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U.S. Army soldiers respond to a small arms attack in Badula Qulp, Afghanistan.

U.S. soldiers based in Afghanistan have been ordered to ignore rampant sexual abuse of children in what The New York Times describes as a longstanding problem among armed Afghan commanders.

In harrowing details gleaned from court records and through interviews, The Times recounts what is known as “bacha bazi, literally ‘boy play,’” and American soldiers “have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases.”

From The New York Times:

The policy has endured as American forces have recruited and organized Afghan militias to help hold territory against the Taliban. But soldiers and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages — and doing little when they began abusing children.

“The reason we were here is because we heard the terrible things the Taliban were doing to people, how they were taking away human rights,” said Dan Quinn, a former Special Forces captain who beat up an American-backed militia commander for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave. “But we were putting people into power who would do things that were worse than the Taliban did — that was something village elders voiced to me.”

Some social media users took to Twitter to express outrage over the story. Here are some tweets:

How should the U.S. respond to this problem? Sound off…

SOURCE: The New York Times | PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter

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