I can’t confirm all of what’s in here because I don’t currently work with those issues, but this reads like the Vietnam era…
McClatchy Newspapers (mcclatchydc.com)
September 17, 2010
By Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — When Lt. Col. Dave Wilson took command of a battalion of the 4th Brigade of the 1st Armored Division, the unit had just returned to Texas from 14 months traveling some of Iraq’s most dangerous roads as part of a logistics mission.
What he found, he said, was a unit far more damaged than the single death it had suffered in its two deployments to Iraq.
Nearly 70 soldiers in his 1,163-member battalion had tested positive for drugs: methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. Others were abusing prescription drugs. Troops were passing around a tape of a female lieutenant having sex with five soldiers from the unit. Seven soldiers in the brigade died from drug overdoses and traffic accidents when they returned to Fort Bliss, near El Paso, after their first deployment.
“The inmates were running the prison,” Wilson said.
What Wilson had to deal with, however, was hardly an isolated instance.
With the U.S. drawdown in Iraq, the Army is finally confronting an epidemic of drug abuse and criminal behavior that many commanders acknowledge has been made worse because they’d largely ignored it during nearly a decade of wars on two fronts.
Phi Beta Iota: This is indeed post Viet-Nam deja vu, when Officers of the Day (OOD) would stash their issue weapon and go into darkened barracks with a personal weapon and wiped down untraceable cartridges in the magazine. 70 out of 1100 or so for drugs is not bad at all. Criminality does not show in a blood test and that is what the real problem is. We are bringing back tens of thousands of men physically toughened by war, but ethically broken, to an economy that has no jobs for them. Perhaps worst of all, if their officers lack integrity, these men could be used to quell legal protests by citizens fed up with the two-party tyranny and anxious about restoring the Constitution and the Republic.