The question attracted wide media attention last week after a soldier stationed there for the last decade, 38-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, in a March 11 rampage. Reports have surfaced that trauma and stress from multiple combat tours, possibly mixed with alcohol, might have sent the married father of two over the edge.
Some connected the massacre to other problems at the base south of Tacoma, Wash.: a record number of suicides, several investigations into the treatment of soldiers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, a "kill team" convicted of murdering civilians for sport in Afghanistan and a string of other crimes involving present and past soldiers.
They resurrected a label given by the military newspaper Stars and Stripes in 2010: the "most troubled base in the military."