May 20, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Continuing the Pentagon's policy of micro-managing the war effort to its detriment, it has been reported by both Reuters and the Chicago Tribune that Army personnel stationed in Afghanistan are under investigation in the alleged non-combat related deaths of "possibly" three Afghan civilians.
"U.S. statement Thursday said the allegations also included illegal drug use, assault and conspiracy. No charges have been filed but one soldier has been placed in pre-trial confinement." [source, Chicago Tribune, US investigating allegations "small number" of US soldiers responsible for civilian deaths, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-as-afghan-us-probe,0,1187019.story?track=rss]
The move comes on the heels of the acquittal of three Navy SEALs, 2nd Class Matthew McCabe and Petty Officers Julio Huertas and Jonathan Keefe who were charged upon mere allegations made by a detained terrorist - Ahmed Hashim Abed - of criminal assault, dereliction of duty and impeding an official investigation.
The now proven unfounded "assault" consisted of an alleged slap delivered to the terrorist as he was taken into custody.
Chalk another one up for over enthusiastic JAGs.
Though these most recent charges may eventually prove entirely true, one wonders in a time of war how much micro-management our already stressed forces in Afghanistan can take and still function effectively.
Finding the balance between managing collateral damage in field operations and the need to maintain motivation is something the Pentagon had better seriously weigh if it intends the Afghan mission to be successful especially given the short time frame set for it by team Obama.
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