US soldier kills Afghan civilians in Kandahar - Page 5




 
--
 
March 16th, 2012  
mmarsh
 
 
Latest information is saying the accused was drinking on duty, was on his fourth tour (and was having difficulties accepting it), was having family trouble, and was likely suffering from PTSD having witnessed a close friend being severely wounded by a IED.

None of which excuses what he did, but it does show what frame of mind he might have been in, which sad to say seems not to be a healthy one. There are probably hundreds of soldiers just like him, its frankly amazing incidents like this haven't happened more frequently.

I am not nearly as angry at him as I am at the politicians (and the war profiteers in the defenses industry who are there backers) that have allowed this disaster to continue. 11 Years now and counting, Osama is fish food, WHY are we still in Afghanistan? The Afghans don't want us there (they have been rather clear on this point), the rest of the world doesn't want us there, not does the American public. Take the hint, its time to go!
March 16th, 2012  
RayManKiller3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
I am not nearly as angry at him as I am at the politicians (and the war profiteers in the defenses industry who are there backers) that have allowed this disaster to continue. 11 Years now and counting, Osama is fish food, WHY are we still in Afghanistan? The Afghans don't want us there (they have been rather clear on this point), the rest of the world doesn't want us there, not does the American public. Take the hint, its time to go!
We are still there for multiple reasons. It do not matter who do not want us there. The same people who say "lets leave Afghanistan alone", will be the same people who will blame U.S for the hell hole it will go back into. The truth is they lack any responsibility and will want to blame someone else for it.

When we decided to go in there and overthrow the Taliban, it made it our responsibility to clean up the mess we caused, which could turn into something ugly. It is not just for their well-being, even if they don't like it, but ours as well. You can not collaspes countries then hit the road, thinking you have no more enemies lol.

I believe we should stick with our contract of when we leave. Then we can at least say, we didn't ditch the populace there (even if they hate us) like we did in Vietnam. It would be our success, but Afghanistan's failure if they revert back to the same practices. It is inevitable when it comes to countries which such a culture and poor infrastructure.


It is definately frustrating to try helping someone who seems to not want or heed it, but we can not allow that frustration to take control of our actions or choices so early on. It has only been 4 years imo, considering Afghanistan was forgotten about thanks to the Iraq War. We would have made much more progress had we not gone into Iraq.

I am sure you know this though.
March 16th, 2012  
senojekips
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayManKiller3
When we decided to go in there and overthrow the Taliban, it made it our responsibility to clean up the mess we caused, which could turn into something ugly. It is not just for their well-being, even if they don't like it, but ours as well. You can not collaspes countries then hit the road, thinking you have no more enemies lol.
Like we did in Vietnam and again in Iraq and will no doubt do in Afghanistan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayManKiller3
I believe we should stick with our contract of when we leave. Then we can at least say, we didn't ditch the populace there (even if they hate us) like we did in Vietnam. It would be our success, but Afghanistan's failure if they revert back to the same practices. It is inevitable when it comes to countries which such a culture and poor infrastructure.
Wake up to yourself,... the US can't even repair it's infrastructure at home, where five years after the event there are still thousands of people from hurricane Katrina living in temporary accommodation.
You may as well get used to it, within six months of the coalition leaving Afghanistan it will be worse than it was before you ever went there, and the Taliban will be more entrenched and larger in numbers due to your having been there.
--
March 16th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by muscogeemike
I appreciate my career in the Army was a long time ago - but I hear reports that this guy is 38 and only a SSG. I donít know what his career field is but the reports keep mentioning Special Ops (Civil Affairs I think) - to be just an E-6 at his age and be a veteran of several tours in a Combat Area indicates, to me, this guy had career problems prior to this incident.

I donít think that Afganiís will remember (or maybe even know) that some 3,000 men, women, and children were killed on 9/11 in the US - by people directed from their country.

That doesnít, however, excuse this guys action - I hope they throw the book at him.
For what its worth here are a few details that may answer some questions:

16 March 2012 Last updated at 22:53 GMT
Afghanistan killings suspect: Staff Sergeant Robert Bales
The US Army staff sergeant who allegedly killed 16 Afghans in an early morning rampage has been named as Staff Sergeant Robert Bales.
Even before he was named by US officials, a few details of his life had trickled out.
He was on his fourth deployment to combat zones and had been injured twice on previous tours of duty.
His lawyer, John Henry Browne, told reporters on Thursday that his 38-year-old client was on his way back to a military prison in the US after being moved from Afghanistan to Kuwait. He has not yet been charged.
At the time of speaking, Staff Sergeant Bales had not yet been publicly named.
He was described as a father of two who has served in the US Army for 11 years after enlisting in 2001. According to Mr Browne, the children are aged three and four.
Sergeant Bales is based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state and is a member of the 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry.
His deployment with that unit to Afghanistan in December came after three prior combat tours in Iraq.
During his time in Iraq, he was injured twice - a concussion after his vehicle hit a roadside bomb and a combat injury that led to the loss of part of his foot.
According to several US reports, he had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI), and received treatment at Lewis-McChord before being cleared to resume duty.
Mr Browne said that he had met with the family on Wednesday at Lewis-McChord, describing them as "totally shocked". The family has been moved to the base for safety reasons.
According to the lawyer, Sergeant Bales had lived in Washington state near Lewis-McChord for his entire military career. He was originally from the Midwest, working in a "blue-collar" job. He enlisted one week after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Mr Browne has been retained by the soldier's family. He has previously represented a number of high-profile clients including serial killer Ted Bundy and a teenage thief known as the Barefoot Bandit.
'Snapped'
Sergeant Bales stands accused of killing the Afghan villagers in three homes in three different locations in Panjwai district, Kandahar province. The victims were mostly women and children, killed in the early hours of 11 March.
According to reports, he allegedly walked off a base known as Camp Belambay to the nearby villages. Some of the bodies had been set on fire.
He returned to the base and surrendered his weapon.
An anonymous US official confirmed to the New York Times that the soldier had been drinking alcohol the evening before the attack.
"When it all comes out, it will be a combination of stress, alcohol and domestic issues - he just snapped," the US military official said.
Alcohol use in a combat zone is a violation of military rules, and any officers who were drinking with him will face disciplinary action.
Mr Browne pushed back against suggestions of marital and alcohol problems, saying the soldier had "a very healthy marriage".
According to the family, Sergeant Bales saw a friend's leg blown off the day before the shootings, Mr Browne said. The incident reportedly affected all the soldiers at the base, but the sergeant was standing next to the man when he was injured.
This incident has not been otherwise confirmed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17403836
March 17th, 2012  
lolwhassup
 
 
http://www.military.com/news/article...2887570&rank=1
March 17th, 2012  
RayManKiller3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by senojekips
Like we did in Vietnam and again in Iraq and will no doubt do in Afghanistan?
Well, we will see when the time passes by. I won't say "like we did in Vietnam" as U.S didn't really try winning hearts and minds in Vietnam. It was not about the populace, it was about trying to stop communism. Different goals.


Quote:
Wake up to yourself,... the US can't even repair it's infrastructure at home, where five years after the event there are still thousands of people from hurricane Katrina living in temporary accommodation.
You may as well get used to it, within six months of the coalition leaving Afghanistan it will be worse than it was before you ever went there, and the Taliban will be more entrenched and larger in numbers due to your having been there.

Time will tell. Like I said; we can at least say we tried. It wouldn't matter to me personally if they reverted back to the way they were before we invaded. I also won't say U.S can't repair its infrastructure. It is more like it won't repair its infrastructure.


I did say it would be our success, but their failure if they revert back anyways because we committed to it down to the exact date.
March 18th, 2012  
senojekips
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayManKiller3
Well, we will see when the time passes by. I won't say "like we did in Vietnam" as U.S didn't really try winning hearts and minds in Vietnam. It was not about the populace, it was about trying to stop communism. Different goals.
Obviously you weren't there? Hearts and minds was an integral part of our policy there.
Quote:
  1. Hearts and Minds (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearts_and_Minds_(film)Cached - Similar
    You +1'd this publicly. Undo
    Hearts and Minds is a 1974 American documentary film about the Vietnam War directed by Peter Davis. The film's title is based on a quote from President ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayManKiller3
Time will tell. Like I said; we can at least say we tried. It wouldn't matter to me personally if they reverted back to the way they were before we invaded. I also won't say U.S can't repair its infrastructure. It is more like it won't repair its infrastructure.
You tried? What exactly did you/we try? Regardless of the BS peddled to us by our respective Governments. Take a day or two and read the basic literature on the US decisions to go into Afghanistan, making it a better place for the Afghanis was nothing to do with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayManKiller3
I did say it would be our success, but their failure if they revert back anyways because we committed to it down to the exact date.
Thats why you fail in these places, because you make decisions based on what you want or would like, instead of what they want. The Americanization of Australia is bad enough, but try to imagine how the average Afghani looks at it. Try imagining a role reversal, where armed radical Afghani troops invaded your country and tried to establish their lifestyle into your country.

You like most westerners fail to recognise the most basic fact,... not everyone wants to live like you do. I'm damned sure I don't.
March 18th, 2012  
VDKMS
 
Winning the "hearts and minds" in Afghanistan is very difficult. When you go outside the few big cities you step into the middle ages. A lot of tribes with a tribe elder in power. They don't want democracy because then their power could be in danger. Their women think differently. They want to send their children (boys and girls) to school. Problem is, they get to smart, and that is not allowed because, again, it endangers the (future) position of the tribal elder. That's why schools for girls are regularly burned down. For the tribal elder the woman is an asset, not a human being with equal rights.
Building roads is a good start to capture the hearts and minds because local businessmen profit from it. That's why roadworkers are regularly attacked. Better roads means longer trade lines and better acces to the markets in big cities and contact with (more)western culture.

Most people on earth like a western style society. A few dislike it and a lot are prevented from it.
March 21st, 2012  
RayManKiller3
 
Did this guy confess that he did the killings? His lawyer said there have been no confession, but he turned himself in.

I am pretty sure he did it, but I guess they will have to prove it now....
March 21st, 2012  
Der Alte
 
The Afghanistan War is still the longest large-scale, multi-divisional war fought in American history. An American soldier's killing of 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, on March 11 represents only a moment in this long war, but it is an important moment.

In the course of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, military strategists in the United States developed the concept of the long war. The theory was presented in many ways, but its core argument was this: The defeat of Taliban forces and the Iraqi resistance would take a long time, but success would not end the war because Islamist terrorism and its supporters would be a constantly shifting threat, both in the places and in the ways they would operate. Therefore, since it was essential to defeat terrorism, the United States was now engaging in a long war whose end was distant and course unknown. We need to consider the consequences of this strategy.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who allegedly perpetrated the appalling slaughter in Afghanistan, was on his fourth tour of combat duty. He had served three tours in Iraq of 9, 15 and 12 months, he had been at war for three years. His tour in Afghanistan was going to be his fourth year. The wars he fought in differed from prior wars. Fallujah and Tora Bora were not Stalingrad. Still, the hardship, fear and threat of death are ever-present. The probability of dying may be lower, but it is there, it is real, and there are comrades you can name whom you saw die.

In Vietnam, only volunteers served more than a single one-year tour. For Americans in World War II, the war lasted a little more than three years, and only a handful of U.S. troops were in combat for that long. U.S. involvement in World War I lasted less than two years, and most U.S. soldiers were deployed for a year or less. In U.S. history, only the Civil and Revolutionary wars lasted as long as Bales had served.

Atrocities occur in all wars. This is an observation, not an excuse. And they become more likely the longer a soldier is in combat. War is brutal and it brutalizes the souls of warriors. Some resist the brutalization better than others, but no one can see death that often and not be changed. Just as important, the enemy is dehumanized. You cannot fight and fear him for years and not come to see him as someone alien to you. Even worse, when the enemy and the population are difficult to distinguish, as is the case in a counterinsurgency, the fear and rage extends to everyone. In Bales' case, it extended even to children.

It is no different for the Taliban save two things. First, they are fighting for their homeland and in their homeland. Americans fight for the homeland in the sense that they are fighting terrorism, but that fight becomes abstract after a while. For the Taliban it is a reality. Americans can go home and may become bitter at those who never shared the burden. The Taliban are at home, and their bitterness at those who did not share the burden outstrips the bitterness of the Americans. Second, it is a fact of war that Taliban atrocities are usually invisible to the Western media, but they are there, even if reporters are not. It could be said that the Taliban were brutalized by years of fighting before the Americans came, but in the end, the fact of brutalization is more important than the genesis.

What Bales is alleged to have done is inexcusable. There have been many atrocities, both recorded and not, both outright and ambiguous, and conducted by both NATO and the Taliban. It is unrealistic to imagine a war of this length devoid of atrocities.

The doctrine of the long war fought by the present force fails to take into account whether the force can sustain the war. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld argued that you fight with the army you have. What he did not address was that while you begin fighting with the army you have, as the United States did in World War II, you do not continue fighting with that army, but move to mobilize the country. But Rumsfeld did not realize how long the war in Afghanistan would last, and in particular, he did not anticipate the cost that two multi-divisional wars would have. It is noteworthy that Bales began with three tours in Iraq. The war in Iraq might be over, but its consequences for the force remain.
 


Similar Topics
Car bomb kills seven in Afghan city Kandahar (Reuters)
Afghan army soldier kills NATO service member (Reuters)
Afghan agent kills NATO soldier and civilian in Panjshir (Reuters)
Bomb kills 15 Afghan civilians; May deadliest month (Reuters)
Roadside bomb kills 15 Afghan civilians (Reuters)