The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

U.S. Military:
Thousands of Less than Honorable Discharges

Dec 17, 2007

At least 28,000 troops coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan have been discharged early from the military for supposed “pre-existing” personality disorders.

It’s a pack of bureaucratic lies. If soldiers really did have such serious problems, then why did the military induct them, hand them a gun and tell them to go to war?

In fact, after having served year after year in the hellish war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan, a big proportion of U.S. troops are coming down with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). As the medical profession explains it, they are self-medicating themselves with drugs and alcohol, numbing themselves to the war’s reality. Others begin to just not give a damn and flagrantly flaunt military discipline. They stop showing up for duty, or show up for duty drunk or high, don’t salute, etc.

Officials don’t want to keep these soldiers in the military, on the front lines, because it can only further destroy discipline. But at the same time, they don’t want to send these soldiers home with a full honorable discharge and VA benefits for PTSD. That would open the flood gates for tens of thousands of soldiers also wanting out. So, the military is kicking thousands of soldiers out with less than honorable discharges, which not only takes away their veterans benefits, but makes it harder to get a decent job on the outside.

This is the war inside the war, the war inside the U.S. military. More and more, the U.S. military is breaking down, because the soldiers are less and less ready to fight. At the very least, this is what puts up a block to the politicians who want to open up new wars–such as against Iran. And it is what can begin to force the politicians and generals to bring the troops home and end their most recent dirty wars.