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July 24, 2005

One way out

Drop inexperienced young troops into the seventh circle of hell, and this is inevitable:

Two years into the occupation of Iraq the menace of drug abuse appears to be afflicting American troops.
Aware of the debilitating effect drugs had on the morale and effectiveness of GIs in the Vietnam War, the authorities are attempting to stifle a repeat in Iraq.
Aside from random urine tests and barrack room searches, commanders have asked their troops to inform on colleagues.
In the past month a soldier has been arrested for selling cocaine and two per cent of the troops from one brigade have been charged with drug and alcohol abuse.
According to US army figures, out of the 4,000 men of the 256th Brigade Combat Team, 53 faced alcohol-related charges and 48 were charged with drug offences.
Since the overthrow of Saddam’s regime the borders that have been so porous for insurgents have been equally open for heroin and hash smugglers from Afghanistan and Iran providing a cheap market for troops. With colleagues being killed or wounded on a daily basis, some US soldiers have turned to drugs to escape the horrors of fighting insurgents.

Having troops inform on their colleagues is really going to help morale.

The article also quotes Captain Christopher Krafchek, a military defense lawyer, as saying that “some of these young soldiers just can’t handle the stress.” Gee, I wonder why—after all, here in the White House it feels like things in Iraq are going just fine.

Posted by Stephen at 12:05 AM in Drugs | War | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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