US Army Sexual Assaults

Introduction

Ethical concerns are increasingly being experienced in areas where they were perceived to be absent. The military personnel around the globe are known to be disciplined forces, however, recently ethical issues have arisen in many nations’ armies. These ethical issues range from drugs usage by their personnel, unethical battle tactics, cheating recruiting officers, unethical leadership within the army, sexual assaults within and outside the institution including many other concerns. This document seeks to look into sexual assaults regarding the US military both internally and externally. That is, firstly; the sexual assaults extended to civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. Secondly, the sexual assault extended to female US army personnel during both the Iraq-Afghanistan war and overtime.  

Sexual assaults extended to civilians

During the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US soldiers were faced with a lot of ethical claims that defaced the military’s reputation. These ethical concerns led locals to mistrust the force. The most prevalent were the sexual assaults that the military men performed against the civilians in Iraq. Iraq and Afghanistan are Muslim countries that are governed by extreme rules governing sexual issues and that protecting women against the vice thus this act is highly condemned. For instance in 2007, US soldiers gang raped a girl who was fourteen years old in Iraq, this was an extreme ethical issue performed by the disciplined forces who were supposed to protect the same people who they are assaulting (USAToday, 2007).

These unethical problems portray a negative image of soldiers to the public along with the international community. This act undermines the real reason why the soldiers were in the two nations. This act in addition to other sexual assaults drowned all other good deeds that the military personnel were engaged in.  A number of reasons might have motivated the sexual assaults. Firstly, the personnel may have been uncommitted to the mission, regarded the civilian women as irrelevant sexual toys or they may have served too long without a sexual encounter with their spouses. The reasons however, should not give any excuse to making search an obscene and unethical act (US Commission of Civil Rights, 2013). Ethics ought to direct decision-making and I believe that the military personnel during training received training regarding the hardships they have to undergo in the service. The women who were sexually assaulted along with children have been left with scars in their minds and most of them up to date have psychological problems.

Recommendations

In addressing the ethical problems policies guarding civilians against sexual assault from soldiers should be enacted. The US military suffered a bad image due to the sexual assaults done by their armies. Thus, the leaders in the Pentagon require to spearhead the enactment of policies punishing the personnel indiscriminately when they engage in similar kinds of acts (Service Women Action Network, 2011). This is because during the operations though the local women reported the sexual assaults no one believed them, very few cases if any lead to a prosecution or dismissal of the personnel. This clearly shows that the then available laws were in adequate and discriminatory. However, imagining that the rules were sufficient since no prosecutions were accomplished then this shows the unwillingness of the army leaders to pursue justice for the local victims (US Commission of Civil Rights, 2013). The army commanders require to heighten their ethical grip regarding deciding to protect their personnel who have engaged in unethical concerns or protecting the vulnerable local women and children.  

Sexual harassment against female army personnel

It is shameful and extremely unethical that the personnel of the US Military would turn on each other. Reports indicate that even up to today the female military personnel report increased cases of sexual harassment. During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars the female soldiers became preys for their male counterparts (US Commission of Civil Rights, 2013). The number of rapes reported along with other unwarranted sexual advances was on the rise during war.  To make the matters worse the military leaders were mainly implicated in the sexual assaults. This is absolutely sad, since these are the people who were supposed to protect the personnel and encourage the enforcement of rules. The fact that sexual assaults are taking place within the military clearly shows there exist a problem in addressing the ethical issue within the military.

The prevalence of sexual assaults towards female personnel started way before the Iraq-Afghanistan war. Then, after the issue remained unaddressed or under-addressed, it became very prevalent such that it was extended to during the war to harm both the personnel and the civilians. This means that the military academies extend insufficient studies regarding educating the personnel on issues female sexual assaults.  This calls for the military academies to also focus on educating its personnel especially men regarding the sexual assaults and that this forms part of the human rights issue  (Service Women Action Network, 2011)

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The consequences of harassment of female personnel are damaging to the force since the young girls aspiring to join the force will be scared away.  This will lead to a reduced number of female recruits joining the force and ultimately the force will register uneven number of females. Additionally, the female officers deployed during wars are going to reduce significantly, rendering the services that they provide such as medical attention and other supportive services absent. This will lead to an acute shortage of supportive personnel who provide equally essential services during wars. It is very unfortunate that even currently the US Military is reporting sexual harassments within the force both in academies and in the field (DoD, 2012). This seems to be a big problem that requires to be addressed to curb the vice. Most of the female war veterans who were involved in sexual harassment reported increased cases of mental health conditions that eventually led to post-traumatic stress disorder. These mental health problems have been known to contribute to homelessness numbers among the personnel in the US.  The force additionally has over time incurred costs in treatments of illnesses like post traumatic stress disorder along with the therapies extended to the victims (US Commission of Civil Rights, 2013). For instance, in the year 2010 the military spent $10,880 in treatment per sexual victim. This translated to $872 million on only sexual assaults; this is a huge amount that would be utilized elsewhere to address better needs of the department of Defense. Additionally, the US Military compensates the sexual assaults victims (Service Women Action Network, 2011).

Recommendations

The Department of Defense continuously states that the US Military has no place for sexual assaults yet they continue to prevail. The women enrolled in the academies and those deployed  should be able to feel protected from the vice. This campaign must begin at the military academy where young women and men are taught to develop a sexual assault free environment. Additionally there have been many cases where female personnel report an assault case and is threatened or victimized (Service Women Action Network, 2011).  This calls for the body that is charged with reasonability of handling sexual assault issues being made autonomous from the military leaders and personnel. This will enable this body award the victims a fair hearing free from interference. An addition recommendation is that this body must be able to protect the victims after they have reported the assaults from further harassment or threats. The military officers implicated in any sexual assault, that is, whether towards a colleague or a civilian during war be discharged completely. It has been indicated that at times military sexual offenders go free of prosecution or dismissal this fosters impunity and encourages more sexual offences (US Commission of Civil Rights, 2013). The US military in most cases tends to emphasize less on civilian victims, thus, the civilians who were assaulted in Iraq and Afghanistan be compensated and any personnel implicated in be dismissed and prosecuted.

In conclusion, the sexual assaults in the military both towards to the civilians and personnel taint the military’s image. The US Military must therefore move fast to cub the vice through enactment of more strict and responsive laws of dealing with any sexual assaults. This will bring back the glory and image of the globally renowned force. Reduction in sexual assault cases will additionally assist in reducing treatment costs that the army encounters. Additionally the civilians and the female personnel will feel protected from any harassment through these strict rules.

References

DoD. (2012). Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military. Retrieved from http://www.sapr.mil/public/docs/reports/FY12_DoD_SAPRO_Annual_Report_on_Sexual_Assault-VOLUME_ONE.pdf

Service Women Action Network. (2011). Military Sexual Trauma. Retrieved from http://servicewomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/SWAN-MST-fact-sheet1.pdf

US Commission of Civil Rights. (2013). Sexual Assault in the Military. Retrieved from http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/09242013_Statutory_Enforcement_Report_Sexual_Assault_in_the_Military.pdf

USAToday. (2007). Soldier gets 100 years in prison for rape, killing of 14-year-old Iraqi girl – USATODAY.com. Retrieved from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-02-21-iraq-rape-murders_x.htm

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