Nightly News   |  November 05, 2009

Gen. McCaffrey: Rampage 'hard to put into context'

Nov. 5: Retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey offers analysis on the impact the shootings will have on the huge military community surrounding the Fort Hood Army base.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> this case. pete, thanks.

>>> retired army four- star general barry mccaffrey is very familiar with ft. hood and the huge military base and around it. he's with us tonight from rochester, new york. general, what does this trigger with you? what else do you want to know about this case?

>> well, first of all, obviously, brian, this is an enormous tragedy. i mean, we've got 43,000 u.s. servicemen and women killed and injured in combat since 9/11. and here we suffered what looks to me like the worst peacetime disaster, domestic disaster, we've ever run into. so it's out of the ordinary. we can't understand it. an officer, a professional, heart and soul of army medicine comes out of that uniformed services medical college . so it's -- it's hard to put it into context except there's a lot of grieving military families today.

>> and talk to us about the community that is ft. hood, texas, the sprawling city unto itself.

>> yeah, well, it's the giant engine of combat power that's been putting brigades, combat brigades in iraq and afghanistan since the start of war. two full divisions there, now commanded by lieutenant general bob collin, one of our most brilliant officers, combat veteran of afghanistan. a lot of military families on post. there are elements of the post that look like dallas suburbs. so this is a vibrant community. it's one of the safest places in america. these military posts have security around the perimeter, people go on with decals on their car. people leave their doors open. so, you know, it's just unbelievable to see mass murder on a military installation .

>> a very tough night indeed on the grounds of ft. hood and beyond. retired army four- star general barry mccaffrey , thank you for being with us tonight, general.