Report: 5th Stryker Brigade 'dysfunctional' even before Afghanistan

Two generals who oversaw the training for a troubled Stryker brigade told an Army investigator that they regretted not removing the brigade commander before the unit left for Afghanistan, according to a defense witness who has studied the investigation and who testified Wednesday in court at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

“The brigade was dysfunctional,” said Texas A&M sociology professor Stjepan Mestrovic. He testified on behalf of Spc. Jeremy Morlock, who pleaded guilty to murdering three Afghan civilians during his deployment with the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division last year.

Mestrovic’s description was the first public discussion of the report. It was commissioned last fall by Lewis-McChord commander Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti to investigate whether officers should have known that enlisted soldiers were using drugs and carrying out schemes to murder civilians after deploying to southern Afghanistan in July 2009.

The Army has concealed the 500-page report, written by Brig. Gen. Stephen Twitty, and given it only to defense attorneys representing soldiers who now face misconduct charges. The News Tribune has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain a copy of it.

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