This sort of empty linguistic nonsense passes for interpretive thinking at The New York Times, at the Diane Rehm Show, at NPR.
It assumes there is a place in a human's head where something can happen. It has nothing to do with military operations or ideology, it's a psyche thing.
What if human psychology were merely a negotiated protocol? A way to not understand anything?
What if there is no inside in Mr. Bales's head or in anyone else's? Where then might "something" snap?
What is a snap? What is "something?" We really do not want to understand, we just want to make verbal noises? The Times utters a meaningless noise and our cognitive intelligences all sit, like dogs?