There's really nothing good to say about this

>> Thursday, November 5, 2009

At this point, I'm leaning towards Maj. Hasan attempting "suicide by cop." But who knows. Everything currently known could change later on.

But the PTSD issue is a serious one. One that the military doesn't really give it the importance that it should as Mark Benjamin has noted in his reporting.
Together, the need for combat troops and the desire to control costs create what David Rudd, chairman of the Texas Tech department of psychology and a former Army psychologist, calls "huge institutional pressures" for the Army to ignore PTSD and the psychological impact of war whenever possible. "The military is not geared to treat psychiatric illness," Rudd said. "They continue to have difficulty accepting the psychological costs of war."

Rudd sees this same state of denial in the military's reaction to the most obvious and disturbing consequence of seven years of war -- escalating suicide rates among ground troops. Last year, 140 Army soldiers committed suicide, which was the highest rate on record.

Last month, the Army announced that the trend continues. Forty-eight soldiers have already killed themselves this year. If that pace is not slowed, at least 225 soldiers will be dead by their own hands by the end of 2009.

Top military officials, however, continue to fluctuate between admitting that combat stress might be one in a series of factors leading to suicides to categorically denying any correlation between war and suicides.

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last month, Peter Chiarelli, the Army's vice chief of staff, stated, "We are at war, and we have been at war for the past seven-plus years. That has undeniably put a strain on our people and equipment." But he blamed the spike in suicides on other factors, such as marital discord, family disagreements, legal, financial and work problems.

Rudd said those kinds of statements become "a little bit more deceptive-looking each month these [suicide] numbers go up." Lurking behind the Army's denial, he said, is the fear there won't be enough boots on the ground in Iraq. "We were not ready for a five-to-six-year campaign," said Rudd. "We were ready for a two-month deal."
The above is from this past April. Just imagine how the suicide numbers will rise if the US decides to increase the number of soldiers in Afghanistan.


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