Showing posts with label PTSD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PTSD. Show all posts

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Paper on NTM-A. Nick Barley has penned an informative history about the training of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). He traces the training programs implemented by the U.S. and NATO partners in "The NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan: A Game-Changer; Lest We Forget", Small Arms Journal, December 5, 2015.

"The Breadwinner". An Afghan film is receiving support from the American actress Angelina Jolie. (Khaama Press, Dec 6, 2015).

Moscow: From Kabul to Damascus. Ryan Evans reviews the history of the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and puts the Russian intervention in Syria today in perspective. He says not to worry but keep a careful eye on the big bad bear. See his (very long) analysis in "Moscow's Clients From Kabul to Damascus: Strength and Strategy in International Politics", War on the Rocks, December 9, 2015.

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). The new catch-word for those fighting terrorism is CVE. Some are discrediting it as a flawed concept while others say that it gets to the root causes of terrorism. The term is also a factor in the political arena as well. Shannon N. Green, a senior fellow and director of the Human Rights Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. provides her perspective on CVE in Preventing Violent Extremism: Promise and Pitfalls, CSIS, December 2, 2015.

Divisions Within the Taliban? Recent reports of shooting of Taliban leader reveals serious divisions within the Taliban. See "The Implications of the Taliban Shootout", The Diplomat, December 9, 2015.

Afghan Health Gains? Questionable. Rod Nordland of the NYT writes that the reported gains in health care for women in Afghanistan are under scrutiny. Read "Reported Gains in Afghan Maternal Health Are Found to Be Implausible", The New York Times, December 4, 2015.

PTSD and War Contractors. "Despite increased rates of post-traumatic stress among private contractors, little has been discussed about prevention and treatment. More and more contractors entering into combat environments are experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress when they return home". See "Why We Should Be Talking About Military Contractors With PTSD", Task & Purpose, December 9, 2015.

Time to Leave Afghanistan? Tom Mockaitis, an international security analyst and military historian, thinks the time has arrived to adjust our strategy and objectives. (The Huffington Post, December 26, 2015).

Dismal Mood in Kabul. A writer compares his visit to Kabul in 2008 with a more recent visit. The situation for many of the city residents is not hopeful. Almost everyone knows someone who has fled to Europe. Read more in "Desperation Rules Afghanistan", by Sanjay Kumar, The Diplomat, December 10, 2015.

Looking at Afghanistan Conundrum. Dr. Manoj Kuma Mishra, the program coordinator of the School of International Studies at Ravenshaw University in India provides his thoughts on Afghanistan in "Evolving a Coordinated Response to the Afghan Conundrum", Eurasia Review, December 10, 2015.

SSR, Gender Equality, and Local Ownership. ". . . it is increasingly recognized that mainstreaming gender issues and promoting gender equality in SSR programming is essential to success and is a key factor in developing meaningful local ownership." Read more about gender issues and Security Sector Reform (SSR) in "Security Sector Reform and the Paradoxical Tension between Local Ownership and Gender Equality", Security Sector Reform Resource Centre, December 2015.

Research on Women and Terrorism. Laura Sjoberg has penned an essay entitled The Women of Daesh: Thinking about a Decade of Research on Women, Gender, and Terrorism, E-International Relations, December 6, 2015.

General Order No. 1. Time to Update this asinine regulation. Finally a dose of common sense from an observer! While all our allies in Afghanistan can have a brew or two daily members of the American military can only look on with envy. Read "Reevaluating General Order 1X"Small Wars Journal, December 5, 2015.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


The U.S. military now has the highest rate of post-traumatic stress disorder in history. Sebastian Junger investigates and reports on this problem. Read "How PTSD Became a Problem Far Beyond the Battlefield"Vanity Fair, June 2015.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Article - "Why Soldiers Miss War"

Participating in a war has a great effect on people and some have trouble recovering. Many suffer from varying degrees of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) while others just miss the experience and adventure of the war. Some PTSD experts say many experience a combination of both. Some are able to leave it all behind. I don't know for sure as I am not an expert on the topic. Many Afghan veterans spent the war on large FOBs behind large concrete walls - seeing little combat; although some of these "fobbits" were on the receiving end of daily rocket attacks. FOB Shank in Logar province was referred to as "rocket city". Then there are the combat veterans who drove the IED-seeded roads or fought the many small combat engagements from isolated outposts scattered across the Afghan countryside. In the last few years the troops have been participating in advisory missions. One thing is for sure, over the course of the 13-year long war - everyone's experience is different and unique and yet there is a lot of commonality. In addition, upon returning to the states - there is a varied reaction to no longer being in the war. Some combat veterans certainly miss the war; others not so much.

One writer tries to capture this aspect of the Afghan War. He writes about rocket attacks on FOB Shank and then goes on to discuss PTSD. He explains to us that returning combat veterans see life a little bit different from the other 99% of the U.S. population who are not in the military. And he explains PTSD in a different manner than I have heard before; but with which I can certainly understand.

Read Nolan Peterson's piece entitled "Why soldiers miss war", posted on Blue Force Tracker, January 4, 2015.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

PTSD and Time

Tom Ricks, an author, commentator, and observer of all affairs military, has wrote an article about his experiences in Iraq and PTSD. Very interesting. Read "In and Out of Time in Iraq", The New Yorker, December 5, 2014.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Toll on Drone Pilots

Here is another article providing us with the line that drone pilots suffer from PTSD and depression. It lets us know that drone warfare still produces casualties on the U.S. side. I suppose it is tough working 12 hours a day in that air conditioned room in Nevada and then getting home every night to your family eating steak and drinking beer. I am not sure it is the same type of PTSD that the Army SPC4 gets after having spent a year-long tour at a place like COP Jaghato in Wardak province or a Marine's time at Camp Dwyer in Helmand province. But then what do I know - I have seen Jaghato but my experience in Nevada is four short trips to Las Vegas. Read more in "Stop Pretending Drone Warfare is Casualty-Free for America",, October 7, 2014.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Do Afghans Have PTSD? Does that Make Counterinsurgency Problematic?

A researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies is advancing the argument that populations of weak states are so psychologically traumatized by war and violence that they can not be helped by counterinsurgency campaigns and stability operations. Read more in "One Theory for Why Counterinsurgency Campaigns Might Be Hopeless", National Defense NDIA, March 16, 2012.