This Week’s Report: “Military Suicides”

Almost a decade after the United States went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, suicides among active-duty soldiers and veterans are rising sharply, and military leaders are struggling to help service members cope with the pressures of deployment, combat and military life in general. Yet, as CQ Researcher staff writer Peter Katel notes in this week’s report, “Military Suicides,” experts view the government’s grasp of the problem as “uncoordinated” and inadequate. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has come under especially harsh criticism from politicians, judges and veterans’ families for what they say have been insufficient steps to help service members get counseling and other aid. The suicide problem is “spiraling out of control,” Tom Tarantino, senior legislative associate for the advocacy group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told Katel. This important report is especially relevant for classes and papers on current events, government policy, military history, public administration and suicide prevention.

--Thomas J. Billitteri, Managing Editor