Monday, May 07, 2007

The psychological impact of this war

The Washington Post has a story up detailing some disturbing trends for soldiers and Marines who are serving or have served in Iraq.
-More than one-third of U.S. soldiers in Iraq surveyed by the Army said they
believe torture should be allowed if it helps gather important information about

-Four in 10 said they approve of such illegal abuse if it would save the
life of a fellow soldier.

-About two-thirds of Marines and half the Army troops surveyed said they
would not report a team member for mistreating a civilian or for destroying
civilian property unnecessarily. "Less than half of Soldiers and Marines
believed that non-combatants should be treated with dignity and respect," the
Army report stated.

The Surge will have a positive impact as well...
-the more often soldiers are deployed, the longer they are deployed each
time; and the less time they spend at home, the more likely they are to suffer
mental health problems such as combat trauma, anxiety and depression. That
result is particularly notable given that the Pentagon has sent soldiers and
Marines to Iraq multiple times and recently extended the tours of thousands of
soldiers to 15 months from 12 months.

-the strains placed on troops in Iraq are in some ways more severe than
those borne by the combat forces of World War II. "A considerable number of
Soldiers and Marines are conducting combat operations everyday of the week,
10-12 hours per day seven days a week for months on end," wrote Col. Carl Castro
and Maj. Dennis McGurk, both psychologists. "At no time in our military history
have Soldiers or Marines been required to serve on the front line in any war for
a period of 6-7 months."

-soldiers be given breathers during combat tours and intervals of 18 to 36
months between such tours, substantially longer than they are allowed now.

-more than 40 percent of soldiers reported low morale in their units.

But the news gets better for families back home right?
-about 20 percent of soldiers said they were planning a divorce or
separation, up from 15 percent in the previous year's survey.

-Marital problems seem to grow with the length of a deployment, the survey
found. Ten percent of soldiers deployed for less than six months reported that
infidelity was a problem in their marriage, compared with 17 percent among those
who had been in Iraq longer than that.

To be honest, none of these figures are shocking to me. I wish more American's realized the impact of this war on the families as well as the soldier. While public opinion strongly supports withdrawal from Iraq, the President and those in the 28% club are slowly but surely destroying our nations military.

2 comments: said...

The Pentagon spun this to equal an "atta-boy" to the military's leadership...rationalizing such a take on it based on "well they're crazy, but they're not acting out on their urges, so that's a testament to the leadership"...

WOW! I'm fully invested in this theme of blasting these generals. Probably went over the top in this one, but I really don't care anymore. They deserve it: said...

always forget to tag it...

Peter Pace - Practice Makes Perfect