The Roots of Sexual Abuse in the Military

msaEven 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.”

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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…



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