Suicides are surging among America's troops, averaging nearly one a day this year — the fastest pace in the nation's decade of war.I've worried for a while about the cost of war on individual servicemembers over all these years. How do you live every minute of every day worrying about being killed, and not have it takes it toll after a matter of days, if not months and years?
The 154 suicides for active-duty troops in the first 155 days of the year far outdistance the U.S. forces killed in action in Afghanistan — about 50 percent more — according to Pentagon statistics obtained by The Associated Press.
The numbers reflect a military burdened with wartime demands from Iraq and Afghanistan that have taken a greater toll than foreseen a decade ago. The military also is struggling with increased sexual assaults, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and other misbehavior.
I had and interview with Nobel economist Joe Stiglitz about the financial cost of war, which includes the cost of treating wounded (both physically and psychologically) servicemembers. Stiglitz estimated that Iraq and Afghanistan will end up costing the US more than $3 trillion. Here's that interview: