"Charlie" Simpson, a counterinsurgency expert who worked in southern Afghanistan last year with the soldiers' parent unit, the 5th Stryker Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division, reports that she has "little doubt" that,
the permissive, savage command climate emanated from the top. There were multiple opportunities (and calls) to relieve the brigade commander following a disastrous performance in Arghandab; instead the RC South commander reassigned the battalions and developed a new mission for the brigade.
It is interesting that the critical Army Times article Charlie links to was published before the alleged string of murders began. Army Times also reported a lot of substance abuse in the unit. It makes me wonder if innocent lives could have been saved if the chain of command was more on the ball.
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.