“AN RAF officer could be jailed for refusing to serve in Iraq because he believes that the war there was illegal.
“Flight-Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith is to be court-martialled for “refusing to obey a lawful command” after he told his commanding officer that he would not go to Basra.
“He is the first British officer to face criminal charges for challenging the legality of war.”
Kendall-Smith is an intriguing person. He is not a “conscientious objector”, says his lawyer. “He is arguing that the war is manifestly unlawful.”
He was born in Australia, brought up in New Zealand and has dual British-New Zealand citizenship.
The case may inspire other soldiers to follow suit. Not unlike Breaking the Silence in Israel – soldiers who finally acknowledged their actions in the occupied territories were routinely illegal and immoral – Kendall-Smith’s actions are brave and principled.