Monday, May 23, 2011

"Medium" Level of Morale for Troops in Afghanistan

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

As fighting and casualties in Afghanistan's war reached an all-time high, U.S. soldiers and Marines there reported plunging morale and the highest rates of mental health problems in five years.

Some 70 percent to 80 percent of troops surveyed for the report said they had seen a buddy killed, roughly half of soldiers and 56 percent of Marines said they'd killed an enemy fighter, and about two-thirds of troops said that a roadside bomb — the No. 1 weapon of insurgents — had gone off within 55 yards of them.

Some 20 percent of troops said they had suffered a psychological problem such as anxiety, severe stress or depression.

"We would have expected to see a much larger increase in the mental health symptoms and a much larger decrease in morale ... based on these incredibly high rates of exposure" to traumatic combat events, [Col. Paul] Bliese said.

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