A new scandal has broken out in the U.S. army. Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair, who has served for 27 years and worked in several hot spots of raping his subordinate. Sinclair is also accused of misusing a government credit card, violation of orders and illegal possession of alcohol and pornography during service.
This incident once again drew public attention to the desperate situation in the U.S. army.
According to Associated Press, in May Sinclair’s subordinates began to complain about sexual harassment from their commander. After that the general, who had served many times in zones of military conflict including Iraq and Saudi Arabia, was dismissed from his post in Afghanistan and sent to the Fort Bragg military base in North Carolina.
Just several days before Sinclair’s case came into focus a U.S. court initiated an action against two US marines, who were accused of desecration of the bodies of killed Taliban insurgents. The video capturing the US soldiers urinating on the bodies of dead Talban insurgents was published on the Internet in January 2012. It drew a huge public response and Afghan President Hamid Karzai characterized this deed as “inhuman”.
It is true that the behavior of U.S. servicemen has repeatedly stirred high profile scandals. Some of these scandals threatened with serious negative consequences for the US diplomatic relations with other countries.
For example, the burning of Koran copies by US servicemen in Afghanistan led to mass anti-American rallies all across the country. Another even more telling example is the Kandahar massacre when sergeant Robert Bales killed 16 village residents including women, children and old men. As it turned out later, Bales suffered a brain injury when serving in Iraq. The army doctors deliberately refused to diagnose him with a mental disorder like many other servicemen in order not to pay compensations to these soldiers and to save budget funds. The tragedy placed at jeopardy the relations between Afghanistan and the US giving the extremists a good chance to strengthen their anti-Western propaganda.
All these cases show that the Pentagon is incapable to ensure the required level of discipline in the army.
The notorious case of private Manning, on whom the US government is trying to shift the blame for the leak of secret information to the owners of the Wiki Leaks web site is another proof of it. Many witnesses stated that Manning also suffered from a mental disorder which made him simply unfit for being a spy. Also the level of security at the military base where he served left much to be desired. For example, the codes for the databases were kept in a shared-access directory and working computers were used for downloading games and movies.
The case of Jeffrey Sinclair is just another telling example showing that the U.S. armed forces have many serious problems. The main problem is that the military command does not want to perform its direct duties and is trying to shift the blame for its mistakes on its subordinates.