The unidentified American soldier who allegedly opened fire on helpless Afghan civilians, killing 16 near Kandahar, could face the death penalty. While the Army has not yet released the name of the soldier, he has been described as a 38-year-old father of two who was on his first tour in Afghanistan after three in Iraq. The sergeant, who had been trained as a sniper, had been treated for traumatic brain injury after a vehicle he was in rolled in Iraq in 2010, but military officials said it was too early to link his brain injury to the shootings. It is likely that, after psychological evaluation, the accused soldier will face charges in the U.S. military-justice system. President Obama, speaking to Americans who had already lost enthusiasm for the war, said the military will stick to plans to scale back troop commitments gradually over the next two years.
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