The case of Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales emphasizes a growing stereotype of American military personnel ready to snap. But many soldiers and observers disagree.
Bales stands accused of killing several civilians, mostly children, in a violent rampage in Afghanistan. Since, commentators have speculated on Bales’ four deployments into combat during the past decade, a brain injury, other injuries, financial problems at home, witnessing the deaths of friends, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder.
The incident spurred Time magazine columnist Joe Klein to recently write that focusing on possible reasons for Bales’ actions reinforces the wrong stereotypes and does a disservice to those who have served admirably.