Tue, Mar 28, 2017 | updated 01:43 PM IST

Suicide kills more U.S. troops than Islamic State: Pentagon Report

Updated: Jan 01, 2017 08:47 IST

Washington [USA], Jan 1 (ANI): According to newly released Pentagon statistics, suicide and not combat is the leading killer of U.S. troops deployed to the Middle East to fight the Islamic State.

USA Today, citing the report, said that U.S. casualties have been relatively low since the U.S.-led war effort began with a bombing campaign in August 2014, reflecting the limited combat exposure for troops.

Of the 31 troops who have died as of December 27 in Operation Inherent Resolve, 11 have taken their own lives. Eight died in combat, seven in accidents and four succumbed to illness or injury. The cause of one death is under investigation.

According to experts on military suicides, the reasons behind suicide by troops are complex and poorly understood. They likely include mental illnesses that enlistees brought with them to boot camp, post-traumatic stress, multiple combat deployments and heightened anxiety in a military at war for 16 years.

"I don't think there's one single cause for it. There are a multitude of factors. They are also picking up on a trend toward more suicide in the U.S. population as a whole. Maybe there's a universal stress on everyone in the military that affects them in profound ways," said Rajeev Ramchand, a senior behavioral scientist.

The nature of the fight against ISIL has also limited combat fatalities. Direct fights between U.S. troops and ISIL fighters are uncommon events. U.S.-led airstrikes have been the principal means of attack, and they have been exceptionally lethal. The military estimates bombs and missiles fired by warplanes and drones have killed 50,000 ISIL fighters.

The largest loss of life in a single incident in the war against ISIL didn't take place in Iraq or Syria. It occurred in Jordan on November 4, 2016 when three Special Forces soldiers were shot by a guard as they tried to enter an air base. The American commandos were training local forces to fight ISIL militants.

The most casualties in a single attack occurred earlier this year when rockets fired by ISIL fighters targeted a Marine artillery base in northern Iraq. The attack on March 19 killed Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin and wounded eight others.

By far, 2016 had been the most dangerous for U.S. forces since the war began. Seven of the eight combat deaths occurred in 2016, and 21 of the 26 troops wounded in action suffered their injuries this year.

But the military's suicide problem continues.

Between 2001 and 2010, the rate of suicide in the military doubled, Ramchand said. The chief spike occurred around 2005 when fighting and combat deaths soared in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the army shouldered most of the war's burden.

The army still has the highest percentage among the services for suicide, according to the Pentagon's latest figures. Of the 269 active-duty troops who took their own lives in 2014, 122 were soldiers, or about 28 percent.

As a whole, the military's rate of suicide of about 20 per 100,000 troops in 2014 was comparable to the same civilian population. (ANI)

New York [United States], Mar. 28 (ANI): U.S. defense officials have claimed that recently North Korea conducted another ballistic missile engine test.

Full Story >>

Berlin [Germany], Mar. 28 (ANI): The German Government has lauded the Make in India Mittelstand (MIIM) programme of the Indian Embassy in Berlin as an extraordinary initiative towards the overall Indo-German Business relations.

Full Story >>

Johannesburg [South Africa], Mar. 28 (ANI): Legendary South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada, who spent 26 years in jail with Nelson Mandela, passed away at the age of 87 on Tuesday after a short period of illness.

Full Story >>

Sheikhupura [Pakistan], Mar. 28 (ANI): At least two people were killed and five others wounded after a Karachi-bound passenger train, Shalimar Express, collided with an oil tanker in Punjab's Sheikhupura district leading to a huge explosion in the wee hours of Tuesday.

Full Story >>

Hong Kong (China), Mar. 28 (ANI): China's One Belt, One Road is the brainchild of President Xi Jinping, a concept he floated in 2013.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], Mar. 28 (ANI): Asserting that his linkage with the Russia story is a 'hoax', U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday questions as to why the House Intelligence Committee is not investigating Bill and Hilary Clintons various ties with Moscow.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 28 (ANI): Russia's Head of the Department of Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Mikhail Ulyanov visited India for the annual round of bilateral consultations during which discussions were held on wide range of issues including nuclear, terrorism, and nuclear energy.

Full Story >>

Berlin / Kabul, Mar. 28 (ANI): The pro-freedom Baloch political party 'Free Balochistan Movement' held protests and awareness campaigns in Balochistan and abroad to mark the 'Balochistan Occupation Day' yesterday.

Full Story >>

Moscow [Russia], Mar. 28 (ANI): Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been fined and sentenced to 15 days in prison for disobeying police orders and organising anti-government protests.

Full Story >>

Beijing [China], Mar. 28 (ANI): China has expressed firm opposition and lodged representations over a Japanese official's visit to Taiwan saying the visit breaches the commitment made by Tokyo to interacting with Taiwan only at non-governmental level.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 28 (ANI): U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned of a pending crackdown against "sanctuary cities" on Monday, saying non-cooperation with immigration authorities is "dangerous" and will cost communities federal funding.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Mar. 28 (ANI): The popular "Fearless Girl" statue of a brave young woman staring down the famous bronze "Charging Bull" sculpture will stay on Wall Street for another year.

Full Story >>

London [UK], Mar. 28 (ANI): British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson postponed his Russia visit following the rescheduling of the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting.

Full Story >>

United Nations, Mar. 28 (ANI): Dozens of members states including the United States on Monday boycotted United Nations talks for a treaty that would ban nuclear weapons saying the time was not right to outlaw nuclear arms.

Full Story >>

Beijing [China], Mar. 28 (ANI): Beijing and Kathmandu agreed to cooperate more in jointly building the Belt and Road initiative during Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting with Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Monday.

Full Story >>

Washington D. C. [USA], Mar. 28 (ANI): U. S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, has volunteered to speak to the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russian meddling in the US election.

Full Story >>

New York [United States], Mar. 27 (ANI): Attacks by the Taliban and other militant groups are having a devastating impact on education in Pakistan, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released a day before the Second International Conference on Safe Schools in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Full Story >>

By Binod Prasad Adhikari

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 27 (ANI): Expressing regret over the attack on an Indian origin taxi driver in Hobart, Australia has said it places great importance on the safety and security of Indian community in the country.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar. 27 (ANI): The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is not in favour of the government's decision to allow former army chief General (Retd.) Raheel Sharif to assume the command of a yet-to-be-formed Saudi-led 39-nation military alliance of Muslim states and has decided to raise the issue in the Parliament.

Full Story >>