US army morale down in Afghanistan: Study

November 14, 2009

USarmymoraledowninAfghanistanStudy_8147Morale has fallen among US soldiers in Afghanistan because of the rising violence there and the long and repeated deployments for troops after eight years of fighting in the country, according to a new U.S. Army report released Friday.

The report summarizes two surveys of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan taken earlier this year. New statistics from the Army also show suicides are up in the entire service. Produced every two years by the Army’s Mental Health Advisory Team. “Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to face stress from multiple deployments into combat but report being more prepared for the stresses of deployments,” Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, the Army Surgeon General told reporters Friday.

Not surprisingly, the report showed that soldiers with multiple deployments, three or four tours of duty to Iraq or Afghanistan, had much lower morale and more mental health problems than those soldiers who have one or two combat deployments. Increased time at home, however, resulted in improved morale among troops sent back to the field. The updated survey of soldiers in Afghanistan found post-traumatic stress syndrome and depression in soldiers at the same levels of the survey in 2007, but still about double that of the 2005 survey results: 21.4 percent in 2009, 23.4 percent for 2007 and 10.4 percent in 2005, according to the report.

In Iraq, where the survey has been done every year, lower numbers were attributed to the decrease in combat action there. The 2009 numbers showed 13.3 percent of soldiers suffering from mental health problems, compared to 18.8 percent in 2007 and 22 percent in 2006.

Army officials said that with the push of more than 20,000 additional troops into the Afghan theater of battle over the last few months, there have been fewer mental health professionals in the field to help. Army officials said the ration was about one mental health professional for every 1,120 soldiers.

To combat the falling morale and lack of mental health professionals in the field, Army officials said the service needs to more than double the number of mental health providers and hopes to have at least 65 more of those providers in the field by December, making the ratio one for every 700 soldiers. The mental health assessment teams also conducted interviews with soldiers and found a drop in unit morale in Afghanistan to about half of what it was in 2007 and 2005, when about 10 percent surveyed gave top ratings to unit morale. In 2009, that number was 5.7 percent. The report also showed soldiers are seeing more difficulty at home with an increasing number reporting they are getting or considering getting divorced, according to the report.



  1. Bhago Bhago Haramio kutay amricio tumhari aub khair nahee.

  2. Apparently,it seems Taliban have made American troops”Charsi”,a very intelligent tactic.

    In Kabul,there has opened a “Obama Market” where itemslike,food supplements,coats,goggles,shoes blankets,gun lasers,beds are being sold.

    Americans are blaming this loss of morale on delay by Obama to send 40,000 additional troops which the area commander has asked.

    But nobody is sure that this surge will bring WIN.

  3. As Gen Casey said “there is no doubt we are a stretched army” he really meant there is no doubt we are a Stressed army.

  4. By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir

    ISLAMABAD: Pulitzer prize winning American journalist Seymour Hersh has claimed that an elite US special forces squad which operates covertly and includes terrorism and non-proliferation experts from the US intelligence community — the Pentagon, the FBI, and the DOE — is already present in Pakistan and could well be housed in the US embassy in Islamabad.

    The startling disclosure was made in Hersh’s candid interview with Pakistan’s most popular TV channel Geo News’ widely viewed current affairs programme ‘Meray Mutabiq’, hosted by Dr Shahid Masood. The programme was aired on Saturday late evening.

    Seymour Hersh said that the Americans had been constituting such crack teams for various purposes and the team in question here was to deal with any eventuality including any fear of takeover by Taliban or any other ‘development’ with regard to Pakistani nukes.

    Group Editor of The News Shaheen Sehbai taking part in the programme expressed the view that Musharraf’s remarks about President Asif Zardari, as attributed by Hersh, could not be casually ignored. He said it must be investigated why Musharraf accused Zardari of not being a patriot, because, according to Sehbai, Hersh had some inside information given to him in interviews with Musharraf and Zardari which he did not reveal in his report. But Sehbai said journalists always attribute information given to them by responsible people to “reliable sources” if these people ask them to refrain from quoting them directly.

    Former Director General, Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan, Lt Gen Hamid Gul also participating in the programme, verified the credentials of Hersh and gave a detailed account of US presence in the sensitive areas in Pakistan. He opined that the US wanted to delegate the role of proxy super power of the region to India and for that Pakistan had to be denuclearised.

    Former Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmad Khan expressed his apprehensions about the alleged activities but he ruled out any possibility of the US team being in a position to gain access to Pakistan’s nuclear facilities.

    The programme (to be telecast again at 2:05pm today – Sunday), host Dr Shahid Masood had raised the question about the action that the team/squad could take in any eventuality. He referred to previous reports of Hersh which appeared in New Yorker magazine last week in which Hersh disclosed that after the US authorities received a report by their embassy in Islamabad indicating that a Pakistani nuclear component had gone astray, a highly classified US military and civil-emergency response team was put on alert. The team which operates clandestinely is reportedly under standing orders to deploy from Andrews Air Force Base, in Maryland (Washington), within four hours of an alert.

    When the report turned out to be a false alarm, the mission was aborted but by the time the team got the message, it was already in Dubai while on its way to Pakistan. Hersh quoted a consultant of the US Defence Department in his write-up and later he discussed the role of the US embassy in ‘Meray Mutabiq’ last week, which was hosted by Dr Shahid Masood and participated by Group Editor The News Shaheen Sehbai.

    It was the maiden interview of the US investigative journalist in the wake of his thrilling write-up about the US plans towards Pakistan’s nuclear programme and the controversial observations of former President Musharraf regarding his successor. Seymour Hersh while standing by his report, pertaining to the comments offered by former President General (R) Pervez Musharraf about incumbent President Asif Zardari, has disclosed that the former president had given some harsher comments about his successor but in the ultimate scrutiny he allowed the remarks that he made part of his article.

    General Hamid Gul disclosed in his talk with Dr Shahid Masood that former president General Pervez Musharraf allowed the US planes to land in Pakistan to pick Osama bin Laden about whom they had an inkling that he was present in a remote village of Balochistan. He said that when Hersh visited him to verify the veracity of the information, “I requested him to publish the story and he obliged. I was of the opinion that the Americans want to get in Pakistan under the pretext of the story that had yet to appear and it could open the way for future US incursions,” the General added.

  5. Ha ha ha ha afraid of my comments. U mod. This one is for u why are u removing my posts. This shows u paki attitude. U rot in hell.

  6. I agree with u even most of my comments are deleted by the mod. All one sided views are posted here. And these guys are happy with living like a frog in a well. The whole world cant help much when they are used to live in alice in a falseland.

  7. […] US army morale down in Afghanistan: Study […]

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