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Iraq as Factor of Suicide in US Army

19.02.2008 16:41

А. Novik

Deterioration of the moral and mental condition of the US troops in Iraq is one of the most urgent problems of the US Army. Due to this reason as from the date of the US intervention in Iraq thousands of militaries were returned to the USA. Hundreds of them were recognized mentally sick.

The gravest concern of Pentagon is caused by suicide attempts among the US soldiers in Iraq that has increased almost six-fold since 2003. The statistics confirm the year-by-year suicide rising trend. For example, 87 US militaries in Iraq committed suicide in 2005, and already 102 – in 2006. In 2007, there were 2100 suicide attempts in the US troops in Iraq. On the average, it is 5 suicide attempts a day. Including, in 2007, 89 men died, and another 32 deaths were qualified as “the possible suicide”.

Many soldiers injure themselves – shoot at their leg, cut their forefinger, etc. Such patients do not stay in Iraq but are sent to the USA for treatment.

The situation about the suicide and self-injury in the US troops is so serious that Pentagon has set a special board to investigate this problem. The suicides and self-injuries are mainly caused by apprehension, stresses and psychological failures that the US occupation troop soldiers suffer. The general situation makes the soldiers permanently stay under stress associated with a treat of terrorist attack or clash with insurgents. The US death toll in Iraq from the date of the war exceeded two thousand. And it has the respective consequences.

The mental stress is also caused by excessive physical loads. As the matter of fact, in the condition of permanent danger the soldiers at all times should wear flak jacket, helmet, water flask and ammunition stock. Such outfit in the hot weather causes not only physical but also psychological fatigue and even failures.

The moral of “the liberators” of the Iraqi people from dictator S. Hussein is also affected by regular outbreaks of diseases in the troops – unusual pneumonia, sudden thrombosis, leishmaniasis (skin infection). Soldiers say that “it makes us think what is happening”. The mental condition of the militaries is also affected by the severe climate (+50o C), bad living facilities (lack of A/C and cold potable water, poor sanitary conditions). It also results in diseases, deteriorated moral, and suicide.

The US soldiers, especially newcomers to Iraq, are depressed with the conflict between the goals and tasks of their presence declared by the military propaganda machine and actual goals of the American aggression against Iraq when Pentagon officials expressly claim that the search of mass-destruction weapons was only a pretext for Iraqi crude capture.

Mass anti-war rallies in America also undermine the moral of the troops. Annually dozens of thousands of people demonstrate in the streets of the US cities to protest against the US aggression against Iraq, and demand from the Government to return the American soldiers home.

What should be the US death toll in Iraq to undermine the moral of all US troops in this country? According to the last statements of US President G. Bush the situation is far from “the peak of demoralization”. As quoted to the American leader, the United States “is not frightened with the acts of terror and is not going to leave Iraq”. An only hope is in a new US president who perhaps will return the troops home.