By Mark McGeoughCNN|August 24, 2020 13:01:25The Pentagon’s top military officer says he wants to stop the military from being a slave-trafficking force, even though some of the most infamous and brutal episodes of the military’s history date back to the days of slavery.US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said in an interview with CNN that he wants commanders to “stop thinking of the Army as a combatant organization” and instead focus on training and developing new tools and tactics to combat human trafficking and other human rights abuses.
“The goal is to eliminate slavery in the military, as much as possible,” Odiernon told CNN.
“If you are able to do that, you will not be able to get rid of slavery.”
In the past decade, the Pentagon has made significant strides in its efforts to eliminate human trafficking, and Odiernos remarks come amid heightened scrutiny of the institution after a string of incidents in which American soldiers and contractors were involved in sexual abuse and other abuses.
Last year, a former Navy SEAL was sentenced to a life sentence in prison for raping a female recruit at a base in Texas.
In October, two former US soldiers pleaded guilty to sexual assault, kidnapping and other crimes against the women and girls they abducted.
Odierno was also asked about the recent allegations of sexual misconduct involving Army Capt. Michael Kinsley, who was charged in September with sexually assaulting an Army soldier in an Oregon field, the first sexual assault charges in the history of the United States military.
“I think that those cases, if proven, would be a significant milestone,” Odierson said.
“It would be great if those cases could be proven, but I don’t think that’s happening.
I don, at this time, think they will be proven.”
Odierson also addressed concerns about a lack of accountability in the service.
The US Army has a “zero-tolerance” policy for sexual assault and sexual harassment, but he said commanders should be more proactive in ensuring soldiers have the proper support systems.
“As a commander, I would say, ‘We are not going to be able solve this problem if we don’t have these people on the ground in those environments,'” Odierons said.
“We are going to have to start looking at ways to help them develop the skills, the knowledge and the discipline to be the best they can be.”
Oddly, Odierns comments come as the Army has been caught in a political firestorm following allegations of misconduct by a dozen military leaders and senior officials.
The allegations were first reported by The New York Times.
In addition to Kinsleys sexual misconduct case, four Army officers and four Navy sailors were arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a female soldier.
The Navy has also been embroiled in an investigation into a sexual assault of a female sailor in January, but the military is yet to make any arrests.
A number of prominent US military figures have come forward in recent weeks to deny wrongdoing, including US Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, who has admitted to having a sexual relationship with a subordinate who was in the Marine Corps, and retired Lt.
Gen. David H. Petraeus, who resigned after being accused of having a relationship with an ex-girlfriend.
The US military has also faced allegations of mismanagement of the troops’ finances, and a number of former and current officers and officials have also come forward with allegations of wrongdoing.
But Odiernumos remarks suggest that his army might be looking for a different approach.
“This is not something that has been done in our history, and certainly not in the past three decades,” Odinesson said of the use of slave-trading as a military tactic.
“But we have a lot of new capabilities that are evolving that we need to use.
The Army is in a different place now than we were in the 1980s, when we were operating under a system that was completely different from what we operate under now.”
Odornys comments come on the heels of a scathing report released in August by the US House of Representatives on the military and sexual abuse.
The report found that soldiers in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines were routinely sexually assaulted and abused by their commanders and superiors.
The findings came after a lengthy investigation into the allegations of abuse by the women who came forward.
The report, by the House Armed Services Committee, came on the same day as a scathing Congressional report released by the Pentagon’s inspector general, which found a wide-ranging systemic failure of the Department of Defense to adequately respond to reports of sexual assault.