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Shadow of Vietnam

20.06.2007 17:47

Pentagon psychological service analysts came to a conclusion that the moral of the American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan deteriorates pro rata the US death toll in these countries, and needs “immediate solution of a fighting spirit uplifting problem”.

in accordance with an express survey, 24 per cent of US militaries in “the combat zone” are in the state of permanent stress and need a help of mental specialist (herefrom drugs, alcohol, sexual offences, humiliating treatment of peaceful people, etc.), 10 per cent suffer permanent depression (about 90 suicides, more than 8000 deserters, “overcrowding of sick quarters with chronic alcoholics and drug addicts”, more than 700 cases of humiliating treatment of peaceful people and mates), 12 per cent suffer permanent fear (the fear is a common feeling, but if it becomes a paranoia, it is a disaster for surrounding people: 19 cases of death due to “friendly fire” were recorded only this year), 20 per cent of married militaries divorces due to ill-feeling over their former sponges. In so doing, this ill-feeling was expressed just in an untimely phone call from home, and good feeling - in “how ya doin’ ’’ in a phone call or post card.

International human right organizations are also concerned with the condition of US militaries “involved in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan”.

They are concerned with:

a significant death toll in combat units (about 200 killed and more than 800 injured only in April-May in Iraq and Afghanistan, a quarter of the 800 injured will be handicapped persons);

permanent psychological stress even in the territory of military bases awaiting for mine explosions or fire;

long tour of duty in the combat zones, and short period of recreation (in the opinion of military psychologists) at home that is predetermined by combat unit staffing problems;

total distrust to locals: “Each soldier looking at an only infant in a cradle sees a shahid-terrorist”;

absence of reliable and safe zones of recreation to spend leisure time and forget about permanent threat made by guerrilla teams, Al-Qaeda and Taliban combatants.

Thus, the moral deterioration trends in the US Armed Forces soon may result in practically complete demoralization of the coalition troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In this connection, staffing of these troops has become a big problem already now. It is the first time since the Vietnam War.