Thanks to Information Clearing House for this article, which does much to explain the escalating spiral of violence in Iraq. Anyone who still believes that the presence of US and British forces in Iraq is making life better for Iraqi civilians should read this intently, and think through the obvious consequences.
U.S. Examines Iraq Battlefield Ethics
By PAULINE JELINEK
Associated Press Writer
05/04/07 – — WASHINGTON (AP) — A new Pentagon survey of troops in Iraq found that only 40 percent of Marines and 55 percent of Army soldiers would report a member of their unit for killing or wounding an innocent civilian.
In the first internal military study of battlefield ethics in Iraq, officials said Friday they also found that only a third of Marines and roughly half of soldiers said they believed that noncombatants should be treated with dignity.
The study also found that long and repeated deployments were increasing troop mental health problems. And it showed that more than 40 percent of Marines and soldiers said torture should be allowed to save the lives of troops.
The study was the fourth since 2003. Previous studies were more generally aimed at assessing the mental health and well-being of forces deployed in the war.
In the latest study, a mental health team visited Iraq last fall and surveyed troops, health care providers and chaplains.
“The Marine Corps takes this issue of battlefield ethics very seriously,” said Lt. Col. Scott Fazekas, a Corps spokesman. “We are examining the study and its recommendations and we’ll find ways to improve our approach.”