Iraq, Afghanistan wars harm mental health of US diplomats


This video is called Veterans of PTSD PBS NOW.

From AFP news agency:

US concerned about mental health of diplomats in Iraq, Afghanistan

Published: Tuesday June 19, 2007

The State Department is conducting an internal survey to better help diplomats cope with the stress of assignments in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, a Department official said in testimony to Congress on Tuesday.

Laurence Brown, the head of the State Department’s Office of Medical Services, told a House of Representatives subcommittee that his office posted the anonymous survey on the Department’s intranet system on June 1, and will collect results for a month.

“The war in Afghanistan and in Iraq represent another level of stress due to the high levels and widespread incidence of violence that involve greater numbers of serving Foreign Service employees than past incidents,” Brown said.

This has resulted “in larger number of acute anxiety reactions and we might well expect an increase un numbers of those with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) as well,” he said. …

Diplomats assigned to the US embassy in Baghdad “experience frequent incoming fire in the Green Zone and sleep in vulnerable aluminum trailers,” Kashkett said, while diplomats working in other parts of Iraq often live with the US military “in combat areas and work entirely in a ‘red zone’ environment.

“Not surprisingly, some of our members who have returned from these postings have complained of symptoms that are clearly associated with post-traumatic stress disorder,” Kashkett said.

Although numbers are still sketchy, “preliminary results from the State Department survey suggest that it may affect some 40 percent or more, similar to what has been reported for the US military.”

Many US diplomats returning from Iraq “have commented that they had little opportunity for proper counseling before, during, or after their assignments,” Kashkett said.

Some even felt they were penalized for mentioning concerns about post-traumatic stress disorder “by having their medical or security clearances suspended,” Kashkett added.

US occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan is rather different from diplomacy as seen traditionally.

As for the lower level US diplomats in the Green Zone in Baghdad: the Bush-Rice administration lets them sleep in unsafe containers.

What a contrast to when a bigwig like Dick Cheney or John McCain visits Iraq …

The horrors of the Iraq war in figures: here.

9 thoughts on “Iraq, Afghanistan wars harm mental health of US diplomats

  1. The war in Afghanistan and in Iraq represent another level of stress due to the high levels and widespread incidence of violence that involve greater numbers of serving Foreign Service employees than past incidents, This has resulted in larger number of acute anxiety reactions and we might well expect an increase un numbers of those with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) as well.

    JWP
    ——–

    Addiction Recovery California

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  2. The Iraq war, also known as the Second Gulf War or the War in Iraq is an ongoing conflict which began on March 20, 2003 with the United States-led invasion of Iraq by a multinational coalition composed of United States and United Kingdom troops supported by smaller contingents from Australia, Denmark, Poland, and other nations.
    ————
    albertjames
    California Drug Addiction

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  3. Hi albertjames, indeed it began in 2003. Now, five years, over 4,000 US dead soldiers, over a million dead Iraqis, over four million Iraqi refugees, etc. etc., later, it is time it stopped.

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  4. Pingback: War makes soldiers mentally ill | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Slave labour, dodginess in US Baghdad embassy construction | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: USA, Rice says Iraq occupation first, diplomacy a poor second | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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