Recent information blows my PTSD theory. Sgt Bales wasn’t suffering the effects of multiple deployments. He re-up’d and saw the military as his calling. It sounds like a deliberate attack. I have a new theory. The only sane response to an irrational and life-threatening situation is to act in an equally irrational manner. U.S. soldiers are trained to fight with ‘discrimination’ and regard for civilian life. However, they’re constantly put into battle with an enemy that fights without such civility. The Taliban are known to place little value on the lives of civilians. The Afghan people live in fear of the Taliban, but the Taliban are there all the time and they know they’ll continue being there after we’re gone. They side with them out of necessity. As a result, U.S. soldiers are operating in a region “..riddled with mistrust and hostility.” In an effort to deprive Taliban fighters of cover, U.S. soldiers routinely bulldoze houses, orchards, and farms. This fuels more hostility. As a result, residents regularly assist the Taliban. They help plant IED’s and U.S. soldiers often find bomb-making material in their homes. The war in Afghanistan has put our troops in an un-winnable situation. I deplore the killing of innocent women and children (any killing for that matter) ..but the civilian population is harbouring and assisting the enemy and the Taliban have no problem getting their compliance out of the barrel of a gun. This is no doubt the case in the Panjwayi district where Sgt Bales and his squad were operating. Perhaps the only way Sgt Bales felt he could deliver a message of strength was to act with equal ruthlessness. It’s been seen before. During the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, orders were given to shoot civilians “They're all V.C., now go and get them” [ link ]. Instead of prosecuting Sgt Bales, perhaps it’s the U.S. war in Afghanistan that should stand trial.