Read that last sentence again. Is it saying that serious crimes are committed less often by military members than by the civilian community? Yep! In fact, ask most people in the military (and most well-traveled Americans) and they'll tell you that the most law-abiding nations they've seen are Japan and Korea (and Singapore, of course). Here's what Slate found:
In Okinawa, Japan, for example, American soldiers have been involved in several high-profile rapes and have been accused of more widespread violence. While it's reasonable to expect that a population of young men trained in warfare would commit crimes at higher rates, a recent study found that the troops in Okinawa were less than half as likely to break the law as those in the general population. In Korea, too, U.S. servicemen seem to be arrested for serious crimes far less often than the locals.
The article goes on to note that the level of violent crimes changes significantly for combat vets. The greater the exposure they had to combat, the greater risk of criminal behavior.
Any claims of a culture of rape then, must be taken in the context of the times;especially in regard to whether there are sustained major combat operations during the time in question. I have said all along that the military is a tool, and all blame for how that tool is used or what that tool does belongs on those putting the tool to use; in this case, our military has been at war nonstop since 9/11. While military personnel must be held accountable for the crimes they commit, the ultimate blame must be laid on those who took this nation to war: our civilian leadership. Any such epidemic of rape by military personnel, then, is not the result of a culture thereof, but is rather a symptom of what happens to those who experience combat. Unfortunately, the above studies and observations would indicate that the current high rates of sexual assault and rape by military personnel will continue for several years after the end of sustained combat operations which, in my opinion, would mean until the point that combat vets no longer comprise the majority of front-line supervisors.