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Senior army doctors have warned that troops in Iraq are suffering levels of battle stress not experienced since the second world war because of fears that if they shoot an insurgent, they will end up in court. The two senior Royal Army Medical Corps officers, one of whom is a psychologist, have recently returned from Basra, where they said they counselled young soldiers who feared a military police investigation as much as they did the insurgents.Of course, doing it like this means all the moonbats can turn around and cite low morale numbers as evidence of the folly of war or somesuch nonsense. Then, when you have accomplished that, they can turn around and sue command, government and others for lack of support...
The revelations follow the collapse last week of the court martial of seven paratroopers accused of murdering an Iraqi who died near al- Amarah just after the war and amid signs of a dramatic drop in morale among frontline infantry soldiers. The doctors' warnings came in post-operational reports submitted by senior officers to their formation commanders after serving in a battle zone. They are exceptional because of their content. One source said: "There doesn't appear to be any overt consideration or understanding of the pressures that our soldiers are under. "The unpopularity of the war at home and a belief that firing their rifles in virtually any circumstances is likely to see them end up in court are sapping morale."
One corporal said that troops arriving in Basra were confronted by warnings from the Royal Military Police. "They make it clear that any and every incident will be investigated. It is also made clear that if you shoot someone, you will face an inquiry that could take up to a year. "The faces of the young lads straight out of training drop as the fear of being investigated strikes home and many ask whose side the RMP are on."
Although the levels of fighting in Iraq are nowhere near those of some of the bloodiest battles of the second world war, such as the battle of the bulge or Kohima, the much more complex situation that the British troops face is pushing up stress levels just as far. The combination of knowing that death might come at any time from a roadside bomb and that shooting back at Iraqis who attack them might result in their being court-martialled is putting immense pressure on young soldiers. The doctors described morale in some units as very low with soldiers cynically suggesting they needed a solicitor with them before they shot back at any Iraqi who attacked them. Many frontline infantry soldiers were in survival mode and had the impression that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is not supporting them and nobody in the UK cares about what is happening in Iraq, the officers said.
Dutch UN peacekeepers, or Dutchbat, were supposed to be protecting the Bosnian Muslim enclave, which was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces.Ordering me into battle sir? Sir, may I see the exit strategy please sir? Still, it'd be a scream if these soldiers took the UN to the ICC. Oh the joy, one dopey UN organisation trying the dopey UN itself and everyone laughing at the stupid fools.
The court ruled that the soldier's employer did not take care of him properly during the Serb attack.
The defence ministry says it will appeal against the decision.
An official report in the Netherlands in 2002, said the Dutch government and the UN must share responsibility for what happened in Srebrenica.
The ex-soldier claimed that the defence ministry was responsible for the post-traumatic stress he suffered after Srebrenica - where about 7,000 Muslim men were killed after Serb forces took over.
The judge agreed that his employer did not take care of him properly and gave him false hope that the UN would provide air support, supplies and an exit strategy.