Do Deployments Impact Soldiers?

Recent events in Afghanistan which resulted in Sgt.Robert Bales murdering sixteen women and children has raised issues regarding whether sending men and women repeatedly back into combat will lead to abnormal behaviors. General John Allen, who commands US forces in Afghanistan disagrees with those who claim PTSD is the inevitable outcome of constant stress of combat. He does not believe repeated deployments “inherently educes the effectiveness of the force.”

General Allen forgets that during wars in Korea and Vietnam, those in combat were able to attain enough “points” to be sent home and never again return to combat. A war without an end is bound to emotionally impact any normal human being. A war in which the enemy does not engage in open combat is bound to result in tension. One wishes General Allen was making a comment that was supported by evidence. Alas, the evidence simply does not support his belief.