The soldier is from the Seattle area and asked to be represented by Browne when he was taken into custody, Browne said. He also said that he has met with the soldier's family and that unless the soldier is returned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the next few days, he will travel to meet the soldier wherever he is in custody.
The army has withheld the soldier's name, as did Browne.
Meanwhile, the American campaign in Afghanistan suffered a double blow yesterday: The Taliban broke off talks with the U.S., and President Hamid Karzai said NATO should pull out of rural areas and speed up the transfer of security responsibilities to Afghan forces nationwide in the wake of the killing of the 16 civilians.
The moves represent new setbacks to America's strategy for ending the 10-year-old war at a time when support for the conflict is plummeting. Part of the U.S. exit strategy is to transfer authority gradually to Afghan forces. Another tack is to pull the Taliban into political discussions with the Afghan government.
Although Karzai has previously said that he wanted international troops to transition out of rural areas, the apparent call for an immediate exit is new. Karzai also said he now wants Afghan forces take the lead for countrywide security in 2013, in what appeared to be a move to push the U.S. toward an earlier drawdown.