Mental Stress On U.S. Soldiers

MalikNadalHasanIn Afghanistan, there is little reason to think that the United States can decisively defeat the Taliban. United States has mismanaged the war, General Stanley McChrystal has requested an additional 40,000 troops. And a president that Obama announced (video) his Afghanistan strategy March 27, 2009 and still has not committed to a decision as of November 5, 2009. When McChrystal stated that more troops were needed, Obama moved to stop McChrystal, from publicly challenging policy. Soldiers are watching every move Obama makes, they see him flip-flopping with Afghanistan and Iran, they see his lack of concern with soldiers and their welfare in Afghanistan, they see a so called “commander in chief” ignore top generals to play basketball and golf. U.S. Soldiers see a president that refuses to honor the American Flag while calling himself “The President.” The United States is once again at the crossroads of losing another critical war because of Democrats, only this time in Afghanistan. All this makes a soldier wonder, why am I fighting for this country, risking my life while the “commander in chief” jokes with my life.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan who killed 12 people and wounded 31 others at Fort Hood, Texas, was an Army psychiatrist who arrived at Fort Hood in July after practicing for six years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington which included a fellowship in disaster and preventive psychiatry. Hasan was registered to practice, and Maryland, where he received his medical degree at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, revealed no disciplinary actions or formal complaints. For all the anti-gun readers, this is not your regular “gun crime” this is an Army psychiatrist, a doctor, a MILITARY SOLDIER that was scheduled to be deployed to Iraq on November 28, 2009.  Nidal Malik Hasan, is responsible for the worst mass killing on a U.S. military base, 12 dead, 31 wounded.

OB-EU504_suicid_D_20091102181944View Interactive Military suicide rates tend to increase during wartime. In October sixteen American soldiers killed themselves in the U.S. and on duty overseas. The mental health of the nation’s military personnel continue to surge. The October suicide figures mean that at least 134 active-duty soldiers have taken their own lives so far this year. Was Hasan mentally stable for combat? Hasan was a devout Muslim, he prayed every day at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, MD,  he had endured name-calling and harassment for being a  Muslim for years after the Sept. 11, attacks. For years Hasan asked to be discharged from the military. Remember this is a psychiatrist, under stress, he spent much of his professional career at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington counseling soldiers returning with psychological problems, broken marriages, the mental afflictions, the frayed nerves, desertions and mostly post-traumatic stress disorder, victims of trauma. Hasan had some “difficulties” that required counseling and extra supervision as an intern. Hasan spoke openly of his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and he wanted out of the military.

238_Suicid_Hasan like many soldiers in Afghanistan was depressed and deeply delusional. He was scheduled for deployment on the 28 of this month. He didn’t want to go where many soldiers feel that they are risking their lives, colleagues have died, no exit strategy, and a president that cannot decide on troop welfare. Soldiers are angry about being in Afghanistan, they are depressed, they want to get back with their families, they are tired, strained and confused. They turn to American support and all they see is a “commander in chief” who doesn’t care, playing basketball/golf is more important, a president that use Afghanistan elections to stall decision on troop movement, a Nation that has made celebrities out of the elected first family, Democrats and Republican arguing over every pity issue on earth. TROOP MORALE IS DOWN on and off the battlefield. The worst part is soldiers cannot say anything about it, even the administration opinions fall on deaf ears.  Suicide is emerging as the military’s newest conflict. Let me remind you, sixteen American soldiers killed themselves in October, 134 active-duty soldiers killed themselves this year.

Stanley McChrystal wants more than 40,000 new troops in Afghanistan by year-end. If they mentally unstable like Hasan, the U.S. faces has a “mission failure” on the homeland. Obama know that if the United States walks away from Afghanistan now he will be accuse of capitulating to terrorism and undermining our security. Obama has to face the issues of soldiers mentally capable of combat, and accept the responsibility of unstable soldiers committing acts of suicide or intentional friendly fire.  The United States is in Afghanistan for the long haul. Hasan received a poor performance evaluation and was “pretty upset” about his deployment to Iraq. Nidal Malik Hasan being in the military was a disastrous mistake. What’s Your Opinion?

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Click On Links
Obama Remarks On Fort Hood Shooting
Fort Hood Shooting; 12 Dead, 31 Injured
American Soldiers Depressed Troop Morale Low
Impeach Obama
The Afghanistan War
Military Deaths In Afghanistan
Obama Repeatedly Said He Would Reinforce US Troops
Obama’s Keeps Silent About The Afghanistan War
Obama Ignore Soldiers Dying In Afghanistan
The Afghanistan Problem
U.S. Afghanistan Raid Gone Bad
Taliban Attack

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    • Alvin Polk
    • November 6th, 2009

    What can be done? Afghanistan is a war that should have ended six years ago. The number of soldiers there are not needed. We out number the taliban ten to one, we have better weapons and training. Bush and Obama have mishandled the fighting process. The fighting is not against an army its against terrorist and we have to fight like guerrilla warfare in 1985. Why over 60,000 troops to fight 5,000 men hiding in hills or 20,000 to fight hidden pods in Iraq. These soldiers are scared and know what they are up against, washington bureaucrat who only care about votes. Hasan is a wake up call, there are many others that are waiting to explode. Obama needs to do something to ease the troops, a pep talk, more interest in combat, more interest in being a President rather than a celebrity. This is real sad, and I pray for the soldiers that have to deal with this mess.

  1. if the soldiers could see the light at the end of the tunnel like a time table to return home in a winning mental state but everything we hear and read is so negative saying there is no way out of this war we can boost the moral of our troups by supporthing there effort we must,thank you.

    • emptysuit
    • November 6th, 2009

    Alvin Polk, you are right, this should have ended long tima ago. Afghanistan’s layout is designed for protection. Iran is designed for surprise. Anyone willing to take the risk of fighting in these two location has to know what they are doing. The best solution is to get an army from the region and let them do the fighting, like we have done in the past. I had to think about this post. I wanted to write something different but the emotion of soldiers caught my attention. You hit the nail on the head saying “these soldiers are scared,” they have no vision of the outcome and to them it may seem like a “useless effor.” I hope you are wrong saying many others are waiting to explode. Thanks for your feedback, don’t be a stranger.

    • emptysuit
    • November 6th, 2009

    lise houssen, you made great points here. I really hate to point my finger at Obama here, and I’m trying everything possible not to. (this is not the time) I want to forget about politics here, forget about Democrats against Republicans, forget about criticizing Obama, and focus on the problems soldiers are dealing with. I truly think Obama can have a great impact on this issue. This is not about politics, it’s about mental condition of political judgments. Obama can clear a lot of confusion with a CLEAR PLAN like he stated March 27, letting the troops on the field know that “they come first” and constantly honoring their actions. Obama needed to do this in February. The emotion scar is planted, these soldiers are not prepared for combat. As I stated in the post, the soldiers are watching everything Obama do, hearing all the media coverage against the conflict, reading about the IED’s and suicide bombers causing massive destruction. They do feel like they are losing the battle and have lost moral hope. Washington needs to focus on mental support now, during the writing of this post I was looking at the suicide rates of soldiers. I omitted two paragraphs about the suicide and two paragraphs of soldiers psychological problems. We can help our troops by that support you mentioned. Thanks YOU for your comment here, don’t be a stranger.

    • McKnight
    • November 6th, 2009

    I read this blog alot, I’m a democrat and Obama supporter. I have to say this post got me thinking about you in a different way. That’s on a positive note.

    • emptysuit
    • November 6th, 2009

    McKnight, thanks. Don’t be a stranger

    • ScarlettGA
    • November 9th, 2009

    I’m a Democrat and a Obama supporter too, and I’m just as frustrated as many others are about the president’s hesitancy to make a decision on Afghanistan. I think it’s fair to remember that the biggest issue with our rush into the Iraq War was that it was ill-planned and it took our focus off of Afghanistan. It’s only right that he make time to figure out what that clear plan needs to be before making a decision. I think a good plan will not only determine HOW we win, but what COUNTS AS winning. What good will a military victory there do us if the political climate in Afghanistan will allow for another anti-US Taliban resurgence, or if the Afghan government expects our troops to stay there forever to do what their troops should do?

    • ScarlettGA
    • November 9th, 2009

    By the way, just because a person doesn’t put their hand over their heart during the national anthem, doesn’t mean they’re disrespecting the flag. It’s not like Obama was sitting down or checking his blackberry while the national anthem was being sung.

    I personally was only taught to cover my heart during the Pledge of Allegiance.

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