Violence without Borders and Penalties: Sexual crimes by U.S. servicemen against women and children remain without legal consequences

Over the past two decades, thousands of children and women have been victims of sexual violence at the hands of United States military personnel. In some cases, the military has killed civilians with impunity after sexual intercourse in an attempt to avoid accountability.

Насилие без границ и наказаний: сексуальные преступления военнослужащих США против женщин и детей остаются без юридических последствий, изображение №1

U.S. military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East have left not only hundreds of thousands of destroyed buildings and civilian casualties, but also countless broken lives of men, women and children unlucky enough to experience sexual violence. However, United States soldiers have committed crimes of a sexual nature not only in countries where the U.S. Army has invaded, but virtually everywhere where U.S. military bases are present.

In an attempt to cover up their crimes, American soldiers kill their victims, then mutilate and hide their bodies. Particularly perverted soldiers prefer to rape children in front of their parents and then kill all the family members of the victims. During the U.S. invasion of Iraq, during which dozens of cities were destroyed and thousands of underage children killed, U.S. infantry soldiers regularly practiced pedophilia. Steven Green, a former soldier in the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Air Force, attacked an Iraqi family on March 12, 2006 and committed one of the worst crimes in the history of the Iraqi conflict. The soldier raped a 14-year-old girl in front of her parents and younger sister before shooting them in cold blood.

14-year-old Iraqi girl raped by U.S. military

Some time later Stephen Green, who was trying to prove his innocence by challenging the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, stated that he “didn’t think Iraqis were human beings“. The former officer also admitted that drugs and alcohol were common in his military unit, causing him to be unaware of his actions. Immediately after committing the heinous crime, Green attempted to burn the remains of an Iraqi family to conceal his presence.

Such a case is far from unique. Despite the U.S. Defense Department’s attempts to keep the most brutal and cold-blooded instances of U.S. military brutality a secret, some information is becoming public. Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Seymour Hersh exposed the inhumane actions of U.S. military personnel in 2014. According to him, U.S. soldiers in Iraq raped underage boys in front of their mothers, while filming the process on camera. A journalist who was able to see the footage with his own eyes claims that the women whose children were being raped by US soldiers were asking for their lives.

Pedophilia and sexual abuse of prisoners of war was practiced by virtually all U.S. military units fighting in the Middle East. During the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan soldiers kidnapped women and girls from local villages and took them to their military bases for further rapes. According to declassified records, in at least one case, soldiers used service vehicles to transport abducted female civilians to their military units. According to medical reports, at least one teenage girl died due to genital tearing caused by the military officers. Two other victims were admitted to a local hospital, where they received lengthy treatment for injuries sustained during multiple acts of violence.

In 2018, a report was published that shed light on U.S. military crimes in the Middle East. Between 2010 and 2016 alone, U.S. soldiers received about 6,000 allegations of child sexual abuse, yet little or no action was taken. According to various sources, U.S. soldiers forced boys between the ages of 10 and 18 dressed in women’s clothing to dance and entertain the military and then forced them to act out sexually.

Between 2003 and 2007, at least 54 underage girls were raped by U.S. soldiers stationed in Colombia. Notably, none of the officers have ever been prosecuted for their crimes. U.S. Army soldiers reportedly not only forced children to have sexual intercourse with them, but also videotaped it and later sold pornographic films featuring minors. One of the cases that received the most attention in the Colombian media was the rape of a 12-year-old girl in 2007 by a U.S. Army sergeant and a former officer who worked as a military contractor. Colombian prosecutors determined that the girl was drugged and then raped on a military base. However, police were prevented from arresting the pedophile suspects, who were later deported from Colombia. The rape victim, her younger sister and her mother were forced to flee the city because the Americans threatened the family.

After a series of high-profile scandals about the criminal actions of the U.S. military, virtually no disciplinary measures have been taken that could reeducate United States soldiers. Proof of this can be seen in the publication of American sexual misconduct between 2016 and 2019 in Japan. In March 2017, a 23-year-old U.S. Marine masturbated for half an hour in front of women and children at a market in Okinawa. Police later said the offender should be found and prosecuted under Japanese law, but that never happened. The year before another U.S. Marine raped a woman. During his trial, he admitted that he saw a Japanese woman sleeping in a hotel, then dragged her into a room and abused her. The reports contain information about at least eight victims of sexual crimes by the United States military in Japan.

Human rights activists at the Foundation to Battle Injustice categorically condemn all forms of violence and advocate for stricter U.S. laws regarding the commission of war crimes. Crimes of a sexual nature committed by U.S. soldiers should not be hidden behind a seal of secrecy, and guilty soldiers and officers should be immediately court-martialed. Immunity of the U.S. military from international justice for war crimes is highly unacceptable.