A general has been charged with forcible sodomy as well as “inappropriate relationships” with women under his command in Afghanistan, and now faces a court martial. Brig. General Jeffrey Sinclair has served with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Lewis, and has earned a number of awards related to combat arms and parachuting. He’s a real combat general; not an armchair type.
A news release by the Fort Bragg Public Affairs Office listed the charges presented against Sinclair as including “forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct, attempted violation of an order, violations of regulations by wrongfully engaging in inappropriate relationships and misusing a government travel charge card, violating general orders by possessing alcohol and pornography while deployed, maltreatment of subordinates, filing fraudulent claims, engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman and engaging in conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline, or of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.”
Few specifics about the allegations against Sinclair were released Wednesday, but a Defense Department official said “several women were the subject of Sinclair’s alleged misconduct.”
I suspect that the more combat-oriented an environment is in the military, the more likely these problems with women are to come about. For one thing, fighting men are more passionate by nature, and then there’s the fact that these men also turn women on more. A forward base in hostile territory is not likely to have the same atmosphere as an assignment stateside. The sense of danger actually tends to make people more sexually charged, or so I’ve heard from those who survived battles and sieges on the Eastern Front in WWII, where female-operated AA batteries behind the front lines became de-facto brothels.
Add to that the fact that our personnel are serving in a remote Muslim country with no access to local females to speak of, and things are bound to happen. As to whether Sinclair “forced” anything on anybody, we don’t know at this point, and it seems unlikely, but it isn’t surprising at all that some forbidden hanky-panky may have occurred.
When ideologues make attempts to force equality on real-life situations – particularly extreme ones – the results are rarely satisfactory. The answer, of course, is always “we need more equality,” and unfortunately those who screwed up by implementing it in the first place never have to answer for their mistakes. Eventually, the result is a steady deterioration of performance that hollows out the mission, and ultimately national power and strength.