Four Lewis-McChord soldiers have been convicted in connection with the deliberate thrill killings in 2010 of three Afghan civilians, according to the Associated Press. The “kill team,” as the soldiers were called in the media, was charged with randomly targeting and killing unarmed Afghan civilians for sport. The base has also had a spate of suicides among soldiers who have returned from war.
A request for comment from Lewis-McChord was not immediately returned, but officials told the AP that any community the size of the base — a sprawling complex home to about 100,000 military and civilian personnel — is likely to have problems. Its reputation has been tainted by “a small number of highly visible but isolated episodes,” the officials said.
Clearly, while the large size of the joint base is a fair point, there’s something to be said about this as a major problem — and considering there’s already a history here, some consideration needs to be given. Will this require fundamental changes? Or is this less of a factor than it seems?