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Shane Harris – Marines Trained That Rape in Afghanistan Is a ‘Cultural’ Issue

U.S. Marines preparing to go overseas are given a detailed training session about the Marine Corps’ own rules against sexual assault. But they are offered practically no guidance on what to do if they witness rape and other sexual abuses by “local nationals” in other countries, including Afghanistan, where child rape is common.

A 45-minute scripted presentation given to Marines as part of their pre-deployment process doesn’t say that they shouldn’t report sexual assaults in the countries where they’re serving. But it explains that laws and norms about sexual relations vary from country to country, and that in Afghanistan in particular, sexual assault is a “cultural” issue, and not a purely legal one.

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