In my view, the U.S. Military needs to take much tougher action against those who engage in such conduct. Such unprofessional conduct has broad ramifications for the national interest (U.S. reputation, foreign relations, etc.). The firmness of the response should be consistent with the damage such conduct causes to the nation as a whole. In an age of intensive and almost instantaneous access to information, these incidents have far more opportunity to cause damage to the national interest than in the past when fewer people would gain access to information concerning what happened.
Right now, I suspect that the measures taken against the individuals responsible for such conduct are overly accommodating. Hence, episodes of such behavior have occurred on repeated occasions, not to the point where such behavior is commonplace but beyond the point where it can be described as isolated or rare. A good starting point might be immediate dishonorable discharge and loss of any pension/health benefits that one might otherwise have accrued from one's military service if one is found to have engaged in such conduct.
Clearly, a counterargument would be that the soldiers are young, they were acting impulsively without thinking, etc. Unfortunately, the nature of their job requires professional conduct at all times. Their unprofessional behavior inflicts or has the potential to inflict serious damage to the national interest, not to mention the reputation of the U.S. Military and its personnel, the overwhelming majority of whome are highly professional. In the broader context, soldiers serve to safeguard the national interest, not to damage it. The national interest takes priority. Therefore, it should take priority when it comes to disciplinary considerations.
Last edited by donsutherland1; 04-19-12 at 02:20 PM.
It's GREAT to be me. --- "45% liberal/55% conservative"
Diplomacy is the art of saying 'nice doggy" until you can find a gun.
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― Stephen R. Covey