The public image of the US is once again being questioned as its army was forced to apologise following the publication of repulsive photographs in Der Spiegel magazine that show American soldiers in Afghanistan posing next to a body.

These pictures are, of course, reminiscent of the gruesome images of abuse by US personnel at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq more than seven years ago.

It seems these soldiers, who go on these missions, find it very difficult to stick to doing their jobs and are looking for ways to entertain themselves and their friends at the expense of innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The army's apology, while necessary, is not enough to confront this problem. The five soldiers involved in the scandal belonged to a self-styled ‘Kill-Team' that murdered innocents. It wouldn't be surprising if other similar teams existed.

Regardless of whether one supports US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, there's a clear line that American soldiers in action must not cross.

Targeting civilians as a sport or for entertainment alludes to the fact that these soldiers are psychologically unfit and suffer from superiority complexes. Moreover, their commanders must also be questioned and brought to justice.

These photos have once again shamed the US throughout the world and shed major light on how the West has lost the plot in Afghanistan. The sooner the US focuses on an exit strategy the better.