Britain, the United States' staunchest ally in Afghanistan, has suffered its worst single battlefield loss in six years
"Flags were lowered to half-staff at the main British base in Helmand, and Prime Minister David Cameron called the loss of the six soldiers "desperately sad." The BBC reported that the six had arrived in Afghanistan only a month earlier.
Six British troops were presumed dead after a massive blast destroyed their heavily armored vehicle in Helmand province, Western military officials said Wednesday. The fatalities mark a grim milestone, pushing British deaths in the course of the 10-year war above 400, a toll second only to American losses of more than 1,900 troops.
The incident pointed up continuing dangers inAfghanistan'ssouth despite military gains touted by the NATO force."
Since the start of the Iraq War in 2003, the rate of Suicide among U.S. Army soldiers has soared, according to a new study from the U.S. Army Public Health Command
"The study, an analysis of data from the Army Behavioral Health Integrated Data Environment, shows a striking 80 percent increase in suicides among Army personnel between 2004 and 2008."
"This increase, unprecedented in over 30 years of US Army records, suggests that 30 percent of suicides that occurred in 2008 may be associated with post-2003 events following the major commitment of troops to Iraq, in addition to the ongoing operations in Afghanistan," says the paper."
Those who died were overwhelmingly male, young, white, in the lower military ranks and likelier to have had a history of depression and other mental disorders."
"The suicides began to rise after 2004, according to the study. During 2007 and 2008, 255 active-duty soldiers killed themselves, a rate of 20.2 per 100,000 person years. That compares to an expected rate of 12 per 100,000 person years, the study said."