Two recent, deeply intertwined acts of violence demonstrate the terrible burden hanging on the outcome of the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The United States has paid $50,000 in compensation for each Afghan killed and $11,000 for each person wounded in the shooting spree allegedly committed by a U.S. soldier in southern Afghanistan, an Afghan official and a community elder said Sunday.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was charged on Friday with 17 counts of premeditated murder, a capital offense that could lead to the death penalty in the massacre of Afghan civilians, the U.S. military said.
It is still not known if the soldier accused of killing 17 Afghans was ever diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder _ but even if he had been, that alone would not have prevented him from being sent back to war.
It is still not known if the soldier accused of killing 17 Afghans was ever diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder — but even if he had been, that alone would not have prevented him from being sent back to war.
The U.S. military intends to tell Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales Friday he faces 17 counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder, along with other charges, in connection with a shooting rampage in two southern Afghanistan villages that shocked Americans back home and further roiled U.S.-Afghan relations.
A day before the public learned the name of the soldier accused of methodically slaughtering 16 civilians in Afghanistan, his lawyer called a news conference and sketched a different portrait of Robert Bales: that of a loving father and devoted husband who had been traumatized by a comrade's injury and sent into combat one too many times.
A recent Army health report draws an alarming profile of a fighting force more prone to inexcusable violence amid an "epidemic" of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the mental breakdown attracting speculation as a factor in a massacre of Afghan civilians this month.
American troops will soon leave Afghanistan. What could become a key policy question for the 2012 election is, what will happen after they depart?