Even before the Army confirmed a third military sexual-assault preventer had been implicated in sexual harassment in the past two weeks late Thursday – the charges ranged from sexual battery, to pandering, to stalking an ex-wife – the Army’s top general, and the commander-in chief, said they’ve had enough.
Late Thursday, the Army said Lieut. Colonel Darin Haas, chief of the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Prevention/Equal Opportunity program manager at Fort Campbell, Ky., has been booted from that post following a dispute with his ex-wife. Local police arrested Haas Wednesday night and charged him with stalking her and sending threatening emails in violation of a court-issued protective order.
Sexual assault in the ranks “is going to make — and has made — the military less effective than it can be,” President Obama said at a meeting of the nation’s military leaders to focus on the issue. “It is dangerous to our national security.”
Only hours earlier, General Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, fired a volley at his troops on the subject. “The Army is failing in its efforts to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment,” Odierno said in a written message. “It is up to every one of us, civilian and Soldier, general officer to private, to solve this problem within our ranks.”
The Pentagon is scrambling to try to turn the situation around, but there is a growing sense in the building that the series of scandals is beyond the military’s control. Defense officials desperately want the string of bad news to stop, but – like IEDs in Afghanistan – the chance of the next one blowing up is equal parts action and…