Ten years ago, a US-led invasion brushed aside Iraq's army and toppled the country’s long-time leader, Saddam Hussein. The swift military operation quickly became a difficult and complicated occupation. The US found itself fighting an insurgency, and a sectarian conflict nearly consumed the country.
The Army has more than doubled its number of military and civilian behavioral health workers in the past five years, however, a newly released report that examines how the Army evaluates soldiers for mental health issues finds that the system is riddled with problems.
Does firing the top brass hold the key to success for America's military? Author, journalist and senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security Thomas Ricks argues that the top military leadership of the United States has not lived with the same fear of being relieved of duty the way it once did. Ricks says lax treatment of underperforming generals since World War II has invited subpar performance and a lack of accountability. We talk with Thomas Ricks about his new book, “The Generals.”
Also this hour: Weekday green thumbs Marty Wingate, Willi Galloway and Greg Rabourn join us to answer your flower, vegetable and native plant questions. Need guidance for your garden? Call us at 206.543.5869 or email email@example.com.
Plus, Michael Fagin joins us to recommend a hike to match the week's weather forecast.
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.
The Army sergeant charged with killing 16 Afghan civilians earlier this year has arrived back in Washington. That confirmation came late Monday from an official at Joint Base Lewis McChord.
Sgt. Robert Bales has been held at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas since March when he was accused of the murders and other crimes. His attorney, Emma Scanlan, calls her client’s return home to Washington “incredibly significant.”