More American soldiers deployed in the Middle East to fight Daesh are dying of suicide and not combat, newly release Pentagon figures reveal.
Since 2014 casualties of US soldiers have been relatively low. A total of 31 soldiers have died since the US-led war in August 2014. Of them 11 committed suicide, eight died in combat, seven in accidents and four died of injury or illness. Suicide remains the leading cause of death.
Health experts have not been able to single out a reason for the rising cases of suicide however likely reasons include mental illness, heightened anxiety and post-traumatic stress.
“I don’t think there’s one single cause for it,” said Rajeev Ramchand, a senior behavioral scientist at the Rand Corp. who has studied military suicide, the USA Today reported. “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.”
Between 2001 and 2010, the rate of suicide in the military doubled, Ramchand said. The greatest spike was reported in 2005 when combat deaths soared in Iraq and Afghanistan. 269 soldiers took their lives in 2014.
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.
Thousands of soldiers have been deployed in to help the Iraq Army. Several hundreds are on ground in Iraq and Syria.