of civilian deaths allegedly caused during the operation of UAE forces in Yemen, as a result of his ongoing employment as a security advisor to the government.
He is married and has three sons. He enjoys rock climbing, bush walking and rugby union. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Michael Simon Hindmarsh. Department of Defence.
Archived from the original on 14 March Retrieved 26 September The Grub Club. Retrieved on The Queen's Birthday Honours List. Governor-General of Australia. Retrieved 8 June Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 7 February Herald Sun.
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Officer of the Order of Australia AO. Australian Active Service Medal. Afghanistan Medal. Australian Service Medal. Defence Force Service Medal with 3 Rosettes. Australian Defence Medal. Commander Joint Task Force — Special Operations Commander —Updated February 15, One of Australia's most decorated military soldiers, who is now serving as a senior advisor for the United Arab Emirates forces, is facing questions about his knowledge of civilian attacks in Yemen.
But that changed in March last year, when the country joined a Saudi-led coalition that declared war on rebels in Yemen. Last week a leaked United Nations memo said civilians had been targeted by air strikes in a "widespread and systematic" manner. The UN said civilians were being deliberately starved as a war tactic, with 1. Nearly 6, people, including nearly children, have been killed and human rights groups have accused the coalition forces of war crimes.
There are dozens, we don't know exactly how many, but there are dozens of Australians that are involved in command positions within the Presidential Guard. For the past 11 months, coalition forces, which have extreme air supremacy over the rebels, have been bombing Yemen regularly. International law of war expert Ben Saul said that if General Hindmarsh were commanding troops, there was a danger that he could be held responsible for their actions.
Amnesty International investigator Donatella Rovera visited Yemen twice last year to see what was happening on the ground. Military observers have confirmed to 7. He declined the interview request, saying: "You will understand I am a serving officer in the UAE Armed Force and accordingly I abide by normal operational security parameters when it comes to disclosure of operational matters I am not at liberty to speak with you on such matters.
Topics: unrest-conflict-and-warrightslaw-crime-and-justicedefence-forcesyemenunited-arab-emiratesaustralia. First posted February 08, If you have inside knowledge of a topic in the news, contact the ABC. ABC teams share the story behind the story and insights into the making of digital, TV and radio content.
Read about our editorial guiding principles and the standards ABC journalists and content makers follow. Learn more. It's the question everyone wants to know: can you get coronavirus from farts? Dr Norman Swan has a strong opinion and asks Australians to make yet another sacrifice. An entire news quiz without a mention of the word "coronavirus"?
You'll have to take the test to believe it. By music and pop culture reporter Paul Donoughue. Are we all desperate to recall a simpler, more innocent, pre-pandemic time, when the future looked rosy and we stood physically close to other people?
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