Friday :: Apr 18, 2008


by Turkana

In a rather strange article with a rather strange focus, the Washington Post reports:

About 300,000 U.S. military personnel who have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression, a mental toll that will cost the nation as much as $6.2 billion over two years, according to a Rand Corp. report released yesterday.

In addition, nearly 20 percent of the 1.64 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, or about 320,000 personnel, reported a probable traumatic brain injury (TBI) during deployment, the report notes, although it says their treatment needs have not been determined.

The economic cost of the PTSD and depression cases -- including medical care, forgone productivity and lost lives through suicide -- is estimated at $4 billion to $6 billion over two years. Meanwhile, the cost incurred by traumatic brain injury, based on all cases diagnosed through June 2007, is estimated at $600 million to $900 million.

At the rate we're burning money for this disaster, that $6,000,000,000 is but a very small drop in an ocean-sized bucket. But 300,000 military personnel suffering from PTSD? 320,000 personnel suffering traumatic brain injuries? Is the human cost even calculable?

Thousands more certified mental health professionals are needed to provide high-quality care in both military and civilian sectors, while more training for treating trauma is required for tens of thousands of existing providers, the report says.

The report says the entire national health-care system will have to be involved.

How many more times does it need be made clear that Bush is simply using our all-volunteer military as fodder for greed and cowboy movie delusions? How much more evidence does there need be? Simply put, if, as many Republicans would have it, "support" for "the troops" is a measure of Americans' patriotism, the Bush Administration is the most unpatriotic administration this nation has ever had.

Turkana :: 9:59 AM :: Comments (40) :: Digg It!