The Pentagon insists the tragic killings in Afghanistan were an “isolated incident” (TNT, 3-13). This was the fourth deployment for the suspect. On top of that, he had experienced a brain injury on his last tour of duty. With this background he was still assessed to be ready and able to serve a fourth deployment in a war zone.
Yes, he apparently pulled the trigger, but clearly he snapped under the increased pressure of war.
This is tragic on so many levels. Tragic for the Afghan people, especially those who lost family; tragic for the soldier who snapped under a fourth deployment; tragic for his wife and two children, who will always wonder what happened to their loved one; and tragic to our country as we once again try to apologize for “isolated” or “rogue” incidents that are becoming increasingly common.
It is time that we take a serious look at our deployment policies and our assessment instruments for post-traumatic stress syndrome and brain-related injury. I implore the Pentagon to accept that this is more than an “isolated” or “rogue” incident and take appropriate action to support our troops.