Coenzyme Q10 helps veterans battle Gulf War illness symptoms

EEV: Requested Post from the CNO site:


Coenzyme Q10 helps veterans battle Gulf War illness symptoms

– CoQ10 is a fat-soluble antioxidant made by the body to support basic cell functions, including directly assisting mitochondrial energy production. Over a course of three and a half months, the veterans in the study received a pill form of either CoQ10 or a placebo. Researchers found 80 percent of those who received 100mg of CoQ10 had improvement in physical function. The degree of improvement correlated to the degree in which CoQ10 levels in the blood increased.
* Published in the Nov. 1 issue of Neural Computation Continue reading “Coenzyme Q10 helps veterans battle Gulf War illness symptoms”

Metal band Skinny Puppy send US government invoice after finding out their music was ‘used as torture device in Guantanamo Bay’

Use of their songs ‘didn’t sit right’ with the band

Friday 31 January 2014

The US Army’s use of Metallica’s oeuvre as a tool in its interrogations in Iraq is well documented, but it opted for something a little more esoteric in Guantanamo Bay, according to one Canadian industrial metal band. Continue reading “Metal band Skinny Puppy send US government invoice after finding out their music was ‘used as torture device in Guantanamo Bay’”

Support rallies for soldier who faces disciplinary hearing for sending classified information from his personal email which could have saved three lives

By  Ashley Collman

PUBLISHED: 23:32 EST, 26  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 23:34 EST, 26 October 2013

A well-intentioned honest mistake could cost  Major Jason Brezler his position as a Marine reservist.

Maj Brezler found himself in hot water last  summer when he responded to an email from  troops in Helmand Province,  Afghanistan who were inquiring about a local police chief named Sarwar Jan.

Jan was being given access to the base in  Delhi as part of the U.S. military’s exit strategy from the country.

Maj Jason Brezler, pictured in the middle on the right, will face a Marine hearing as early as next month for accidentally emailing classified information via his personal email accountMaj Jason Brezler, pictured in the middle on the right,  will face a Marine hearing as early as next month for accidentally emailing  classified information via his personal email account

 

Maj Brezler had prior knowledge of Jan, and  immediately replied to warn his fellow marines about the dangerous police chief  with ties to the Taliban. He also  reported that Jan was a noted child abuser and there were allegations he  sexually abused minors on U.S. bases in the past.

Immediately after sending the email, Maj  Brezler realized he had made a mistake and shouldn’t have sent the message from  his personal Yahoo email account. He  reported himself to the Marines and is now facing judgement. He could face a  Board of Inquiry hearing as early as next month where he will need to argue his  case for remaining a Marine.

But punishment for the email is causing an  uproar among politicians and high-ranking military leaders since his email was a  harbinger for a deadly attack carried out at the forward operating base in Delhi  by one of Jan’s boy assistants.

The assistant, who is believed to be one of  Jan’s sexual-abuse victims, opened fire in a base gym on August 10, 2012 and  killed three American soldiers: Staff Sergeant Scott Dickinson, Corporal Richard  Rivera and Lance Corporal George Buckley, Jr.

Warning: Shortly after sending a warning email to soldiers in Helmand Province about Sarwar Jar, one of Sanwar Jar's assistants shot and killed three soldiers on the base. Above, the body of victim Staff Sgt Scott Dickinson is brought back to the U.S. 

Warning: Shortly after sending a warning email to  soldiers in Helmand Province about Sarwar Jar, one of Sanwar Jar’s assistants  shot and killed three soldiers on the base. Above, the body of victim Staff Sgt  Scott Dickinson is brought back to the U.S.

 

Maj Brezler lives in New York and in addition  to being a Marine reservist, is a New York City fireman.

Kevin Carroll, Maj Brezler’s lawyer who is  working pro bono, said it was ‘inconceivable that a combat Marine and New York  City fireman, such as Jason Brezler, would have lied or stayed silent when  marines in Afghanistan sought his advice on an emergency force protection  issue.’

New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand and  Representative Peter King have both written letters backing their fellow New  Yorker. Rep King called it ‘unfair’ that  Maj Brezler would be punished for his ‘good-faith effort to warn his fellow  Marines.

‘The Marines and the (New York City) Fire  Department need more good men such as Maj Brezler, not less,’ Rep King  wrote.

Other military leaders have come to Maj  Brezler’s defense, describing him as a model Marine.

Bing West, the former assistant secretary of  defense for international security affairs and who has written several  non-fiction books about the military, said Major Brezler ‘has brass balls. We’d  like to believe that’s the definition of a marine, but I’ve seen Brezler in  action.’

He also described the time he saw Brezler  ‘brace a punk police chief and drag away a young teen who was being used as a  sex slave’. U.S. military in the area were able to convince the provincial  governor to depose that police chief.

Doing the right thing: Several politicians and high-ranking military officials have written to defend Maj Brezler's actions. Above, another picture of the casks of the three Marine victims from the shooting at FOB Delhi being brought back to the U.S. 

Doing the right thing: Several politicians and  high-ranking military officials have written to defend Maj Brezler’s actions.  Above, another picture of the casks of the three Marine victims from the  shooting at FOB Delhi being brought back to the U.S.

 

Maj Gen Larry Nicholson, the commanding  general of the 1st Marine Division and Brig Gen Richard Simcock have also spoke  up for Maj Brezler.

‘Jason is a selfless, fearless and dedicated  Marine officer. He accomplished much, for so many, with little regard for  himself. I urge board members to take into consideration these aspects of his  character and prior service in deliberations,’ Maj Gen Nicholson wrote.

Brig Gen Simcock called Maj Brezler a  ‘principled man of integrity who is not swayed by peer pressure or personal  gain’.

The Marine Corps Times also published an  editorial in favor of leniency for Maj Brezler.

‘Brezler’s treatment sends the message that  in the Marine Corps there’s no room for honest mistakes. That’s a dangerous  precedent to set in any line of work, but most assuredly in the military where  even four-star generals will acknowledged that an understanding commander showed  them some leniency along the way.’

A spokesman for the Marine Corps Forces  Reserve declined to comment on Maj Brezler’s impending hearing.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2477762/Support-rallies-soldier-faces-disciplinary-hearing-sending-classified-information-personal-email-saved-lives.html#ixzz2itYe6PnV Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

U.S. Army Learns Hard Lessons in N. Korea-like War Game

Mar. 26, 2013 – 12:44PM   |
By PAUL McLEARY   |

WASHINGTON — It took 56 days for the U.S. to flow two divisions’ worth of soldiers into the failed nuclear-armed state of “North Brownland” and as many as 90,000 troops to deal with the country’s nuclear stockpiles, a major U.S. Army war game concluded this winter.

The Unified Quest war game conducted this year by Army planners posited the collapse of a nuclear-armed, xenophobic, criminal family regime that had lorded over a closed society and inconveniently lost control over its nukes as it fell. Army leaders stayed mum about the model for the game, but all indications — and maps seen during the game at the Army War College — point to North Korea.

While American forces who staged in a neighboring friendly country to the south eventually made it over the border into North Brownland, they encountered several problems for which they struggled to find solutions. One of the first was that a large number of nuclear sites were in populated areas, so they had to try to perform humanitarian assistance operations while conducting combined arms maneuver and operations.

One way of doing this was to “use humanitarian assistance as a form of maneuver,” Maj. Gen. Bill Hix, director of the Army’s Concept Development and Learning Directorate, told reporters. The Army dropped humanitarian supplies a short distance from populated areas, drawing the population away from the objective sites, he explained.

Many of the problems encountered were hashed out with Army leaders at a Senior Leader Seminar on March 19 at Fort McNair in Washington. The event—which included the Army chief of staff, Gen. Ray Odierno, and the vice chief, Gen. John Campbell, along with a collection of three- and four-star generals — was off the record, but under terms of the agreement that allowed a handful of reporters to cover the event, unattributed quotes can be reported.

One of the major complications was that “technical ISR was not capable of closing the gap” caused by not having human intelligence assets in the country for years before the fight, one participant said. Also, “our ability to get north was hindered by our operational inflexibility,” particularly when it comes to dropping troops into austere, contested areas.

To move soldiers quickly, Marine Corps V-22 Ospreys quickly inserted Army units deep behind enemy lines, but leaders found that inserting troops far in front of the main force so quickly often caused them to be surrounded, after which they had to be withdrawn.

Overall, the friendly force ultimately “failed to achieve the operational agility” it needed to succeed, another participant complained, “largely due to the rigidity” of current deployment models. What’s more, the joint force was “able to get the force there quickly, but it was the technical force” that proved more difficult to deploy.

Another participant agreed, adding “the key challenge was timely access to joint enablers” such as ISR and counter-weapons of mass destruction units, which were desperately needed by the general-purpose ground units.

While not all lessons learned from the exercise were fully hashed out in this unclassified setting, some officers involved expressed their views of how the past decade of war has influenced how the Army prepares to fight.

“We’ve had the luxury in the last several wars of a place called Kuwait” from which to launch troops and stage equipment, one officer said. “I think our skills have atrophied in the call you get in the middle of the night,” and in forcible-entry operations from the air and sea. Skills haven’t been kept fresh in doing things such as loading trains full of equipment, and in setting up new command posts, he said.

Another leader agreed. “We have been spoiled by a command-and-control network that has been established for a decade” in Afghanistan and Iraq, he said, adding that the Army has to get back to training to operate in an austere environment.

One lesson from Iraq and Afghanistan, reinforced by the Unified Quest game, was that “we’re not going to fight a pure military war again,” one four-star general opined. Instead, being successful in conflict will require a variety of solutions requiring cultural knowledge, political acumen and other intelligence activities. The problem is, according to another officer, that the service needs to better understand the cultures in which it will fight, since “we tend to focus on the clash, when we need to focus on the will” of the local population.

Gen. Robert Cone, director of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, said the difficulties the Army faces in moving troops and materiel around the battlefield again reinforced that “we have significant inter-service dependencies on our ability to move” and that any future fight will be a joint fight.

When asked about the potential for conflict in North Korea specifically, Cone said that while he thinks the forces the U.S. has today in South Korea “are adequate … the question is what forces are adequate for the problem of loose nukes?”

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130326/DEFREG02/303260020/U-S-Army-Learns-Hard-Lessons-N-Korea-like-War-Game?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p

Report: Surge in N. Korea Air Force Sorties

 

 

By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SEOUL — North Korean jet fighters have flown an “unprecedented” number of sorties in recent days in apparent response to a joint South Korean-U.S. military exercise, a report said Wednesday.

The number of sorties by fighter jets and helicopters peaked at 700 on Monday, the same day the “Key Resolve” exercise was launched, Yonhap news agency cited a military source as saying. The volume of flight missions “is seen as unprecedented in scale,” the unidentified source said.

The South Korean Defense Ministry declined to confirm the report but reiterated that the North’s army, navy and air force were carrying out drills ahead of an expected statewide exercise.

“Key Resolve” is an annual, largely computer-simulated exercise but still involves the mobilization of more than 10,000 South Korean and 3,500 U.S. military personnel.

About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea.

Pyongyang condemned the drill as a provocative invasion rehearsal and announced it was scrapping the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War in response. Military tensions on the Korean peninsula have risen to their highest level in years, with the communist state threatening nuclear war in response to U.N. sanctions imposed after its third atomic test last month.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130313/DEFREG03/303130012/Report-Surge-N-Korea-Air-Force-Sorties?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

$36 Billion of Military Hardware Could Be Destroyed in Afghan Pullout

Newsmax

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 11:21 AM

By: Todd Beamon

The Obama White House is cutting $65 billion in the sequester, but it could easily leave or torch 750,000 pieces of major military hardware — worth $36 billion — in Afghanistan after U.S. troops pull out by the end of next year.

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Here are the options, according to Face the Facts USA of the George Washington University: Leave the equipment — or destroy it — in Afghanistan; move it to other U.S. military outposts; or transfer it to another U.S. agency or to another country.
The estimated cost for the latter two options: $5.7 billion.

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The equipment includes trucks, aircraft, and armored vehicles — most of which are controlled by the Army.

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Because the Afghanistan terrain is mountainous and landlocked, transport would be difficult. But leaving it behind intact could put the equipment in the wrong hands.

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So, is it best to torch $36 billion in U.S. military assets?

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http://www.newsmax.com/Newswidget/Afghanistan-withdrawal-billions-hardware/2013/03/05/id/493173?promo_code=125BD-1&utm_source=125BDTelegraph_Media_Group&utm_medium=nmwidget&utm_campaign=widgetphase1

The Army’s obesity problem: By the numbers

*Repost at request
In 2007, 116 troops were dismissed for being out of shape. In the first 10 months of this year, that figure was a rather massive 1,625
By Samantha Rollins | December 11, 2012
Members of the U.S. Army at a food court: While these soldiers look rather fit, some of their colleagues are struggling to stay in shape.
Members of the U.S. Army at a food court: While these soldiers look rather fit, some of their colleagues are struggling to stay in shape.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

When an entire nation has an obesity problem, it should be no surprise that its army will have one as well. These days, being “too fat to fight” is an increasingly common concern in the U.S. military. According to The Washington Post, obesity is now the leading cause of ineligibility among potential Army volunteers and current military personnel. Indeed, as pressure mounts for the Army to cut its budget, it has begun to dismiss troops who need to cut a few pounds. Here, a look at the Army’s weight problem, by the numbers:

241
Maximum weight, in pounds, for female enlistees

258
Maximum weight, in pounds, for male enlistees

116
Troops dismissed from the Army in 2007 for being out of shape

1,625
Troops dismissed from the Army in the first 10 months of 2012 for being out of shape

5.3
Percent of U.S. troops classified as overweight or obese in 2010

35.7
Percent of U.S. adults who are obese

75
Percent of civilians hoping to volunteer for the Army in 2009 who were physically ineligible to join, with obesity being the leading cause

Ted Turner says it’s ‘good’ U.S. soldiers are committing suicide in large numbers because it proves humans aren’t programmed to kill

  • A total of 247 U.S. army personnel are  suspected to have taken their own lives between January and September
  • This compares to 222 combat deaths in  Afghanistan to October 22
  • CNN founder claims it’s  time to put war and conflict behind us and ‘start acting like civilized,  educated human beings’

By Helen Pow

PUBLISHED:15:48 EST, 25  October 2012| UPDATED:16:00 EST, 25 October 2012

CNN founder Ted Turner says he thinks it’s  ‘good’ that U.S. soldiers are committing suicide in large numbers because it  highlights how humans are ‘born to love and help each other, not to  kill.’

The 73-year-old media mogul made the  controversial remarks during an appearance on the TV station’s ‘Piers Morgan  Tonight’ last Friday, shortly after the army’s latest figures on troop suicides  were released.

The data shows that more army personnel have  taken their own lives this year than have died in combat in  Afghanistan.

SCROLL DOWN  FOR VIDEO

Army suicides: CNN founder Ted Turner, pictured, has claimed that military suicides are positive because they highlights how humans are 'born to love and help each other, not to kill'

Army suicides: CNN founder Ted Turner, pictured, has  claimed that military suicides are positive because they highlights how humans  are ‘born to love and help each other, not to kill’

Referring to the startling figures, Morgan  says to Turner: ‘That’s shocking isn’t it?’

But Turner doesn’t agree, and almost goes as  far as to say army suicides are ‘terrific.’

‘Well, what — no, I think it’s — I think  it’s good, because it’s so clear that we’re programmed and we’re born to love  and help each other, not to kill each other, to destroy each other,’ he says.  ‘That’s an aberration. That’s left over from hundreds of years ago. It’s time  for to us start acting enlightened.’

Earlier in the interview, Morgan asks  Turner’s view on foreign policy, and whether he believes America should continue  to be the world’s policeman.

‘I don’t think we should need one,’  Turner  replies. ‘I think we should use courts the way we do in civilian  life. It’s  time to put war and conflict behind us and move on, and start acting like  civilized, educated human beings.’

Controversial: The 73-year-old media mogul, pictured right, made the controversial remarks during an appearance on 'Piers Morgan Tonight' last Friday

 

Controversial: The 73-year-old media mogul, pictured  right, made the controversial remarks during an appearance on ‘Piers Morgan  Tonight’ last Friday

Even before not-yet-released data  from  October, the number of suicides among active and reserve army  personnel this  year has surpassed the number of combined military combat deaths from January to  October 22, according to CNS  News.

A total of 247 U.S. army personnel are  believed to have taken their own lives between January and September this year,  army data shows. This compares to 222  deaths from ‘hostile causes’ in Afghanistan.

The figures, collated by the Brookings  Institution, show an extra 40 troops were killed by ‘non-hostile causes’ while  on deployments in the country.

This means their deaths were not caused by  the Taliban, insurgency forces or Afghan forces.

The latest army statistics, released  last  Friday, show 15 active duty soldiers are suspected of killing  themselves last  month alone. The same number of potential suicides was  recorded in  August.

‘Every suicide in our ranks is a tragic loss  for the Army family, adversely  affecting the readiness of our Army,’ Lt. Gen.  Howard B. Bromberg,  deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel, said in a  Department  of Defense release.

Suicides: A total of 247 U.S. soldiers are suspected to have taken their own lives between January and September this year, army data shows. This compares to 222 deaths from 'hostile causes' in Afghanistan

 

Suicides: A total of 247 U.S. soldiers are suspected to  have taken their own lives between January and September this year, army data  shows

Combat killings: The high number of suicides compares to 222 deaths from 'hostile causes' in Afghanistan between January and October 22

 

Combat killings: The high number of suicides compares to  222 deaths from ‘hostile causes’ in Afghanistan between January and October  22

‘I am asking soldiers, family members,  Department of the Army civilians,  neighbors, and friends to look out for each  other and reach out and  embrace those who may be struggling,’ he  said.

‘Recognize the warning signs such as  substance abuse, relationship problems, and withdrawal from friends and  activities and use available resources to help yourself or others. Our actions  can save lives.’

For the year up to September, 146 potential  suicides were recorded among active-duty army personnel and an additional 101  possible suicides were recorded for troops not on active duty.

Marine Corps commandment James Amos  said the  problem wasn’t confined to the army and that all armed services were  experiencing a ‘tough year’ when it came to suicides, according to CNS.news.

‘Even with the attention of the leadership, I  think all the services this year are feeling it,’ Amos said.

‘I guess what I would tell everybody here is  there is, through no shortage of great effort and leadership on the part of all  the services to try  to abate this, but this year, I think, is going to be a  tough year for  all the services.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2223260/Ted-Turner-CNN-founder-says-good-U-S-soldiers-committing-suicide-large-numbers-proves-humans-arent-programmed-kill.html#ixzz2AMlGIMuq Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Super-sizing the soldier: Is obesity going to pose a huge recruiting problem?: At present, 62 percent of active duty military members over the age of 20 have a body mass index that falls into either the overweight or obese category

Posted By Thomas E. RicksTuesday, October 9, 2012 – 10:22 AM

By Jim Gourley

Best Defense department of physical fitness and national security

Obesity and weight-related health conditions have become a prevalent concern to American policy in the last decade. National military leadership was also exposed to obesity’s potential risks to national security with the release of the report “Too Fat to Fight” by Mission Readiness in 2010. The group’s primary message is that a burgeoning population of overweight American children will drastically reduce an already diminished pool of viable candidates for military service in the next ten years. However, these reports indicate only the most general aspects of the problem and focus on projections of future implications. When the scope of the American obesity epidemic is examined specifically within the context of its impact on the armed forces, data shows clearly that the threat is not imminent, but existential.

At present, 62 percent of active duty military members over the age of 20 have a body mass index that falls into either the overweight or obese category. For personnel under the age of 20, the number stands at 35 percent. That is actually an improvement from a 2005 rate of 46 percent. These statistics are often challenged due to the disputable methods of calculating Body Mass Index (BMI). However, the 2011 Annual Summary of the Armed Forces Health Survey Center cites 21,185 medical diagnoses for overweight, obesity and hyperalimentation (overeating). Research also dispels service culture stigmas. No service is immune to overweight issues. Comparing the relative percentages of overweight/obese service members, the Navy is the fattest service at 62.7 percent, followed by the Army at 61 percent, the Air Force at 58.8 percent. The Marines register the fittest at 55.1 percent, still substantially more than half overweight. Closer examination shows that more than 12 percent of active duty service members in each service are obese. The Marines break the trend more significantly in this category with a 6.1 percent obesity rate.

The increase of girth in the military progressed at a linear rate between 1995 and 2005, but has remained fairly consistent since then. However, emerging data indicates that the overweight population may rise further in the next ten years if the military is to meet recruiting goals. A new study by the Trust for America’s Health predicts that more than half of Americans in 39 states will be obese by 2030. This is disturbing enough, but it becomes even more troubling for the armed forces when individual state recruitment trends are compared to their childhood obesity rates. All ten states that contributed the most military inductees in 2010 have childhood obesity rates greater than 15 percent. Three of them (including Texas, which was second in total recruitment with over 15,000 new military members) exhibit rates between 20-25 percent. The preponderance of our young military members come from the most ponderous states.

The problem is not simply one of cosmetics or intangible metrics of combat performance. The costs of an unfit military carry a real-dollar value. A 2007 joint study by The Lewin Group and TRICARE management activity estimated that the Defense Department spends $1.1 billion annually on medical care for obesity and overweight conditions. This study included dependents and retirees who qualified for TRICARE Prime coverage. More restricted to the active duty component are the costs to manpower. The AFHSC report tallied 245 “bed days” for medical treatment directly linked to weight issues, and 4,555 service members were involuntarily separated for failing to meet weight standards in 2008. The recruiting and initial entry training costs alone represent a loss of $225 million. Adding in specific military job training, logistics, equipment and the cost of lost duty days brings the annual price tag of overweight service members to about $1.5 billion. That exceeds the military’s budget for Predator drones in 2010. Themilitary still fails to grasp the true scale of the problem so long as comorbidities of overweight and obesity remain unexamined. There were more than 42,000 service members affected by hypertension and another 5,700 by diabetes in 2011. Hypertension alone ranks in the top thirty conditions affecting active duty service members. Also overlooked is the expense of XXL chemical warfare suits and development of other plus-sized uniform items.

The military’s response to the problem has been mixed. The Army provided waivers to 1,500 new recruits who failed to meet weight standards in 2007. The program remains in place but the numbers of waivers issued in subsequent years have not been published. The Navy had a similar program until 2010. The Air Force never offered such a program and the Marines actually tightened standards in the 2009-2011 time period. Trends suggest that weight standards are on a sliding scale driven largely by manpower requirements and retention problems in a wartime military.

Therein lies the greatest problem. It seems all but certain that American society will continue gaining weight over the next decade. In this regard, the military may be a kind of canary in the cave given its emphasized dependence on physical fitness for mission success. However, without an established position on the matter of physical fitness standards and given the likelihood that leaders at every level will themselves be at an unhealthy weight, it is possible that the military will experience substantial increases in operating costs and diminished capability in the next decade.

Jim Gourley is a Best Defense jolly good fellow.

http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/10/09/super_sizing_the_soldier_is_obesity_going_to_pose_a_huge_recruiting_problem

U.S. military aims to prevent suicides by taking soldiers’ private guns away from them

  • Pentagon and  Congress to back policies encouraging the separation of at-risk soldiers from  their private weapons
  • Suicide rate among U.S. military staff rising again in 2012, almost half of those committed with personal firearm
  • Likely to  spark opposition from gun rights groups such as National Rifle  Association

By Alex Horlock

PUBLISHED:03:43 EST, 8  October 2012| UPDATED:03:47 EST, 8 October 2012

With nearly half of all suicides in the U.S.  military committed with a privately owned firearm, Congress and the Pentagon are  moving to implement policies that will discourage at-risk members of the armed  forces from retaining their personal weapons.

As suicides continue to rise in 2012, the  Defence Department officials are developing a suicide prevention campaign, part  of which will encourage friends and family of the potentially suicidal to  convince the soldiers to give up their weapons.

The Pentagon’s move would be hugely  controversial as some lobbyists may construe it as gun control.

Concern: Almost half of all suicides in the U.S military are committed with a private firearm, not service weapons  

Concern: Almost half of all suicides in the U.S military  are committed with a private firearm, not service weapons

Gun rights groups – along with many service  members themselves – are likely to oppose any policy which could seem to limit a  citizen’s private ownership of a firearm.

‘This is not about authoritarian regulation,’ said Dr Jonathan Woodson, the assistant secretary of defence for health  affairs.

‘It is about the spouse understanding warning  signs and, if there are firearms in the home, responsibly separating the  individual at risk from the firearm.’

Dr Woodson said the campaign would also  include measures to encourage friends and family of at-risk soldiers to remove  possibly dangerous prescription drugs from their homes, but declined to provide  any further details.

Another significant step is the fact that  Congress appear willing to implement legislation which would allow mental health  counsellors and commanders to discuss the issues of privately owned weapons with  the troops.

The measure would amend last year’s  legislation, that prohibited the Defence Department from collecting information  from members of the armed forces about lawfully owned, personal  firearms.

The measure was part of the Defence  Authorisation Act and was backed by the National Rifle Association. The NRA  claimed the provision was in response to efforts by defence officials to  maintain records of all firearms owned by their personnel.

The new amendment, which is part of the  defence authorisation bill for 2013, has been passed by the House of  Representatives but not the Senate.

It would allow mental health experts and  commanders to ask service members about their private firearms if they have ‘reasonable grounds’ to believe the soldier is at ‘high risk’ of harming himself  or others.

Trauma: Congress are taking steps to prevent at-risk soldiers from retaining their private weapons  

Trauma: Congress are taking steps to prevent at-risk  soldiers from retaining their private weapons

The NRA are wary over the moves, and have  said that, although they are happy for the commanders to ask questions of those  they are concerned about, the commanders should not be confiscating  firearms.

‘We’re OK with the commanding officer being  able to inquire,’ said Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the NRA., ‘but they  can’t confiscate.’

Senator James M Inhofe, an Oklahoma  Republican who sponsored the 2011 restrictions, said he would support the new  amendment ‘if it clears up any confusion.’

‘This is a national tragedy that Congress,  all branches of D.O.D. and numerous outside organizations have been working  together to solve,’ Mr Inhofe said.

The Senate is not expected to take the bill  until after the general election.

Suicides in the US military rose rapidly  between 2005 and 2009, and reached 285 active service members, along with 24  reservists in 2009.

Opposition: Gun rights lobbyists are likely to oppose any policy that would result in the confiscation of weapons  

Opposition: Gun rights lobbyists are likely to oppose  any policy that would result in the confiscation of weapons

The numbers plateaued in 2010 and 2011, but  the 2012 figures look set to exceed those of 2009, according to the New York Times.

As of last month, 270 active-duty service  members killed themselves this year alone, and half were from the  Army.

More than six out of 10 military suicides are  by use of firearms, and nearly half of those involve privately owned  guns.

Guns are also the most common method of  suicide among young males across the country.

When troops are identified as high risk,  commanders have the authority to confiscate their service weapons, but under  current legislation they can not ask them to hand over their personal  firearms.

The rising figures are of greater concern to  the military staff considering the efforts from the suicide prevention  campaign.

John Ruocco, a helicopter pilot, killed  himself in 2005 between deployments in Iraq. His wife, Kim, said he felt unable  to seek help.

She said: ‘He was so afraid of how people  would view him once he went for help.’

‘He thought that people would think he was  weak, that people would think he was just trying to get out of redeploying or  trying to get out of service, or that he just couldn’t hack it. In reality, he  was sick.

‘He had suffered injury in combat and he had  also suffered from depression and let it go untreated for years.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2214441/U-S-military-aims-prevent-suicides-taking-soldiers-private-guns-away-them.html#ixzz28j1gwO4j Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

U.S. military suspends joint patrols with Afghans ” our allies — have turned their guns on NATO forces 36 times this year, killing 51, most of them Americans”

(CBS News) The strategy for getting U.S. forces out of Afghanistan depends on training Afghan soldiers and police to protect the country themselves, but on Monday the U.S. military suspended most joint field operations with Afghan forces because so many Americans are being killed by the men they are training.

Afghan government troops — our allies — have turned their guns on NATO forces 36 times this year, killing 51, most of them Americans. That is more attacks than the last two years combined.

The order effectively suspends “until further notice” most of the operations which U.S. and Afghan troops conduct side by side. At higher headquarters, Afghans and Americans will still work together, but in the field small unit operations putting Afghan soldiers alongside Americans — the guts of the U.S. strategy to turn the fighting over to Afghans — will be suspended unless an exception is granted by a commanding general.

The order was issued after a long weekend in which four American and two British troops were killed by so-called “insider attacks” — Afghans turning their guns on their supposed allies.

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Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey called the surge in insider attacks “a very serious threat to the campaign.”

In addition, two Marines were killed and eight fighter jets destroyed by enemy fighters who penetrated a heavily fortified base.

A Taliban video shot the morning after the attack on Camp Bastion shows smoke still rising from the most destructive enemy attack of the entire war. Just as disturbing is the fact the enemy was able to film this propaganda video, from just outside the base.

The attack began at 10 p.m. Friday night when a band of 15 enemy fighters somehow eluded detection by security cameras which scan the entire perimeter of Camp Bastion. Dressed in U.S. army uniforms, they cut their way through the outer wire and blew a hole through the base wall. Armed with automatic weapons, rocket propelled grenade launchers and suicide vests, they split into teams — each going after a separate target. One went for the harrier jet fighters, another for the fueling stations, and a third for the helicopters. Within 30 minutes, the damage was done. A quick reaction force finally arrived and after a two-hour firefight, killed 14 attackers and wounded one who is now in custody.

One U.S. official put it simply: “We have got to do a better job at protecting our troops.”

U.S. officials say that somewhere between 10 percent and 25 percent of the insider attacks are the work of enemy infiltrators. The rest are the result of personal insults and just plain cultural misunderstandings

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