The US military and its allies are drawing up plans to leave Afghanistan by 2014, but it will be some time before the nation is truly independent. Peace in Afghanistan has been interspersed with foreign invasion for centuries, from the Mongol Empire to today’s war. We talk with writer Tamim Ansary about his new book, “Game Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan,” and what Afghan independence might look like in the future.
This month Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta laid out plans for the future of the US military. And as troops return from Afghanistan, that strategy includes shifting security operations to the Pacific Rim. Soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) will play a major role in that plan.
Witnesses and survivors recounted a horrific scene following a massacre at two villages in Kandahar Province March 11 that killed 16 civilians and wounded six. They testified via a live video link from Afghanistan during a pretrial hearing for Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.
Pre-trial hearings continue this evening at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. He’s accused of massacring 16 civilians in Afghanistan, including nine children. Prosecutors say he left his base last March and went on an overnight five-hour killing spree.
The hearings will determine whether the case will advance to court-martial, where the government has said it plans to seek the death penalty. KUOW’s Sara Lerner spoke with Patricia Murphy, who’s covering the hearings.
Pretrial hearings for Staff Sergeant Robert Bales continue tonight when Afghan villagers and soldiers are expected to testify by video. The hearings are expected to run into the early morning hours US time.
A pretrial hearing is scheduled to begin Monday morning for the Washington soldier charged with massacring 16 Afghan civilians in March. Army prosecutors at Joint Base Lewis-McChord will make the case that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales should face a full court martial.
Sgt. Bales is a 39-year-old married father of two. He’s accused of entering two Afghan villages on the night of March 11 and murdering nine children, three women and four men –- then burning some of the bodies. Bales was on his fourth combat deployment at the time of killings.