Talk about not helping the situation: early this Sunday morning local time a US soldier stationed at Kandahar left his base, and walking through pitch black night entered three separate homes, and apparently opened fire on the civilians inside. Estimates of injured are muddled, with ISAF saying 5 injured, and Afghan sources reporting 15-17 killed.
I am going to go with the Afghans for now, and assume up to 17 deaths.
The US explanation, apart from apprehending and investigating the perpetrator, is that he was having a mental breakdown. Rather lame imo, because even if true, Al Qaeda and the Taliban could claim they all were having a mental breakdown too, and for the same reason:
if you see enough killing of compatriots and perceived injustice, get MAD enough, you simply may 'snap'. Right!
If this guy was no longer able to function, they should have taken away his gun, and order him to see a shrink or sumtin. That's the responsibility of his military employer.
The Afghan response can be expected to be (justified) outrage over these murders, inevitably including the loss of innocents. There's some hypocrisy as well, since the Islamist extremists have been deliberately sending out killers, taking the lives of random US service men, and for instance supposedly 'Christian' aid workers in that country. More grist for the mill of the Taliban hoping to fan the fires of America-hate. Again there are the silly requests by Afghan officials and citizens that the shooter be tried under Afghan law: Afghanistan has a binding agreement with the United States saying that Department of Defense personnel (both civilian & military) have diplomatic immunity, so only the US is permitted to prosecute them.
This seems like a mess getting worse by the day. The US want to leave Afghanistan by 2014, plus sign a long-term strategic agreement for the future. Difficult to get this right, when the people, army and police America tries to partner with increasingly feels they are the enemy.