Baghdad A U.S. general in Iraq who listed pregnancy as a reason for court-martialing soldiers said Tuesday that he would never actually seek to jail someone over the offense but wanted to underline the seriousness of the issue.
Last month, Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo issued a policy that would allow soldiers who become pregnant and their sexual partners to be court-martialed. But he appeared to back away from the policy in a conference call with reporters, saying the policy was intended to emphasize the problems created when pregnant soldiers go home and leave behind a weaker unit.
“I have never considered court-martial for this, I do not ever see myself putting a soldier in jail for this,” said Cucolo, who oversees U.S. forces in northern Iraq. But since pregnant women automatically go home, their units are left short-staffed, he said.
“I need every soldier I’ve got,” Cucolo said. “I need them for the entire duration of this deployment.”