For example in the picture to the right, twice as many soldiers died by their own hand as were killed in the Iraq war during 2009! In 2010 there were 468 suicides and 462 combat deaths.
All of the US combat troops in Iraq should be out by the end of this year. A symbolic end to a war that’s gone on for eight and a half years. I said symbolic because we’ll still have some presence in Iraq in the form of trainers and the like.
We’ve spent lots of blood and treasure in Iraq and a real hidden cost is the suicides which will hopefully come way down after the war is over. Soldier suicide is the ultimate and most tangible manifestation of the mental distress caused by war.
The actual cause of the suicides is hard to figure out according to the military. For example, more than half of the National Guard suicides last year were committed by soldiers who had not left the US. Maybe we’re getting the number of US combat deaths down so low that the suicide number takes on a greater significance than it might have in past wars.
I’m just glad were finally getting out of Iraq and I hope the hidden costs come way down.