Photo Flap Shows Military's Digital Generation Gap
Actions aren't new, it's all those cameras: Andrew Exum
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2012 12:36 PM CDT
The front page of the Los Angeles Times newspaper with a photograph of US soldiers posing with the remains of suicide bombers.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – The US military is dealing with yet another scandal involving soldiers' treatment of enemy remains. These kinds of incidents are nothing new in the annals of war, writes former Army officer Andrew Exum at Bloomberg View. The difference today is the "ubiquitous presence" of camera phones. Combine that with a "generational divide" on technology—the military's senior ranks can be clueless about Twitter, Facebook, etc., while young soldiers can be naive about consequences—and you'll see why the US military has a long-term problem on its hands.

In the meantime, "the importance of small-unit leadership has never been more vital," writes Exum. "If an 18-year-old paratrooper wants to snap a photo of himself with a dead Talib, his 21-year-old team leader has to intervene. And that 21-year-old team leader’s 24-year-old platoon leaders and 32-year-old platoon sergeant have to set clear expectations for what is appropriate." And maybe it's not such a bad thing if these photos show up every now and then in US living rooms, Exum adds. Americans should know what men and women of "shockingly young age" have to confront every day on the battlefield. Click for Exum's full column.

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
Apr 21, 2012 1:52 PM CDT
what did you do in the war daddy? I DID THIS SON! AINT YOU SO PROUD OF YOUR GOOD OL POPS?
Apr 20, 2012 11:07 PM CDT
People have been collecting "war trophies" for all of human history.... To expect soldiers to be different and more sensitive today is folly....
Apr 20, 2012 2:01 PM CDT
What is to be afraid of ? what is there to hide? where is the freedom of media and speech?