The human cost

It’s not just that we’ve killed all those innocent civilians – we’ve destroyed the lives of so many of our own troops while doing it:

WASHINGTON — Suicides among active-duty soldiers hit another record high in 2011, Army officials said on Thursday, although there was a slight decrease if nonmobilized Reserve and National Guard troops were included in the calculation.

The Army also reported a sharp increase, nearly 30 percent, in violent sex crimes last year by active-duty troops. More than half of the victims were active-duty female soldiers ages 18 to 21.

“This is unacceptable,” Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the departing vice chief of staff of the Army, said at a news conference, referring to the jump in violent sex offenses. “We have zero tolerance for this.” General Chiarelli said factors driving the increase in sex crimes were alcohol use and new barracks that offered more privacy. He said it was also possible that reporting of the offenses had increased.

General Chiarelli said that 164 active-duty Army, National Guard, and Reserve troops took their own lives in 2011, compared with 159 in 2010 and 162 in 2009. The increase occurred even as the Army expanded suicide prevention efforts and drug and alcohol counseling, in large part in response to a steady rise in Army suicides that began in 2004.

2 thoughts on “The human cost

  1. The military takes in people at an age when they haven’t yet formed much of a moral framework for governing their lives. Then it teaches them that sometimes it’s okay to inflict physical trauma and direct deadly force at people while pretending they’re not people. When human bonds come undone that way, what other results could you expect?

  2. Hasn’t it been said that war is a racket? A corollary might be that nobody loves you, soldiers. Neither do they love you, civilians.

    Could anything be more obvious?

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