Home / Be The Change / Antiwar / The Biggest Killer of US Troops in the Middle East Is Not ISIS — It’s Suicide

The Biggest Killer of US Troops in the Middle East Is Not ISIS — It’s Suicide

Washington — Confirming once again that war, to those who are sent to fight them, is absolute hell, newly released Pentagon statistics show that suicide — not combat — is the leading killer of US troops deployed to the Middle East.

According to a report in USA Today this week, of the 31 troops who have died as of Dec. 27 in Operation Inherent Resolve, 11 have taken their own lives. Eight died in combat, seven in accidents and four succumbed to illness or injury.

These new numbers confirm a trend that’s been in place since the beginning of the prolonged occupation of the Middle East.

Earlier this year, the DoD released a similar report from 2014 that revealed some startling numbers. In all of 2014, a total of 55 US troops, in both hostile and non-hostile situations, lost their lives in foreign occupations. The number of soldiers who killed themselves was nearly 5 times that amount.

According to the DoD report, in 2014, there were 269 deaths by suicide among active component service members (compared to 259 deaths by suicide in 2013).

As bureaucratic fatcats sit back from their lush taxpayer-funded offices in giant marble buildings debating on whether or not to send more troops to the Middle East, this crisis is being ignored. Partly due to the fact that they can’t seem to figure out why troops are killing themselves, the military ‘experts’ are unable to reverse it.

“I don’t think there’s one single cause for it,” said Rajeev Ramchand, a senior behavioral scientist at the Rand Corp. who has studied military suicide. “There are a multitude of factors. They are also picking up on a trend toward more suicide in the U.S. population as a whole. Maybe there’s a universal stress on everyone in the military that affects them in profound ways.”

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However, many experts have come forward and noted that the increased prevalence in the prescription of antidepressants to active duty troops could play a large role. In 2010, Peter Breggin MD testified before the Veterans’ Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives:

“The newer antidepressants frequently cause suicide, violence, and manic-like symptoms of activation or overstimulation, presenting serious hazards to active-duty soldiers who carry weapons under stressful conditions.  Antidepressants should not be prescribed to soldiers during or after deployment,” said Breggin.

“In testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Veterans Affairs Committee, I have pointed to a probable causal relationship between increasing rates of antidepressant prescription and increasing rates of suicide in the military,” he explained in his 2010 publication on SSRI Suicide in the Military (Antidepressant-induced suicide).

Couple the dehumanizing nature of treating human beings as fodder for wars of aggression with the known side effects of antidepressants, and you have a recipe for disaster.

In war, human lives become units to be traded as a commodity to aid in the expansion of the state. When they are no longer deemed useful, these human lives are then tossed out like yesterday’s garbage.

Treating human beings in such a brutal and inhumane manner is not without consequence.

Not only are active duty soldiers tragically ending their own lives at an increasing rate, but once they finish their service, these numbers skyrocket.

In a 2012 report put out by the Veterans Administration, it was estimated that up to 22 veterans a day kill themselves. That is 8,000 lives a year — almost one per hour.

If we look at attempted suicides, that number skyrockets to 19,000 attempts, of which 8,000 result in ending their own lives.

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War is the plight of mankind that is perpetually waged by cowards too afraid to send themselves or their own children into harm’s way, but who do not hesitate to send the poor or ‘patriotic.’

When the state is done with its pawns of empire, it disposes of them like spent military gear. They then become unable to get the proper care they need for illness and injury related to their service. If they try to self-medicate to cope with the subsequent PTSD from being forced to brutally occupy a foreign country, these veterans have their children taken, face life in prison, or worse.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that nearly 50,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Another 140,000 are currently in jail, many of them for victimless crimes like drug possession.

As if the numbers aren’t bad enough, veterans are often the target of unjust attention from law enforcement. On multiple occasions, the Department of Homeland Security has referred to veterans as potential terrorists and noted that they pose a threat to national security.

The Free Thought Project has reported on case after case of veterans returning home only to be beaten and locked up for speaking out, or killed by police during a PTSD-triggered episode.

Merely ‘supporting the troops’ is proving to be the worst possible thing for them.

If you really want to “support the troops” you’ll stop supporting wars of aggression in distant lands in which Americans are forced to kill people who pose no threat to the US.

If you really “support the troops” you’ll stop blindly standing up for your government whose proven track record shows that they do everything but support the troops.

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If you really support the troops, you’ll educate yourself on who is behind these wars, why they are waged, and how US foreign policy actually creates enemies. ISIS would not exist had the US not remained hell bent on overthrowing the Assad regime for the benefit of special interests in DC.

Pledging blind obedience and unquestioning support for wars that one’s government illegally wages at the expense of our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and mothers and fathers, is the antithesis of what a free person should do — and anything but “supporting the troops.”

So what is the solution? How can the US rein in this epidemic of suicide among active duty troops and vets?

The answer to this question, while it may seem complex, is actually quite simple — Stop creating them.

As a former ‘troop’ I know how hard it can be to handle the woes faced by life in the military. If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, please feel free to reach out to the Free Thought Project who is staffed by a number of veterans who understand your pain and who would be glad to help. Feel free to message us on our Facebook Page, or through email here. 


Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. and now on Steemit
  • IceTrey

    I have a hard time sympathizing with people who volunteered to go half way around the world to kill other people who are no threat to our country.

    • Occams
    • Gabe Snike

      EXACTLY. They can die by their own damn hands!

    • Nam Marine

      Then defend yourself and consider your Family dead!

      • IceTrey

        Defend from whom? No one is coming. Less than 100 Americans have been killed by terrorists since 9/11 and those were homegrown attacks. The cops have killed over 15,000 Americans in the same time. Where is the real danger?

      • Gabe Snike

        go die somewhere, will you? YOU DEFEND NOBODY, you self righteous warmongering asshole.

  • John C Carleton

    Many of these kids were drafted economically. US government made dam sure there were no jobs for them. They are fed a steady stream of brainwashing from pre-K to each morning muster. But they find themselves killing people, who’s land they invaded without justification. They realize they are murdering people who are doing the same thing they would if their country were invaded. Don’t set well with ones supper, and is not sleep inducing. Some of them can not take seeing the faces in their nightmares any more. Stop the illegal wars and murders, most of the suicides will stop in new troops who did not serve in these killing fields.

    • Lewie Paine
      • John C Carleton

        Aye. Guess we have to keep telling the dam sheep the cliff is there. You keep it up also. I have got to get in touch with a guy i met briefly who can teach me a bit. Just do not understand editing video at all. Old dog going to have to learn some new tricks. Have my won’t you buy me song needs just a twick and get it on Youtube. Hope in the next day or so. Have one planned, took, tonight the bottle let me down and converted it to what i call the veterans version, or Tonight Uncle Sammy bent me over. Let you know when the first one comes out. Not Willy by any means, but i have a talent for saying things plainly. Take a look at this Kiss Kristofferson song and what he says about duty. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOGUCkc6Ozw

      • John C Carleton

        This is Lucky Cat. Grandson “rescued” it. Picked it from a litter in an abandoned house. Course it came to grandpas. Can tell its bunch had been wild for generations. Got her as a kitten but you can see the wild instincts in her. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a377e49d97b0729dbf0cfa5f7247e8332ef02dea135f891accd62e25e448f652.jpg

      • John C Carleton

        Happy new year. Bit of the Irish. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw-TuYggM0w

    • IceTrey

      That’s not true. The military is mostly white middle class.

      • L. A. McDonough

        People say that the enlisted military is 75% minority (Blacks, Mexicans, P. Ricans) friend went to visit Ft Benning, was obvious to them. Now, officers may be mainly white, enlisted no way.

    • L. A. McDonough

      Since we haven’t won a war in 71 years, why the H would anyone want to go into the military other than for one term to either get job training or get out and go to school under the GI bill and get a real job. Military today is basically a WPA program (1935 on) for the hard core unemployed in inner cities. We let people in from third world countries who take jobs in factories because Americans refuse to work there, which has happened in the EU. High School students need to learn a trade upon graduation and get a real job.

      • John C Carleton

        With very few exceptions, i viewed being an officer in the military as a Social Works Program. They were just smart enough to remember things for just long enough to regurgitate it back onto paper to show they had retained their indoctrination. But in the real world, the business world, they were too stupid to cut it. You have this huge University scam where you get rich off these people, can not have all these A student college grads standing on corners with cardboard signs saying, will work for food now can you? So they make them officers in the military, they are given Senior NCOs who do their job for them. They do 20 and get a retirement for life. Not shabby for someone who could not pour piss out of a boot with the instructions on the heel.

        • brazos

          When I enlisted in the Navy and taking the test to enlist, one other and I were taking the test, the other guy was an ex-Air force officer who for some reason said that he was enlisting in the Navy because he left the Air force and needed so many years to make his pension( this is the story he gave me)? He finished before me I thought, and looked over at me like I was stupid with a smirk on his face, I turned the page over and started the back side of the test, when the petty officer came in he picked up my test and said hey you really did good, when he went to the other guy, he picked up his test sheet and says Hey, why didn’t you do the other side! Guess who got to smirk then!

        • Gabe Snike

          SMH! You help train these idiots so that they can go die…….nice! You arrogant puke.

    • edwitness

      “Many of these kids were drafted economically.” That’s a fact!
      And once in they are brainwashed into thinking they are actually protecting Americans by invading other countries.
      If what our Founders referred to as “entangling alliances” had been avoided there would be no place for or need for these “volunteers”. And there would be plenty of opportunities for work right here at home.

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    • Gabe Snike

      WHO CARES? There were no jobs for me either, when I decided that this war machine would not have my soul in the late 60’s and early 70’s. I FOUND A WAY to save my soul and ride out the storm of no jobs. Stop making excuses for these murdering bastards. I have 2 nephews who enlisted for these damnable middle east slaughter house wars and I will NEVER speak to them again.

      • Nam Marine

        Then YOU are no American. You should move to Iran pal!

        • Gabe Snike

          I am FAR MORE AMERICAN than you would EVER understand. HOWEVER, I am NOT A MURDERER OF INNOCENT PEOPLE. GET YOUR PATHETIC HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS AND LEARN ABOUT THE FORCES THAT CREATED THE DAMNABLE WARS. YOU mothereffin fools who thump your chest and rush off to blow the brains out of innocent people are EXACTLY WHAT ALLOWS THE BANKER CABAL to continue raping the world through their preplanned wars.

        • Gabe Snike

          Go ahead….keep convincing yourself that all themurder was somehow honorable. WE, the intelligent ones, AIN’T BUYING THAT STORY.

      • John C Carleton

        It is just my thoughts based on your input, that your nephews are better served with you not speaking to them.

        • Gabe Snike

          It is my thought that idiot killers of innocents, such as yourself and my nephews, should have your despicable asses rot in the trash heap of history. If you idiots are so friggin dumb and coldblooded that you will sign up to do the murdering for your bankers, aka, government, then you deserve to rot or kill yourselves. Either way……piss off you killing fool.

          • John C Carleton

            Self righteous chosen ones are who murdered about a million Americans, 1861-1865. Self righteous chosen ones caused all the Purification wars in England. Self righteous chosen ones burned innocent women at the stake as witches. give me a repentant humble person anyway over one who thinks they are a god.

          • Gabe Snike

            Self righteous murdering scum have no integrity,no honor, and NOTHING worth the paper I wipe my butt with.

    • TheCogitator

      We need to stop thanking people for their military service and quit telling the lie that we have our liberties because these poor brainwashed kids are killing people in foreign lands that our evil rulers have invaded. It is obvious that after finding that they have been duped, that many are not able to live with the evil they have been force to do.

      The truth must be told, but people are so conditioned, that to see the truth will be as hard for most as it would be to question their god. It’s an uphill battle, but if nothing changes, the suicides will continue, and likely only get worse.

      • John C Carleton

        If they accept the truth, then they must except that their parents lied to them, their priest lied to them, their teachers lied to them, the people they voted for lied to them. That if one did serve in a war, one must realize that they were the war criminal. That US is not murdering the worlds peoples to “give them democracy”, but for perverse fun and profit. One has to realize that ones whole life has been a lie. The older one gets, the harder to face that all those years, and all your efforts, were BS, for evil. Hard to face that, so many just react violently to truth and those telling truth.

        • TheCogitator

          Although we are in general agreement, I probably would not say that all those people lied to them. If those people actually believed the false inaccurate information they passed on, it is not really a lie. A lie is intentionally saying something is true while knowing it to be untrue.

          We have to consider this quote from Michael Rivero. “Most people prefer to believe their leaders are just and fair even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which they live is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of a corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one’s self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all.”

  • Occams

    Ummmmm…since the US and US troops are arming and supplying ISIS – and US troops FIGHTING ALONG ISIS…..

    Why would ISIS ‘kill them’ – their ally?

    This is called ‘selling the lie’.

    • Gabe Snike


  • Greg Geitner

    my information tells me 22 military suicides a day is what is going on. the organization 22kill gets my support. some kind of mental training is needed to prepare our troops for what lies ahead.

  • It’s the so-called “vaccines”. Do you honestly believe the military would NOT inject fighter enhancement chemicals into soldiers without their informed consent? Why do you think these ex-military cops are shooting little old ladies, dogs and prisoners? They are cooked. The military needed them to be aggressive so “aggressive” was injected into them. It destroys them. PTSD is a cover name for chemically “FUBAR”. If you want to help veterans, BAN the F***ing vaccines.

    • Incredible Hell super hero

      Being fed anti-dep meds for PTSD doesn’t help. Along with coming to the realization that to the innocent citizens of those other countries they are the terrorists… Then pile on top of that the families they thought they were protecting here at home being put into the danger they went over there to prevent…. Probably more ISIS in US than there is over there. Just sayin…

  • aliswell

    Excellent article. Thank you, Matt.

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  • Nam Marine

    Get these kids off of the damn Prozac and get them some real help!

  • thomas jefferson

    WHEN you kill some ones children,GOD WILL DESTROY YOU FOR IT,and its more then deserved,BRING ALL THE MILITARY HOME,..WHO DO YOU STUPID BASTARDS THINK YOU ARE,going to other countries and MURDERING THEIR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN???where on earth did you get the IDEA it was OK to do such things..WHY DOES AMERICA LOVE SATAN ,do any of you understand WHO SATAN IS,HES A DEMON FROM HELL,THE BIBLE FORBIDS KILLING AND MURDERING ANYONE,yet because your military ,OR police gang menbers, THAT MAKES IT OK…WELL enjoy hell,you’ll be there a long time

    • Robbin Knepp

      Continue reading and studying the Bible, especially the book of Daniel and Revelation. This place is nothing but war until Jesus Christ returns and defeats the devil and his fall angels. Get used to it.

  • Nam Marine

    In 1967 I was trained to kill the Communists in Vietnam by the Marine Corps. I guess the
    training was good because I am still alive. However, I believe we should train our troops a lot longer than 13 weeks. Troops like Marines could use at least a month in hand-to-hand combat. I was stationed in Northern I Corps and we were over run twice during the TET
    offensive. Thank God i had years of training in Judo before I enlisted because I was in hand-to-hand combat a number of times in my 13 months in Country. SEMPER-FI !

    • IceTrey

      My dad was Lima 6 3/4 during Tet.

    • L. A. McDonough

      Hubby was in Viet Nam ’71 in Tan An area of VN. We lost in Korea, VN by default.
      The politician scum run the puppet generals (no win wars). We had zero reason to go to these two countries (Korea, VN) who never messed with us. Tonkin incident was a lie to get the economy going. Middle East is all about oil/running piplines- period. We are over there to destroy these countries and force Muslims into the EU to trash the EU and turn it into a Caliphate. We are in Afgan. to keep the drug trade flowing for almost two decades. Globalism agenda is to destroy nationalism then, dictatorship and slavery. The Elite chose Islam for population control as it is way cheaper than a suppressing army or police. Muslims have un Q loyality, will do as told by leaders even sell their own kids into sex trades or suicide missions.

    • Gabe Snike

      You murdered so that the drug trade could ensue…….friggin fool!

  • Alleged Comment

    IF they are taking anti-depressants drugs during combat – THIS explains it. All anti-depressants are to be removed and certain fish oils be given instead.

  • Occams

    Perhaps the REAL CAUSE of the suicide is the ILLEGAL death and destruction they’re doing for banksters, the Bilderbergs, Rothschilds, Clintons, Bush, Obama….?

  • Blaine

    You wanna serve your country, join the FD, or volunteer EMT, volunteer at a soup kitchen.

    Be mighty strange if being a button man for the US Federal Govt didn’t leave one a little suicidal

  • alexandra

    http://veteranstoday.com add this to ur news sites. read their comments and you judge. The next time anyone asks you to go to war let alone tell u. ask why, do ur homework and then say is ur kid front line?, bet they are not. Bush/Clinton/Obama same nazi rule book with the shadow government. Destroy the country, give away our jobs, American lives are expendable for the cause, except not theirs or their loved ones. put people in prison for the drugs, that in actuality the CIA brought in to raise their revenues, all the while Reagan/all Bushes/Clintons/Obamas tried them. They divide the races in fact put more black people in jail for drugs than whites, fill the prisons that are privately owned and like hotels demand full occupancy at all times irrespective of the crime. Not buying shit anymore.. No wonder the new world order prefers to create their own security in Nato/Fema etc.. and of course mercenaries as they know american soldiers really do not want to fire on the citizens they were designed to protect. Also look up rules of engagement that the Vietnam vets had to suffer thru war.. totally unrealistic. The NWO don’t want wars to stop they will lose toooo much money. Was Bill Clinton old enough for the Vietnam war draft.. google it why didn’t he go?