A series of recent high-profile scandals in the army have indeed made it obvious that the military code of conduct needs adjustment, even though Pentagon officials say that things aren’t dramatic, playing down fears that the army, weakened by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, is in a far worse condition than after the Vietnam War of the 1960s.
Many problems facing the US army stem from negligence and a lack of professionalism at commanding echelons. The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus, an iconic general and former commander of the US forces in Iraq, over an extramarital affair with journalist Paula Broadwell and a leak of secret information, was a damaging blow to the image of the Armed Forces. But Petraeus’s resignation is just the tip of the iceberg. Scandals surrounding high-ranking US officers are becoming more frequent. Suffice it to mention Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinklair facing a court martial on multiple counts of sexual abuse of his female subordinates.
It’s pretty much the same in the Navy. The Israeli Press TV channel reports that two US naval officers were dismissed from service this week for “inappropriate conduct”. Other scandalous instances of brazen misconduct by US troops include the burning of copies of the Koran at a military base in Afghanistan and the desecration of the corpses of militants.
True, the Pentagon claims to have taken measures to prevent similar incidents in the future, but its belated response has failed to repair their demoralizing effects on the army.
Decreasing troop morale amid a worsening situation in Afghanistan and Iraq and boiling tensions in the Middle East and North Africa may cost the Pentagon and the entire America dearly.