Yet another failure on the part of the Bush Administration in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. From the article:
The Army was unprepared for the high number of suicides and cases of post-traumatic stress disorder among its troops, as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have continued far longer than anticipated. Many Army posts still do not offer enough individual counseling and some soldiers suffering psychological problems complain that they are stigmatized by commanders. Over the past year, four high-level commissions have recommended reforms and Congress has given the military hundreds of millions of dollars to improve its mental health care, but critics charge that significant progress has not been made.
The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have placed severe stress on the Army, caused in part by repeated and lengthened deployments. Historically, suicide rates tend to decrease when soldiers are in conflicts overseas, but that trend has reversed in recent years. From a suicide rate of 9.8 per 100,000 active-duty soldiers in 2001 -- the lowest rate on record -- the Army reached an all-time high of 17.5 suicides per 100,000 active-duty soldiers in 2006.
To get some perspective on the above numbers: By comparison, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there were 11.05 suicides for every 100,000 people in the United States in 2005.
It is so wonderful to have Bush saying how much success we are having in Iraq in the State of the Union. Applauding how the surge is working. A surge which should have taken places years ago. Or perhaps we should have had enough troops to do the job from the first place. Again it is good to know this “success” is coming on the backs of the ordinary solider that this country is incapable of taking care of properly once he returns home.
The article continues:
The study, which the Army’s top personnel chief ordered six months ago, acknowledges that the Army still does not know how to adequately assess, monitor and treat soldiers with psychological problems. In fact, it says that “the current Army Suicide Prevention Program was not originally designed for a combat/deployment environment.”
Wow then let me take a quick guess and say the program is worthless!