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Army suicides reported up again

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by big dog cowboy, May 29, 2008.

  1. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    This is sad........

    Army suicides reported up again — at 108
    By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer

    The number of Army suicides increased again last year, amid the most violent year yet in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    Two defense officials said Thursday that 108 troops committed suicide in 2007, six more than the previous year. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the full report on the deaths wasn't being released until later Thursday.

    About a quarter of the deaths occurred in Iraq.

    The overall toll was the highest in many years, and it was unclear when, if ever, it was previously that high. Immediately available Army records go back only to 1990 and the figure then was lower — at 102 — for that year as well as 1991.

    The 108 confirmed deaths in 2007 among active duty soldier and National Guard and Reserve troops that had been activated was lower than previously feared. Preliminary figures released in January showed as many as 121 troops may have killed themselves, but a number of the deaths were still being investigated then and have since been determined to have resulted from other causes, the officials said.

    Suicides have been rising almost steadily during the five-year-old war in Iraq and nearly seven-year-old war in Afghanistan.

    The 108 deaths last year followed 102 in 2006, 85 in 2005 and 67 in 2004.

    The increases come despite a host of efforts to improve the mental health of a force stressed by long and repeated tours of duty. Increasing the strain on the force last year was the extension of deployments to 15 months from 12 months, a practice that is being terminated this year.

    More U.S. troops died in hostilities in 2007 than in any of the previous years in Iraq and Afghanistan. Overall violence increased in Afghanistan with a Taliban resurgence and overall deaths increased in Iraq, even as violence there declined in the second half of the year.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080529/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/military_suicides
  2. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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  3. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    Suicides were a huge problem when I was in the military as well. We had a lot of anti-suicide training while I was in. The military enlists a lot of kids right out of high school and puts them through severe mind games in basic training/boot camp. You then get sent to an area that is foreign to you and usually far from home. Some kids come from troubled backgrounds and some kids are just not equipped to handle military life.

    I believe that trying to make a connection between the war and suicides without comparing the numbers for the previous decade and comparing the changes in suicide rates to the civilian world is using a very sad statistic to attempt to promote a political agenda.
  4. REDVOLUTION

    REDVOLUTION Return to Dominance

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    Yeah I saw a piece on O'Reilly and he did the numbers... its actually low % in comparison to civilians.

    I am not dismissing it(it is tragic)... just saying...
  5. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Yes suicides happen during peace time in the military as well. However from what I have read elsewhere it is at a two decade high now. That should account for a little something.

    Comparing military suicides to civilian suicides doesn't wash with me...we are talking about people in the military and we are talking a two decade high situation. It is not something that should be just brushed aside with an meh type of attitude IMO.

    If we are going to support the troops, let's just not do it when they are doing what we want. Let's also support the troops that are killing themselves or speaking out against the war or speaking out against the admin and so on. Not just the guys that keep their mouths shut or one side deems the good guys.

    Recently an Admiral sent out an essay/memo asking for the military men and women not to talk politics to the media. Probably because the media was finding many that were speaking out against the campaign and even more shocking many that were NOT going to vote for McCain, partially due to his current state on the GI bill situation.

    Again if we are going to support the troops, lets just not just support those that are fitting a specific political spectrum.
  6. ZeroClub

    ZeroClub just trying to get better

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    I wonder if any portion of the increase in suicides is attributable to recruiting practices.

    ... apparently recruiters are accepting more higher risk recruits these days. I wonder if these higher risk recruits are at greater risk of suicide.
  7. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    My initial thought was that being at war is causing this, but apparently Russia has this problem too. Even worse. I wonder what the ratio of all military service members worldwide, to civilians is.

    I've never been in the service, but I can only imagine it's a somewhat unnatural experience that a great number of people cannot handle.

    Russia army suicides cause alarm

    Conditions are notoriously harsh for new recruits in the Russian army
    Almost an entire battalion of Russian soldiers committed suicide last year, the country's chief military prosecutor has said.

    A total of 341 military personnel killed themselves in 2007, a reduction of 15% on the previous year.

    But Sergei Fridinsky said the numbers were worrying and called for a national strategy to prepare men for service.
    Bullying, often extremely violent, is rife in the army and is the most common reason for suicide.

    "Almost a battalion of military servicemen - 341 people - were irrevocably lost in the past year as a result of suicide," Mr Fridinsky said.
    The BBC's Russia analyst, Steven Eke, says dedovshchina - literally, rule of the elders, a culturally specific, often very violent, form of bullying, is cited as the most frequent trigger for young soldiers taking their own lives.
    Conditions of military service - compulsory for one year for Russian men - are so harsh that many parents and young men offer bribes to avoid getting conscripted.

    Yet Mr Fridinsky said that about half of the suicides were among professional, contract-based soldiers, who would not face this kind of bullying.

    He suggested that Russia use the experience of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan to help their troops deal with the psychological trauma of combat.
  8. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    That is a good point to consider.

    However I think for the most part it is war. War plays havoc on many people. Many people can not go through certain things, with being away from their families, getting divorced or in financial crisis because of it and just go on like nothing is wrong. Another thing to consider IMO is the idea that unlike some of the previous wars, this one has many more soldiers with amputations and disfiguring injuries compared to outright death. A man can lose his will to live sometimes when he feels he can not be productive for his family or himself.

    I am not blaming anyone so I hope it doesn't come off that way. But we really can not take this type of stuff lightly IMO.
  9. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    A two decade high means nothing, since we were not at war twenty years ago. I would say that this statistic actually proves the opposite of what you are trying to prove. The suicide rate may have some other cause.

    I believe this is an extremely important comparison. If the suicide rates of civilians are also on the rise, the chances that the military suicides are a direct result of the war becomes smaller.

    I find it sad that the media only thought suicides were a problem when they could try to tie it to the war. When the suice rate was higher twenty years ago you saw no mention in the media about military suicides. Now that someone can use the information for political gain, the issue comes out.

    The military prohibiting members from talking to the media is nothing new. We were specifically warned about talking to the media when I was in as well - even when we were not engaged in any war. We could also get into trouble if someone heard us saying something bad about the president. I was in the Navy during the late 80's and early 90's.
  10. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Anyway at all to to try and blame bush for something= you know that is what Brain is about here;
    I notice that that article did not mention that the suicide rate in the military is much lower then among civilians. That right there tells you the agenda of the writer.
    ANd that BS about military not talking politics. You are not supposed to do that ANYWAY. That is the way its always been in the military. You do NOT talk about politics while in UNIFORM. I know that is a hard concept for someone obsessed with blaming Bush for all the worlds trouble but he is not even making an effort to show any reason at all. Brain, you need professional help.
  11. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    Gee, I guess we should sweep it all under the rug, then...
  12. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    Ahhh, more ad hominem, as a substitute for serious debate...
  13. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    When I was in, the military gave training to help identify people at risk and had free counselling. The problem isn't being swept under the rug. I wouldn't be suprised if these suicide rates are much higher among civilians.
  14. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    Pot, meet kettle.

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