World News and Trends: Troubling number of Army suicides

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Troubling number of Army suicides

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"War is hell," stated American Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman as his Union soldiers crossed the Pearl River after the fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1863. Today, war is still hell for the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, but a new problem has surfaced within U.S. military forces that shows the stress soldiers face.

"A record high number of Army suicides are linked to an increasingly 'permissive' environment in the service where soldiers take personal risks in their lives by using alcohol and drugs, committing crimes and refusing to get psychological help, according to a sweeping internal investigation released by Army officials," said a July 29, 2010, USA Today article (Gregg Zoroya, "Army Suicides Linked to Risky Behavior, Lax Discipline"). In many cases, the report says, commanders don't do enough to curb the behavior.

"The review commissioned last year by the No. 2 Army commander, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, says this 'Army-wide problem' is linked to a tally of deaths last year that included 160 active-duty soldiers who committed suicide and 146 more who died during risky activity or behavior such as drug use. Seventy-four of those deaths were drug overdoses. There were also 1,713 attempted suicides last year."

The number of suicides and attempted suicides in the U.S. military is tragic. War truly is hell, and the more American society tolerates the abuse of alcohol and drugs, the weaker will be our values. The Bible shows this will all change after Christ's return, when peace will break out all over the world. As Micah 4:3 Micah 4:3And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
American King James Version×
tells us, all nations will beat their swords into plowshares and will at last learn war no more. (Source: USA Today.)