General Campbell issues statement on sexual abuse
Following the New York Times article on 20 September, 2015 General John Campbell is urging Soldiers to report any abuse to their chain of command. From the Army Times:The top four-star commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. John Campbell, issued a rare statement Tuesday morning clarifying that there is no policy requiring American service members to turn a blind eye to the Afghan cultural practice known as "Bacha Bazi.""I personally have served multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan and am absolutely confident that no such theater policy has ever existed here, and certainly, no such policy has existed throughout my tenure as commander."Campbell said that "any suspicions of sexual abuse will be immediately reported to the chain of command, regardless of who the alleged perpetrators or victims are. The chain of command will take appropriate action under applicable law, as well as DoD and service regulations.""If the abuse involves Afghans, a report shall be forwarded to me through operations channels, copied to the Staff Judge Advocate, so that the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan can be advised and requested to take action."I have personally spoken with [Afghan] President [Ashraf] Ghani on this issue and he made it clear to me that the Afghan government will not tolerate the abuse of its children, or any of its people, and will thoroughly investigate all allegations and administer justice appropriately," Campbell said.
It continues:The issue was also raised Tuesday by retired Gen. David Petraeus, who was testifying on Capitol Hill about the U.S. mission in the Middle East.Petraeus, who was the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011, said it as “absolutely reprehensible, unacceptable behavior" and there was no policy on the matter when he was there.“It certainly was not something that was acceptable or even discussed, frankly, when I was commander of the International Security Assistance Force” in Afghanistan, Petraeus said.“There is no way that that kind of behavior would be seen as helping to serve the Afghan people, and it is absolutely unacceptable,” Petraeus said.Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pressuring the Pentagon to outline a more explicit policy on the issue.A Florida congressman demanded the Pentagon make clear its opposition to child sexual abuse and offer some protection for troops who tried to stop the heinous crime while serving in Afghanistan. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., called the revelations in the Times report disgraceful and disturbing.“Protecting child predators is abhorrent and inconsistent with our values as a nation,” he wrote in a letter Monday to Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs. “It is bad enough if the Pentagon is telling our soldiers to ignore this type of barbaric and savage behavior, but it’s even worse if we are punishing those who try to stop it.”The entire article can be read at the Army Times.[mwi-cat-listing cat="94" ppp="4" cols="4" desc="false" type="view" btn_color="black" ]