Pentagon report: Sexual assault in the military up dramatically

[In a time when the US military continues to face shortages due to ongoing foreign wars, “interventions,” and occupations, the War Department (aka “Defense Department” for cosmetic reasons) has moved to expand their recruiting of women and gays.  While abuse–sexual abuse–has been a long-standing fact of life in colonial and imperial armies, this new Pentagon report of greatly EXPANDED rapes of military troops could not come at a worse time for military recruiters, and for morale and operating unity, among US troops.  So, War Secretary Leon Panetta has made the expected, and routine, vow to reduce sexual assaults within the military with a series of new initiatives. — Frontlines ed.]

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By Anna Mulrine | Christian Science Monitor, January 20, 2012

There has been a startling and consistent increase in violent sex crimes within the US Army since 2006, according to a newPentagon report released Thursday.

It comes one day after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta vowed to reduce the number of sexual assaults within the military, calling the numbers “unacceptable.” He announced that the Pentagon was preparing a series of new initiatives in an effort to try to curb the assaults.

While the measures that Mr. Panetta announced this week were widely welcomed, some democratic lawmakers pointed out that many of the newly-announced initiatives were already slated to go into effect with a law passed by Congress late last year. Others warned that the announced steps did not go far enough to combat the fast-growing problem.

The rate of violent sexual crime has increased 64 percent since 2006 according to the US Army report, which noted that “rape, sexual assault, and forcible sodomy were the most frequent violent sex crimes committed in 2011.”

While women comprise 14 percent of the Army ranks, they account for 95 percent of all sex crime victims.

The study warns that reports of crimes such as forcible sodomy may increase among males in the coming year with the repeal of the law that barred openly gay troops from serving in the military. “Now victims may be more likely to report sexual offenses in the absence of the former Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy,” since troops no longer have to fear being removed from the military if it is discovered that they are gay. Continue reading

On baiting the trap: recruiting troops for the ongoing US military occupations and invasions

[US imperialism has had a hypocritical history regarding immigration.  While hyping xenophobic anti-immigrant campaigns, (blaming “the outsiders” for the capitalist economic crisis), there are ongoing large-scale corporate and government moves to utilize migrants.  These range from the superexploitation of migrant labor (especially in farm labor and construction); the luring of the talented and educated (“brain drain”) from US-dominated and dependent countries worldwide; and the promise of citizenship waved in front of migrants urging them to become, essentially, mercenary recruits for imperialist military occupations.  The military has fallen short in the pool of bodies available for recruitment, which is a large reason for other changes in policy–such as dropping the restrictions on gays in the military, making changes allowing for women in frontline combat units, and making deals with criminalized black youth to “clear their records” by signing up for the army.  Neither Democrats nor Republicans have any plans for reductions in the imperialist armed forces, so it is no surprise the military is making plans to fill the ranks with migrants as well. It is another cynical exploitation by imperialism, wrapped in the guise of “opportunity” for jobless and desperate workers.  — Frontlines ed.]

A small U.S. flags sits on top of a package of citizenship materials given to an Army soldier about to become a U.S. citizen (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

Army, Navy add citizenship option to boot camp

Apr 21, 2011

By SUSANNE M. SCHAFER
Associated PressFORT JACKSON, S.C. (AP) – Military service has long been one route to U.S. citizenship. Now the Army and Navy, in need of specialists and language skills in wartime, are speeding things up by allowing recruits to wrap up the process while they’re still in basic training.It means a change in a no-visitors policy during boot camp, to allow federal immigration officers access to the recruits. But military officials say it’s a well-deserved break for volunteers who otherwise would have to slog through the bureaucratic ordeal during deployments around the world, often far from U.S. embassies. Continue reading