ADF chief General Angus Campbell (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

The shocking truth about Australia’s conduct in Afghanistan has finally been laid bare, with the release of the long-awaited Brereton report into alleged war crimes by special forces soldiers.

Chief of Defence Angus Campbell described the alleged unlawful killings as a result of a toxic culture of "ego, elitism and entitlement” where “patrols took the law into their own hands, rules were broken, stories concocted, lies told and prisoners killed”.

The saga is far from over. A special prosecutor will take the next steps about whether to charge Australian troops over incidents spanning a decade.