Suicide kills more US soldiers than combat operations

WASHINGTON, (ST)-  The "New York Times" has unveiled that suicide cases among the American army personnel have increased and that the number of the soldiers who commit suicide has become bigger than that of the soldiers killed in wars.

An opinion article, "Suicide Has Been Deadlier Than Combat for the Military" by journalist Carol Giacomo, a member of the newspaper editorial board the newspaper's, revealed that suicide rates for active-duty service members and veterans are rising despite the fact that the US government has invested $1 billion in seeking solutions.

According to the "New York Times", more than 45,000 veterans and active-duty service members have killed themselves in the past six years. That is more than 20 deaths a day — in other words, more suicides each year than the total American military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.

 The latest Pentagon figures show that the suicide rate for active-duty troops across all service branches rose by over a third in five years, to 24.8 per 100,000 active-duty members in 2018. Those most at risk have been enlisted men under 30, the newspaper said.

It added that the data for veterans is also alarming. In 2016, veterans were one and a half times more likely to kill themselves than people who hadn’t served in the military, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Experts say suicides are complex, resulting from many factors, notably impulsive decisions with little warning. Pentagon officials say the majority of service members who die by suicide do not have mental illness. According to the US daily.

The newspaper pointed out that not only do these deaths devastate families; suicides can also undermine morale and cohesion within units that lose a member this way.

Adapted by Hamda Mustafa

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