Inside the US military in Iraq

Two articles on disturbing developments in the US military serving in Iraq.

Female soldiers are reporting a lack of response to incidents of rape:
Female troops serving in Iraq are reporting an insidious enemy in their own camps: fellow American soldiers who sexually assault them.

At least 37 female service members have sought sexual-trauma counseling and other assistance from civilian rape-crisis organizations after returning from war duty in Iraq, Kuwait and other overseas stations, women's assistance and advocacy organizations say.

"We have significant concerns about the military's response to sexual assault in the combat zone," said Christine Hansen, executive director of the Connecticut-based Miles Foundation, which says it has assisted 31 women.

The women, ranging from enlisted soldiers to officers, have reported poor medical treatment, lack of counseling and incomplete criminal investigations by military officials. Some say they were threatened with punishment after reporting assaults.
(Link via Antiwar.com)
The Observer looks at suicide and psychiatric disorders among soldiers in Iraq:
Up to one in five of the American military personnel in Iraq will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, say senior forces' medical staff dealing with the psychiatric fallout of the war.

This revelation follows the disclosure last month that more than 600 US servicemen and women have been evacuated from the country for psychiatric reasons since the conflict started last March.

At least 22 US soldiers have killed themselves - a rate considered abnormally high - mostly since President George Bush declared an end to major combat on 1 May last year, These suicides have led to a high-level Department of Defence investigation, details of which will be disclosed in the next few weeks.
I wonder what kind of help these former soldiers will get when they return to the US.

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