>> ALERT| Intelligence sources in Saudi Arabia have signaled that the regime is paving way with plans to test their first batch of plutonium-based nukes installed at an undisclosed location. The origins of these ultra-classified nukes are unknown.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Morale plunges among troops in Afghanistan

U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan are experiencing some of the greatest psychological stress and lowest morale in five years of fighting, reports a military study.
“We’re an Army that’s in uncharted territory here,” said Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff, who has focused on combat stress. “We have never fought for this long with an all-volunteer force that’s 1 percent of the population.”
Mental health strain was most severe among veterans of three or more deployments, with a third of those showing signs of psychological problems defined as either stress, depression or anxiety, the report obtained by USA Today says
The research, based on a survey of soldiers and Marines in 2010, also found that the praise the troops have for their unit sergeants has never been higher as the U.S. approaches the 10th year of its longest war.
The report says decline in individual morale is significant: 46.5 percent of troops said they had medium, high or very high morale, compared with 65.7 percent who said that in 2005. About one in seven soldiers — and one in five Marines — reported high or very high morale.
President Obama ordered a surge of 30,000 troops into Afghanistan last year, bringing the total number to 100,000 troops. He said at the time that withdrawals would begin this July depending on security. The report says soldiers and Marines reported more intense fighting than during the surge in Iraq in 2006-07, with 75 percent-80 percent of those in Afghanistan involved in firefights.
Half or more of those surveyed said they had killed the enemy, and 75 percent-80 percent described the death or wounding of a buddy. Half also said that an improvised explosive device detonated within 55 yards while they were on foot patrol. The study’s researchers also found evidence of physical wear-and-tear with a third of the force experiencing chronic pain.
“I’m not worried about our ability to continue the fight,” Chiarelli said. “Folks who are coming home now are going to see that they’re not going back for 24 months. And that hasn’t been the way it’s been for 10 years.”
Mental health staffing has doubled in Afghanistan since 2009 and troops report better access to this care, though many are so busy fighting “outside the wire” to seek help, the study says.
“Having therapists forward, we’re able to get them to talk to someone right away and intervene,” said Kathleen Chard, a psychologist with the Veterans Affairs Department who trains Army medics. “In as little as two to four sessions we can begin having an impact on these guys and women.”
The report noted that the emotional strain, while high, was lower than expected given the severity of combat — evidence of a growing resilience in the force. And confidence in the command skills of squad and platoon leaders has never been higher at close to 50 percent, up from 38.6 percent in 2005.
“They have learned to be leaders in a crucible,” Chiarelli said. “And their soldiers have seen that.”
By Gregg Zoroya - USA Today

By radiationcell313 with No comments


Post a Comment

    • Popular
    • Categories
    • Archives