Low Spirits

Morale Plummets for Afghanistan Troops

One sign of the United States' shifting priorities in the Middle East: According to the Army, mental health is improving for soldiers in Iraq, but is worsening for soldiers in Afghanistan. It marks the first time since 2004 that suicides are not rising in Iraq. While reports of psychological problems remain about the same as they were two years ago, an apparent shortage of mental-health workers may have led to the decreased morale in Afghanistan. The Army in Afghanistan has less than one mental-health worker per 700 soldiers, a standard established in the Army doctrine.