The Sunday slaughter of 16 Afghan civilians in their homes allegedly by an American soldier is prompting many critics to say the U.S. needs to pull its troops out of Afghanistan very soon. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he hopes the very unfortunate incident doesn’t force the U.S. to alter course after many years of working to build allies and trust in that country.
“You should not talk freely about what your military strategy is,” Grassley says. “Maybe announcing that we would be out in 2014, even though I think that’s reasonable, just announcing it is a way of telling the Taliban that if they wait around a couple years, they can have the country to their own and maybe accomplish their own goals.”
Grassley, a Republican, says he thinks it would be a mistake to step up our Afghan withdrawal plans. Grassley says, “I want to stay on the course we’re on.” He says we’re a government based on the rule of law and the law has to be enforced.
“War is not a normal environment so all the rules of a very peaceful society don’t necessarily apply to war,” Grassley says. “There has to be some consideration to our putting men’s (lives) in jeopardy, particularly if the person that killed 16 people was unstable because of the war situation.”
Reports say the unidentified soldier had recently sustained a head injury in a vehicle accident in Iraq. The 38-year-old Army staff sergeant is in U.S. custody in Afghanistan.