The cold blooded killing of 16 Afghan civilians by a US serviceman has further damaged US Afghan relations and calls for troops to leave the country are being voiced in Afghanistan and the United States.
The murders have put the NATO force at risk and US diplomats on the backfoot.
Hillary Clinton is well aware of the difficulties involved:
“An incident like this is inexplicable and certainly caused many questions to be asked.”
The Lewis-McChord base in Lakewood in the state of Washington, where the suspected killer was based, has suffered a recent spate of suicides amongst soldiers returning from the frontline:
“I can’t think of anybody in the world who’d say going and killing 16 civilians and children is OK, anywhere in the world. Much less when you are wearing an American flag and that US army tag. Is just completely unacceptable,” said one young marine.
According to reports coming out of the US the staff sergeant suspected of the killings had suffered a traumatic brain injury and had family problems following his last deployment.
News of the massacre comes as no surprise to former soldier, Jorge Gonzalez, who now runs a coffee shop close to the Lewis-McChord base.
“The things that have been coming out of that base like the Afghan kill team and the rise of suicide rates and the rise of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder cases, is no surprise at all.