Troop Morale is Down in Afghanistan

AP is reporting Army troop morale in Afghanistan is down; While morale is up Iraq. As the level of  violence is on the rise in Afghanistan mental health issues grows. While in Iraq the level of violence is on the decline the Army said Friday. Suicides are declining in Iraq; However,  suicides  in Afghanistan is increasing.

These are the results of battlefield survey. The last battlefield survey took place in 2007. At that time Bush White House  change battlefield strategy under General Petraeus with the troop surge in Iraq. Since the Fort Hood massacre mental health is taking priority.

The surveys show that soldiers in their third or fourth tour of duty are had morale and higher mental health issues. The survey shows levels of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress in Afghanistan are similar to  2007 levels but double 2005 levels. In 2009 it was 21.4%, in 23.4% in 2007 , in 2005 is was  10.5%

The numbers for Iraq seen decreases , down by13.3 % in 2009, compared in 18.8% in 2007 and 22% in 2006.

The Army acknowledges that they need more mental health workers. When President Obama  sent 20,000 extra troops to Afghanistan they were short of psychologists and psychiatrists and other mental health workers.

The survey found personal morale remain the  same  while unit morale was down.

For instance, when asked about their own morale, 17.6 percent rated it high or very high, down from 15.4 percent in 2007 and 23 percent in 2005. When asked about their unit, only 5.7 percent gave the two highest ratings, a decrease from 10.2 percent in 2007 and 10.5 percent in 2005.

AP via Yahoo News has more.


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