Yes, it’s another piercing glimpse into the maybe not so obvious, provided by our friends over at strategypage.com. “Research turned up the fact those who had killed someone in combat, were 40 percent more likely to show symptoms of PTSD [Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder] or similar symptoms found in those who suffered concussions from roadside bombs.” It’s better to be shot at than shoot? Who’d a thunk it? The majority of the article chronicles the Army’s attempts to deal with the political correctness that enabled Muslim psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan’s murderous rampage at Fort Hood. But there’s a fascinating link between the two subjects . . .

Some counter-terrorism researchers see a connection between PTSD and the kind of mental state often found in Islamic terrorists, or those inclined to violent behavior in the name of some religious or political beliefs. The assessments are trying to detect those who are strongly inclined towards unauthorized violent behavior. It’s a tricky business, because soldiers are conditioned and trained to undertake authorized violent behavior.

Which raises an interesting question: do you want soldiers who think for themselves or soldiers who obey the right authority without question? Im’ thinking . . . yes.

[Occasional TTAG commentator and full-time liberal Dan Baum wrote eloquently on the subject of PTSD for The New Yorker. Click here to read The Price of Valor.]

3 Responses to Soldiers Who Shoot People Suffer More PTSD Than Soldiers Who Don’t

  1. Just read the PDF, very interesting but I can't help but critique.

    SLAM Marshall's findings are essentially bunk. The guy was a liar and a plagiarizer.

    The Staff Sgt who was charged with dereliction of duty was. He was in country for two days, saw a body, and tried to bail. He was supposed to be an SF operator IIRC.

    A US Army division has 10-15k people, not 3k, not sure what you meant by that.

    All that aside it is very unfortunate that the military wasn't acknowledging the problem (are they now?). I think another big hole in the military's research is the affect of age. Something that didn't bother a childless 18 year old may seriously disturb him/her when they are 30 with two kids.

  2. the whole thing about ptsd or veterans care or what have you is that the true cost of war is just too expensive, and if society were to actually commit to paying for it, it would never engage in warfare. it was "affordable" back when the fatality rate in warfare was much greater but now that most soldiers live instead of die they basically end up costing more than they are worth. And until the debate confronts this reality there will be no progress resolving these problems.

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