Failures at Fort Hood: A Study of Administrative Shortcomings in Combating Ethnic Tension

Leslie Chappell


On November 5, 2009, Major Nidal Hasan opened fire at Fort Hood, killing thirteen people and injuring thirty-two others.  Hasan’s internal strife over being a Muslim in the United States military combined with the racial discrimination he endured from fellow soldiers triggered his deadly outburst.  The military has failed to address the growing ethnic tension within their ranks, which has arisen due to the War on Terror.  This paper examines the internal threat that ethnic tension poses to national security, concluding that the military’s top-down, linear approach to public administration lends itself to failure at the individual level.  This paper uses a qualitative data-gathering approach, featuring witness testimony, local and national news stories, and press releases from the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. 
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