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LiberalNation
05-04-2007, 09:40 PM
A code of silence. Not suprising but not right either.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070504/ts_nm/iraq_usa_civilians_dc

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Only 40 percent of Marines and 55 percent of U.S. Army soldiers deployed in Iraq say they would report a fellow serviceman for killing or injuring an innocent Iraqi, a Pentagon report released on Friday shows.

The Army survey, which showed increasing rates of mental health problems for troops on extended or multiple deployments, also said well over one-third of soldiers and Marines believe torture should be allowed to elicit information that could save the lives of American troops or gain knowledge about Iraqi insurgents.

Overall, about 10 percent of the 1,320 soldiers and 447 Marines covered in the survey said they had mistreated civilians, either through physical violence or damage to their personal property. The survey was conducted by U.S. Army medical experts between August 28 and October 3, 2006.

"Soldiers with high levels of anger, who had experienced high levels of combat or who screened positive for mental health symptoms were nearly twice as likely to mistreat noncombatants," acting Army Surgeon General Gale Pollock told reporters.

The findings, which included the first survey of ethics among U.S. troops in combat, were released Friday in an 89-page report posted on the Web site www.armymedicine.army.mil. It was delivered to senior military officials in November.

Claims of U.S. mistreatment of Iraqi detainees and civilians have shadowed American forces in Iraq from revelations of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in 2004 to reports of the November 19, 2005, killing of 24 Iraqi civilians by Marines in Haditha.

EXTENDED TOURS

The survey data came out a month after Defense Secretary Robert Gates extended tours for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan to up to 15 months instead of one year as U.S. forces increase their numbers in Iraq under a plan ordered by President George W. Bush.

The extended tours were widely seen as the latest sign of strain placed on the U.S. military by the two wars.

There are currently some 145,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and 25,000 in Afghanistan. Bush's plan calls for boosting the U.S. deployment in Iraq by 28,000 combat and support troops.

The report, the fourth prepared by the Army's Mental Health Advisory Team since the war in Iraq began in 2003, showed that mental health problems such as acute stress, anxiety and depression rose among troops facing longer deployments or their second or third tour in Iraq.

Overall, about 20 percent of Army soldiers and 15 percent of Marines showed mental health symptoms of either anxiety, depression or acute stress. The rate was at 30 percent among troops with high combat experience.

Among Army soldiers, 27 percent of those with more than one tour of duty tested positive for a mental health problem, versus 17 percent for soldiers on their first deployment.

The rate of anxiety, depression and acute stress stood at 22 percent among soldiers deployed for more than six months and at 15 percent for troops in Iraq for less than six months.

Army experts recommended that the Pentagon extend the interval between deployments to 18 to 36 months so that troops could recover mentally.

Gates said last month that troops in the region covered by the U.S. Central Command -- from East Africa to Central Asia -- could expect to spend 12 months at home between deployments.

LiberalNation
05-04-2007, 09:47 PM
Lapses found in battlefield ethics study

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/battlefield_ethics;_ylt=AieS8KhGsVeYdfg6S1yWjxus0N UE

WASHINGTON - In a survey of U.S. troops in combat in Iraq, less than half of Marines and a little more than half of Army soldiers said they would report a member of their unit for killing or wounding an innocent civilian.

More than 40 percent support the idea of torture in some cases, and 10 percent reported personally abusing Iraqi civilians, the Pentagon said Friday in what it called its first ethics study of troops at the war front. Units exposed to the most combat were chosen for the study, officials said.

"It is disappointing," said analyst John Pike of the Globalsecurity.org think tank. "But anybody who is surprised by it doesn't understand war. ... This is about combat stress."

The military has seen a number of high-profile incidents of alleged abuse in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the killings of 24 civilians by Marines, the rape and killing of a 14-year-old girl and the slaying of her family and the sexual humiliation of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison.

"I don't want to, for a minute, second-guess the behavior of any person in the military — look at the kind of moral dilemma you are putting people in," Christopher Preble of the libertarian Cato Institute think tank, said of the mission in Iraq. "There's a real tension between using too much force, which generally means using force to protect yourself, and using too little and therefore exposing yourself to greater risk."

The overall study was the fourth in a series done by a special mental health advisory team since 2003 aimed at assessing the well-being of forces serving in Iraq.

Officials said the teams visited Iraq last August to October, talking to troops, health care providers and chaplains.

The study team also found that long and repeated deployments were increasing troop mental health problems.

But Maj. Gen. Gale Pollock, the Army's acting surgeon general, said the team's "most critical" findings were on ethics.

"They looked under every rock, and what they found was not always easy to look at," said Ward Casscells, assistant secretary of defense for health.

Findings included:

_Sixty-two percent of soldiers and 66 percent of Marines said that they knew someone seriously injured or killed, or that a member of their team had become a casualty.

_The 2006 adjusted rate of suicides per 100,000 soldiers was 17.3 soldiers, lower than the 19.9 rate reported in 2005.

_Only 47 percent of the soldiers and 38 percent of Marines said noncombatants should be treated with dignity and respect.

_About a third of troops said they had insulted or cursed at civilians in their presence.

_About 10 percent of soldiers and Marines reported mistreating civilians or damaging property when it was not necessary. Mistreatment includes hitting or kicking a civilian.

_Forty-four percent of Marines and 41 percent of soldiers said torture should be allowed to save the life of a soldier or Marine.

_Thirty-nine percent of Marines and 36 percent of soldiers said torture should be allowed to gather important information from insurgents.

Lt. Col. Scott Fazekas, a Marine Corps spokesman, said officials were looking closely at the ethics results, taken from a questionnaire survey of 1,320 soldiers and 447 Marines.

"The Marine Corps takes this issue of battlefield ethics very seriously," he said. "We are examining the study and its recommendations and we'll find ways to improve our approach."

Pollock said officials concluded from the overall study that "there's a robust system in place to provide mental health care, but issues continue with the stress of a combat deployment."

Based on the findings, officials have revised training programs to focus more on Army values, suicide prevention, battlefield ethics and behavioral health awareness, Pollock said.

The study team said shorter deployments or longer intervals between deployments would give soldiers and Marines a better chance "to reset mentally" before returning to combat. The Pentagon last month announced a policy that extends tours of duty for all active duty Army troops from a year to 15 months. Pollock acknowledged that was "going to be a stress" on troops.

Marine tours are seven months, one likely reason that soldier morale was lower than Marine morale, she said.

Pike contrasted Iraq's campaign to World War I, saying: "The trenches were pretty stressful, but a unit would only be up at the front for a few months and then get rotated to the rear. There's no rear in Iraq; you're subject to combat stress for your entire tour."

Hobbit
05-05-2007, 12:06 AM
Is it any surprise? With the bloodthirsty media and prosecutors these days, an accidental discharge resulting in an injury can lead to a life sentence in Leavenworth for attempted murder.

Psychoblues
05-05-2007, 12:29 AM
Tremendous article, LN!!!!


Lapses found in battlefield ethics study

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/battlefield_ethics;_ylt=AieS8KhGsVeYdfg6S1yWjxus0N UE


"It is disappointing," said analyst John Pike of the Globalsecurity.org think tank. "But anybody who is surprised by it doesn't understand war. ... This is about combat stress."


"I don't want to, for a minute, second-guess the behavior of any person in the military look at the kind of moral dilemma you are putting people in," Christopher Preble of the libertarian Cato Institute think tank, said of the mission in Iraq. "There's a real tension between using too much force, which generally means using force to protect yourself, and using too little and therefore exposing yourself to greater risk."


The study team also found that long and repeated deployments were increasing troop mental health problems.



I would suggest for all to read the entire article/s. They are real and real important to understanding about what happens in the minds and lives of American Soldiers and Veterans.