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

Soldiers on Duty Committing Suicide at Record Levels

Jan 21, 2013

A record number of U.S. soldiers committed suicide while on active duty in 2012. The 349 suicides was greater than the number of U.S. troops, 295, killed in combat in Afghanistan for the year. The number of active-duty suicides has been increasing every year since 2006, with the exception of two years when it temporarily leveled off.

The military pretends the increase is some kind of mystery, since the U.S. is supposedly winding down its war campaign in Iraq. But these suicides should come as no surprise when you consider the conditions these soldiers find themselves in.

Not only is the war in Iraq not over, but soldiers in Afghanistan are fighting a war in a country where the population opposes their presence. Many are on their third or fourth tour of duty, and large numbers are dealing with both physical and mental traumas of war, broken personal and family relationships and financial problems at home.

This is what war brings. These soldiers who took their own lives are casualties of America’s imperialist war efforts–every bit as much as those killed in combat.