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WASHINGTON (AP) — Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, fired from his command in Afghanistan last May and now facing a court-martial on charges of sodomy, adultery and pornography and more, is just one in a long line of commanders whose careers were ended because of possible sexual misconduct.
Sex has proved to be the downfall of presidential candidates, members of Congress, governors and other notables. It’s also among the chief reasons that senior military officers are fired.
At least 30 percent of military commanders fired over the past eight years lost their jobs because of sexually related offenses, including harassment, adultery, and improper relationships, according to statistics compiled by The Associated Press.
The figures bear out growing concerns by Defense Department and military leaders over declining ethical values among U.S. forces, and they highlight the pervasiveness of a problem that came into sharp relief because of the resignation of one of the Army’s most esteemed generals, David Petraeus, and the investigation of a second general, John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.
The statistics from all four military services show that adulterous affairs are more than a four-star foible. From sexual assault and harassment to pornography, drugs and drinking, ethical lapses are an escalating problem for the military’s leaders.
Ben Freeman – (POGO) – November 21, 2012 – In addition to extramarital affairs and “flirtatious e-mails,” the General Petraeus sex scandal highlighted another of the Pentagon’s dirty little secrets – generals live like billionaires, and taxpayers are footing the bill.
As the Washington Post reported on Saturday, these perks “befitting a billionaire,” include, “palatial homes, drivers, security guards and aides to carry their bags, press their uniforms and track their schedules in 10-minute increments. Their food is prepared by gourmet chefs. If they want music with their dinner parties, their staff can summon a string quartet or a choir.”
Lavish perks bestowed to generals increase with higher ranks, as Raymond Dubois, former DoD director of Administration and Management from 2002 to 2005, told Air Force Times. “A four-star has an airplane. A three-star often doesn’t…Can a three-star get an airplane when he needs it? Not always. Does a four-star get an airplane when he needs it? Always. Many times he’ll already have a G5 sitting on the runway, gassed up. There are the kinds of costs that are fairly significant when you add them all up,” according to Dubois.
Despite the warnings, a worrisomely large number of senior officers have been investigated and even fired for poor judgment, malfeasance and sexual improprieties or sexual violence — and that is just in the last year. ~ Thom Shanker, New York Times
Another top general ensnared in Petraeus scandal
Jay Bookman – (Atlanta Journal Constitution) – November 13, 2012 – I guess if you create a culture in which generals are treated as rock stars, they eventually begin to act like, well, rock stars.
Complete with groupies.
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT — The FBI probe into the sex scandal that led to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus has expanded to ensnare Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced early Tuesday.
Noah Feldman – (Bloomberg) – Mar 18, 2012 – A month ago, the one sure thing about Afghanistan was that the U.S. would not withdraw troops before November 2012, staving off potential disaster until after the elections.
Now that assumption is no longer certain.
In the last month, the American effort in Afghanistan hit a grim trifecta: inadvertent Koran burning; the killings of Americans inside the heavily fortified Interior Ministry in Kabul; and the horrific Columbine-comes-to-Kandahar murder of 16 civilians, allegedly by an Army sergeant. The Pentagon will probably still be able to hold on for while. But let there be no mistake: America’s hold on Afghanistan is unraveling, and the troops may come home as quickly as military logistics will allow.
The basic logic for keeping large numbers of U.S. troops in Afghanistan began with the surge in 2010. The idea was that a technique that had worked for General David Petraeus and President George W. Bush in Iraq might work in Afghanistan as well. The odds were never good — much worse than they had been in Iraq, partly because unlike Iraq’s Sunni Muslim insurgents, who are a minority, the Taliban belong to Afghanistan’s dominant Pashtun ethnic group.
Rare ailment found in Iraq, Afghanistan vets
(Detroit Free Press) – July 24, 2011 – Researchers in Tennessee say they’ve discovered scarring inside small airways in the lungs of U.S. troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, causing a rare condition called constrictive bronchiolitis.
The cause of the scarring — and the number of troops that may have it — isn’t yet clear. But the findings, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, could help veterans prove disabilities stemming from their war service.
“These guys had very believable stories,” said Dr. Robert Miller of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “They were elite athletes. … Now, they can’t run 2 miles.”
Although many were exposed to a 2003 sulfur-mine fire near Mosul, Iraq, not all were, so the cause remains a mystery. (Click HERE for article)
U.S. wastes $34 billion in Afghan and Iraq contracting
Phil Stewart – (Reuters) – WASHINGTON – July 23, 2011 – The United States has wasted some $34 billion on service contracts with the private sector in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a study being finalized for Congress.
The findings by a bipartisan congressional commission were confirmed to Reuters by a person familiar with the draft of the study, which is due to be completed in coming weeks.
The analysis by the Commission on Wartime Contracting, details of which were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, offers the most complete look so far at the misuse of U.S. contracting funds in Afghanistan and Iraq, where more than $200 billion has been doled out in the contracts and grants over nearly a decade.
It also gives the most complete picture of the magnitude of the U.S. contracting workforce in the two countries.
The source, who declined to be named, said more than 200,000 contractors have been on the U.S. payroll at times in Iraq and Afghanistan — outstripping the number of U.S. troops currently on the ground in those countries. (Click HERE for article)
Kailua man admits aiding Marine to launder bribes
(Star Advertiser) – HAWAII – July 23, 2011 – A 40-year-old Kailua man admitted in federal court Friday that he helped a Marine Corps sergeant launder bribery money from military contractors in Iraq.
“A friend of mine was getting bribes. I was helping him conceal the bribes,” Francisco Mungia III said.