November 5, 2009 12:34 PM

Commentary: Troop deployments and suicide rates

President Obama's decision on deploying more troops to Afghanistan has been complicated by an ugly reality: suicide. In recent years, the Army has struggled with growing numbers of soldiers who've taken their own lives. The numbers spell out the problem starkly. In 2005, the Army's suicide rate per 100,000 soldiers was 12.7. In 2006, it rose to 15.3. In 2007, 16.8. In 2008 it hit 20.2.

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