Jul 30, 2010

U.S. Army Clears War of Wrongdoing

- U.S. Army: It's not war; the "risky behavior" of our troops at home drives them to suicide.

Did you know that a solider committing suicide with a pistol has just engaged in the high-risk behavior of aiming the barrel at his head and squeezing the trigger, in blatant violation of existing Army policies and standards? -

The Army calls their report released yesterday: The Health Promotion, Risk Reduction, and Suicide Prevention (HP/RR/SP) Report, the "result of a focused 15-month effort to better understand the increasing rate of suicides in the force."

One wonders what exactly the Army-sanctioned authors do understand in this 9.97 MB of wasted computer space.

Nancy A. Youssef at McClatchy Newspapers has a piece out entitled "Army suicides: Poor leadership, not repeat deployments blamed."

Reports Youssef:

The new Army report has found that inattention to rising rates of drug abuse and criminal activity among soldiers and not repeat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan is responsible for the record-high levels of suicide among troops. The 350-page report, which was released Thursday, said that military commanders are so focused on preparing their troops for war that they've allowed troops to engage in risky behavior at home that may lead to suicide.
Those servicemen and women and their reckless behavior! That's why the high suicide rate.

Nothing in the report's finding about war, the risky nature of war, repeated deployments, the stupidity of making war at any price. It's the troops' fault, the Marines' fault, and a lack of leadership in keeping an eye of those reckless men and women who just need a firmer hand and tighter regulations.

"The dedicated effort behind this report sends a clear message to our force that we take the resiliency of our soldiers and families very seriously,” said Secretary of the Army John McHugh. “This effort is part of our culture to look closely at ourselves, and to make continuous improvements in our capability – but most importantly, to reduce the number of soldiers we lose to suicide."

Sorry to put you through McHugh, but you get the message they're sending: Covering War's ass, either that or: We're incredibly stupid..

The Army's key findings:

  • gaps in the current HP/RR/SP policies, processes and programs necessary to mitigate high risk behaviors;
  • an erosion of adherence to existing Army policies and standards;
  • an increase in indicators of high risk behavior including illicit drug use, other crimes and suicide attempts;

  • Of course, targeting veterans and those actively serving is nothing new. See Blaming the Veteran: The Politics of PTSD (Ford, Huber, and Meagher),a truly classic piece of work published in February 2006.

    But one has to look to fiction to describe the utter vacuity and obtuse mindlessness of the U.S. Army brass in addressing the epidemic suicide rate.

    I refer you to that paragon of leadership, resiliency and regulations against the reckless, one Major Frank Burns (also known as Ferret Face played expertly by Larry Linville) from the M*A*S*H* television series.

    "Well, I'm glad the Army has that cleared up," said Frank to his disbelieving unit who were fed-up with the Army brass.

    1 comment: