Nate Jackson / Sep. 22, 2015

No Review of Punishment for Soldiers' Rape Intervention?

"A global force for good"?

We noted yesterday that the U.S. military is tolerating the rape of Afghan boys in its effort at cultural “sensitivity.” Dan Quinn, a former Green Beret commander, was stripped of his command for throwing an Afghan police commander to the ground over the rape of a boy in 2011. Sergeant First Class Charles Martland is about to be kicked out of the service for the same incident. And after the story hit the fan over the weekend, reporters asked Barack Obama’s spokesman, Josh Earnest, about the policy. He dodged. “For the rules of engagement and the kind of structure that’s in place to guide the relationship between the United States and Afghan members of the military, I’d refer you to the Department of Defense for that,” Earnest said — as if his boss isn’t the commander in chief and has no influence over such sweeping and influential policies. Does Obama have any plans to look into a policy that punishes soldiers for saving children from rape? “Not that I’m aware of,” Earnest deflected. Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis called the issue “fundamentally an Afghan law enforcement matter and those are reports that are given to the Afghan government.” But again, what about punishing American soldiers for intervening? The U.S. Navy uses the marketing slogan, “A global force for good.” Is the Army really that different?

Meanwhile, Army Gen. John Campbell said in a statement, “I personally have served multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan and am absolutely confident that no such theater policy [of ignoring sexual assault] has ever existed here, and certainly, no such policy has existed throughout my tenure as commander.” That may be a matter of semantics, since the aforementioned punished soldiers intervened to stop a crime rather than reported it after the fact through the “proper channels.”

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