War can cause young soldiers to dehumanize their opponents? The pressures of combat may erode moral sensibilities? Who would have thunk it? Apparently not the ace reporters chasing the Afghan ‘pee-gate’ story at the New York Times–so they spoke to experts who kindly explained the obvious:
Reprehensible behavior, combat veterans and military experts say, is an ever-present risk when troops in their teens and early 20s are thrown into nerve-racking battle for months at a time. And if there are weaknesses in their leadership or breakdowns in discipline, that behavior can easily spill over into acts that might be considered war crimes.
War is hell. Who knew? Thank goodness for experts. Next up: exposure to water found to cause dampness in cloth.