H/T: Juan Cole
Suicides in the U.S. Army will hit a new high this year, a top general said on Tuesday in a disclosure likely to increase concerns about stress on U.S. forces ahead of an expected buildup in Afghanistan.
The findings, released as President Barack Obama inches toward a decision to send up to 40,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, show the number of active-duty suicides so far in 2009 has already matched last year’s record of 140 deaths.
“We are almost certainly going to end the year higher than last year,” General Peter Chiarelli, the Army’s vice chief of staff, told a Pentagon briefing.
“This is horrible, and I do not want to downplay the significance of these numbers in any way.”
Another 71 soldiers committed suicide after being taken off active duty in 2009 — nearly 25 percent more than the end-year total for 2008. Some had returned home only weeks before taking their own lives.
Watch this interview with Iraq war vet Adam Kokesh on Russia Today:
Kokesh articulates the reasons very clearly and coherently.