US military leaders in Afghanistan should have recognized indicators that Sergeant Robert Bales was prone to violence before he slaughtered 16 Afghans in Kandahar province in 2012, the US Army revealed in an internal investigative report.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Army officers were unaware of incidents that amounted to "warnings and indicators that SSG [Sergeant] Bales would engage in future unwarranted violent behavior against Afghans," the report read on Tuesday.
Bales’ assault on an Afghan truck driver, the report explained, and concerns by other Army officers about Bales acting erratically due to steroid use, should have raised red flags about his potential to inflict violence.
The report recommended better training for senior officers on how to more efficiently enforce standards and monitor conduct related to alcohol, drug use and equal opportunity violations.
Bales was serving his fourth combat deployment in March 2012, when he left his outpost in Kandahar province in the middle of the night and opened fire on residents in two villages.